WHY CHEZ NOUS: COMMUNAL DINNERS?
I have long dreamed of publishing a cookbook. In fact, over the past decade, I have made dozens of editions of cookbooks. They have made their way into Christmas presents and personal archives, finally, after years of work and research, I am thrilled to announce the first public edition of my cookbook Chez Nous: Communal Dinners!
This is truly a project of love! I have created and refined over 100 recipe included in this book. Each recipe has been taste tested at our Chez Nous dinner parties, and overwhelmingly approved by our guests. The recipes have been home tested by friends and strangers alike to ensure accuracy. I have created the design for the book, taken each photograph, and painstakingly researched all of the cultures that I present to you. Each recipe is accompanied by at least one beautiful, full color photograph and the story of how it came about!
I am so thrilled to announce that my Kickstarter campaign has just launched and is featuring a beautiful video one of my students Vinny Sacchetti! Check out the campaign here! Thank you so much for considering my campaign!!
WHAT IS CHEZ NOUS?
Chez Nous is meant as a juncture between a journal of our experience and a curated inspiration for the beginning of yours. Each chapter is a different Country or cuisine that we have explored. Within each culture, you will find three courses and how I organized the meal. You will also find a game plan on how and when to prepare each dish if you would like to replicate it. I always mention the number of guests because the portion size is dependent on that, so please feel free to change the recipes dependent on your own needs. Chez Nous is organized around the idea of communal meals, so it is always portioned for at least 8 guests.
The final chapters feature intimate dinners that I have prepared with Nicolas for various celebrations as well as meals for a small group of friends, because you can’t always have an 18 guest dinner!
The recipes in this book have varied origins. Some were born out of research, others out of a need to use a certain product before it goes bad and others still are juvenile experiments that I have refined over the past decade. I owe a great debt to the chefs and authors of books that have taught me the techniques of these various nations and I hope my variations and interpretations are a credit to that which inspired them.
HOW WE BEGAN
I have always loved to create and cook, and built my Baltimore community on food. Every time I met someone interesting, I would invite them to dinner. We all took turns cooking in my 4×6 foot Mount Vernon kitchen, teaching each other the foods of our upbringing. Sandwiched between the fridge, oven, and 2 feet of counter space, we had a solid 30 inch by 4 foot walking space. Two cooks can surely fit in there.
We found an incredible energy in that tiny kitchen, and a shared love for cooking and learning about different cultures. We were immigrants most of us, and were seeking a connection with others. There are few better points of connection than a table full of delicious food. Every few weeks, we decided to throw some money in a communal pot, and teach each other the cuisines of our people. I was amazed at just how many bodies could fit into the narrow strip of floor between the fridge and the counter top. We were all eager to cook and to learn.
Our group has shifted as semesters ended and jobs changed, and we have built an amazing kitchen to accommodate our growing ambitions, but we continue to be a magnet for other lost immigrants in Baltimore. As we cherish our old friends and develop new friendships, we continue our international dinners, now searching out new cultures to discover together.
Chez Nous pays homage to the home we have built together and the community we welcome into it.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP!
I have been my own creative force thus far! I have funded the dinners, the cooking, the recipes, the photos, and the book design, but I need your help! I would love to get my cookbook out to a greater audience!
By raising my goal of $4000, I will be able to finance all of the gifts promised, pay the fees and taxes associated with Kickstarter and crowdfunding, and print my first edition of 200 copies of Chez Nous: Communal Dinners!
Why 200? Although a small publication run, this will help get the word out there! I can start pitching my books to publishing companies and bookstores as well as selling them on my own. Ideally, a 500 print run would be amazing, so if we can raise more money, we can publish more books! I would love to see 500 books in loving homes encouraging cooks to bring their friends together for delicious communal dinners!
Where’s the money going? Mainly to printing costs and publication expenses, with your help we can break even on publishing at least 200 (or maybe 500!!) copies of our book!
I have collected five of my favorite recipes and photographs to create recipe cards. These will be hand delivered or mailed to you immediately after the successful run of our campaign!
With the recent success of our High Tea Party, I decided to create an “extra chapter” to share with our generous benefactors! The 20 page, full-color booklet will feature all of our recipes from the Chez Nous High Tea including Earl Grey Macaron, Scones, and delicious homemade Finger Sandwiches.
Be the first person to own one of our first edition cookbooks! Download a digital copy for a donation of $40, a printed copy for a pledge of $50 or above and an autographed copy for a pledge of $75 or above!
ALL of the pledges will be thanked personally on our website, and all pledges $150 and above will be mentioned in the first edition of Chez Nous!
Would you like to experience Chez Nous first hand? Pledges of $500 and above come with an invitation for dinner, a cooking class, and a custom dinner curated just for you! These rewards also come with a brief bio or custom thank you note in our book!