Olive and Gourmando reveals all in new cookbook
After more than 20 years Old Port institution Olive and Gourmando is offering a look at some of its secrets by releasing its first cookbook this week.
The book contains instructions for more than 150 of the restaurants’ 150 recipes.
Chef Dyan Solomon said compiling the book was a now-or-never idea.
“I thought if I don’t do it now, it’s never going to happen,” she said. “Twenty years seems as good a benchmark as any, so we just made it happen.”
Aside from recipes the book includes pictures and tips for home chefs.
“We wanted to sort of demystify some of the classics,” said Solomon.
There’s also a history of the restaurant, served up in bite-size stories along each recipe. For instance, there’s the tale of how actor Jake Gyllenhaal got the popular #24 salad on the menu.
“He saw I was eating a salad and he ordered it but it wasn’t on the menu, it was my lunch,” said Solomon. “It was just very funny because I scrambled to make him that salad without letting him know he was ordering something that didn’t exist, which then became one of our best sellers.”
Then there was the time U2’s Bono showed up wearing his trademark sunglasses.
“He ate two chicken sandwiches, gave us all VIP passes to his concert after we went back to the St. Germain Hotel with the band,” said Solomon. “It was crazy, all of that because of a chicken sandwich.”
But the core of it all is still the recipes and Solomon said she hopes people put the book to good use.
“I hope people turn to it,” she said. “I hope their book gets all scratched and filthy with chocolate stains and whatever. I hope it becomes that kind of book for people for sure.”