Gathering for a meal around the family table doesn’t always happen at home. In Family Table, Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner share favorite staff meals from Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Eleven Madison Park, Maialino and other Danny Meyer restaurants.
Family Table treats readers to a behind-the-scenes look at what the chefs and staff eat before the restaurants open for lunch and dinner. As we see in this new book, which is filled with creative, accessible and diverse recipes, family meals come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone takes a turn in the kitchen – from the sous chefs to the porters to the prep cooks – and they each bring something special to the meal. Out of this wonderful collection of stories and experiences comes something you might not expect of such upscale restaurants – simple home cooking at its very best.
Family meals are very important in our household and as such, I am always looking for new recipes and meals that will appeal to the entire family. Some standouts from Family Table are Michael Romano’s Secret-Ingredient Soup, Danny Meyer’s Roasted Asparagus Gratin, Spice-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and – perfect for Thanksgiving – the Cranberry Mostarda. I also loved reading the profile stories about staff members who all play essential roles in keeping the restaurants running at their best, like Gramercy Tavern’s chief steward Modesto Batista who is a regular visitor to the Union Square Greenmarket. Perhaps more than anything, I loved reading this cookbook and learning about the meals that chefs make for each other. When the staff come together for their “family meal” they are, in a sense, coming together as family. And what better way to spend time together than with a shared meal at the table?