2 minute read

Book Review

Roni’s Kitchen

Recipes from my food journeys around the world By Roni Zaide, roniskitchen.com $35, E-book $19



CAN YOU IMAGINE STARTING with 400 of your own favourite vegan recipes and whittling down to only a quarter of them to include in your first cookbook? Most people’s books would never get published!

That was the task facing Roni Zaide after exceeding her goal for her crowd-funding campaign. The pressure was on to produce the book, and six months later, and thousands of hours of chopping, mixing, cooking, cooking again, and photography, Roni’s Kitchen arrived in our stores. And at the time of writing, it was number 5 in Calgary’s top ten nonfiction bestsellers.

Zaide has divided her book into three chapters, each representing the different stages of her life: “Home” – growing up in Israel with a family that loved to cook, and a year-round supply of fresh fruits and veggies, has provided ample recipes for Mediterranean treats. Many of us will have enjoyed them at her vegan brunch pop-ups at Café Koi a few years ago – I did, and now I look forward to attempting her 4-ingredient Rose Jam recipe (P.37) and her grandma’s Persian Ghormeh Sabzi soup (P.87).

Chapter Two is “Travel”, and Zaide has visited 25 countries, though she’s chosen to include mostly Indian and Thai dishes here. I can’t decide whether to make her Aloo Paratha (stuffed bread with a potato filling) or Gobi (stuffed with cauliflower) – maybe I’ll have to make both! (P. 133). And I’m sorely tempted by the Avocado Coconut Lime Popsicles from her visits to Hawaii (P.171).

Zaide came to Calgary in 2006 and worked at The Coup. She started her own catering business in 2014, with a weekly meal service, cooking classes, and pop-ups, and her final chapter, “Calgary”, features recipes from these ventures. I’ve already made her Turmeric Ginger Lentil Dip (P.213). Yum!

Every recipe is accompanied by large and bright colour photographs, so we can see what our dishes should look like; and not only does Zaide include an index by recipe type: appetizers, breads, brunch, soups, condiments etc; she’s thoughtfully provided an index by ingredient too - so useful when looking at the contents in your fridge and deciding what to make for dinner! Gray Jay Deluxe Canadian Whisky is perfect for all occasions. Smooth and unpretentious, it lets you make your own rules.

Buy a bottle today, and enjoy every sip, just as you like.