Thursday, December 15, 2016

Cookbook Thursday: 'Foraging in the Kitchen' by Fiona Bird and two by Chef Andrea Apuzzo

Need some more holiday gift ideas?

Here’s a great gift for the tree hugger on your list — and I mean that affectionately being a tree hugger myself. “The Forager’s Kitchen: Over 100 field-to-table recipes” by Fiona Bird is a beautiful book spotlighting the delicious items waiting to be discovered in the woods, prairies and wetlands — even your own backyard. There are edible flowers, items falling from trees (who knew Douglas fir needles would be good for Christmas tree cookies and chocolate pots?), herbs, wild berries, fungi and much more. There’s even a few spirited (alcoholic) recipes!

There are some ground rules and Bird explains all, plus gives tips on where to forage, when to forage and what to bring along. My view of the edible landscape has evolved and yours will too.

Bird is a graduate of The University of St. Andrews and is a former BBC “MasterChef” finalist. She lives in Scotland and, when time permits, is a wild food blogger for The Huffington Post UK. She is the author of “Kids’ Kitchen” and “Seaweed in the Kitchen.”

Chef Andrea Apuzzo brought his northern Italian dishes to Metairie, a suburb of New Orleans, with his award-winning restaurant, Andrea’s. He published a cookbook in 1989 titled “La Cucinadi di Andrea’s New Orleans: Recipes from one of America’s Best Northern Italian Restaurants,” with Pelican Publishing of New Orleans, featuring 275 recipes with gorgeous photography. The book was edited by Tom Fitzmorris, a longtime food writer of New Orleans. In 2006, Apuzzo published “Chef Andrea Apuzzo My Home is Your Home: Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Life from 45 Years of Cooking for Family and Friends.” This time New Orleans author John DeMers assisted, with photos by Kerri McCaffety, also a multi-published New Orleans author. In addition, the book features numerous shots of Apuzzo’s family and staff over the years and, of course, lots of recipes.

Some of Apuzzo’s awards have been “Favorite Italian Restaurant in New Orleans” by readers of New Orleans magazine, “Most Authentic Northern Italian Restaurant in New Orleans” and one of “The Finest Italian Restaurants in America” by Esquire Magazine and Outstanding Culinary Achievement Award by Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs.  

Cheré Dastugue Coen is a food and travel writer living in South Louisiana. She is also the author of several Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at