Amanda Hesser’s NY Times Cookbook Launch & Tasting Event at Kendall College

Don Newcomb greeted us at the reception table at Kendall College. He ushered us to the function room, 4 long tables already set up, and a small crowd began to move in to the room as well.  Everyone was eager to hear from New York Times food columnist/editor, Food52 founder and cookbook author Amanda Hesser. It’s both a book launch and a tasting event as well.
 Following Chicago chefs preparedtheir favorite recipes from The Essential New York Times Cookbook:

*Dirk Flanigan of The Gage and Henri  

*Chef/Culinary Instructor Thomas Meyer from Kendall College

*Leonard Hollander of Marion Street Cheese Market 


*Matt Eversman of Saigon Sisters

There was time to chat with the chefs. And owner Mary Nguyen Aregoni was very excited to talk about her mom’s Banh Mi recipe served at her restaurant, Saigon Sisters. Kendall College Chef/Instructor Thomas Meyer shared a braised brussel sprouts recipe that is perfect for Thanksgiving dinner.


Braised Brussel sprouts (recipe courtesy of Chef Thomas Meyer)
1 pound of brussel sprouts
6 oz. panchetta (italian bacon)

8 oz. chicken stock


Trim brusel sprout. Cube and then fry panchetta in a saute pan. Save fat from panchetta, add brussel sprouts, and saute. Add stock, and cover. Turn heat to medium and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Chef Thomas also answered the following questions:

Q: Recipe of dish you made that was inspired from Amanda’s book

A: Shrimp a la suede and blue cheese dip- simple and very traditional


Q: Favorite thanksgiving recipe that you can share, one you would normally prepare at home.

A: Brussels sprout braised in bacon and apple cider.


Q: What’s the most difficult baking technique to teach to culinary students?

A: Scaling of ingredients

Q: What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?

A: Micro plain

Q: Who/What inspired you most as a young cook?

A: Reading about the great Master Chefs

Q: What’s your favorite food to cook with? Why?

A: I like to cook with exotic fruits because of the different textures and flavors.

About The Essential New York Times Cookbook

The cookbook project started when Amanda Hesser placed an ad in the NY Times asking readers for their favorite recipes that NY Times published. With the paper’s 150-year old food history, letters, emails, and yellowed, newsprint recipes stormed Hesser‘s desk. After 1,400 recipes tested and six long years of researching through NY Times archives and preparing the draft for an updated collection of recipes for the modern cook, Amanda completed the “almost a thousand pages” book in a record “6 years in the making”.  


“Organized into 18 chapters including drinks, hors d’oeuvres, soups, eggs, vegetables,grains, seafood, poultry, beef, breads, and desserts, and sprinkled with menu suggestions and fascinating compiled timelines.”  

The Essential New York Times Cookbook by The New York times Company and Amanda Hesser, $40, published by W.W. Norton and Company, available at


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