Hello! My Name Is Tasty is a cookbook I had to check out since it is from John Gorham whose coppa steak at Toro Bravo is the most amazingly delicious piece of meat in existence. This cookbook is equally amazing and that is obvious right from the beginning where Gorham lists some favored ingredients, one of which includes bacon grease with his perfect advice, “Fuck Crisco!” At that moment, I knew this was a cookbook by a cook who knew what he was talking about and was not too polite to share it.

I have not been to Tasty N Sons (Neither he nor his business partner has sons, the name is ironic.) but I have been to Toro Bravo a few times. You know from the first that Toro Bravo is all about the food. There are long tables and you will be seated with complete strangers, but that’s okay. With food that good, you’re happy to do it. It’s a loud, cacophonous experience made sublime with amazing foods.

The Hello! My Name Is Tasty cookbook is organized by meals, Brunch, All Day Long, and Dinner. Brunch is full of hearty options that are chosen to drive home the point that the classic meat, eggs, and potatoes breakfast is not our only choice. Brunch is broken up into smaller and bigger plates and cocktails. I make shakshuka often, and yet this recipe is a revelation with the addition of sun-dried chiles and paprika.

The All Day Long section has a section on boards that made me think of my mother who would set smorgäsbord for lunch and snacks, a mix of sausages, pickled fish and pickled vegetables, cheeses, chutneys, crackers, and bread. These boards are reminiscent, though very upscale. There are also delicious sandwiches and sides in this section. This is just good food with no snobbery–there’s even a mac and cheese recipe.

The dinner section has more meat dishes again with smaller and bigger plates and a large selection of cocktails and desserts. The Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Bacon Jam sounds delicious. I love bacon jam and with pork chops this could be a Porksplosion of flavor.

This book is one that really demands your attention to ingredients, with instructions on making your own bacon, your own ricotta, your own labneh, and other ingredients.  This is wonderful. Gorham is a restaurant chef with a commercial kitchen, so some of the recipes may be a bit unrealistic for a home cook who may not have space for nine pounds of pork belly to cure in the fridge for a week or have access to a smokehouse. It is common with restaurant chef cookbooks to share aspirational recipes that are beyond the capacity of apartment kitchens so that’s not really a flaw. I can imagine how good it tastes.

What I really like about this cookbook is the point of view and the absolute rude honesty about ingredients. He’s right. Fuck Crisco!

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