As I couldn't make it to the Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow cookbook signing, Marcus valiantly stepped in and went in my place. I'm so lucky to have a food-enthusiastic boyfriend who understands my madness, especially when it comes to cookbook signings!
The Meatball Shop's chef and general manager, Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow, recently co-wrote and published a cookbook filled with both classic and original recipes for recipes that their humble little shop (well, shops now!) located in the coziest of spaces in the Lower East Side. Williams-Sonoma hosted a demonstration and cookbook signing over at its Columbus Circle location on a Saturday afternoon.
From Marcus's recapitulation of the demonstration and cookbook signing, Chef Holzman and Mr. Chernow were quite the humorous pair, breaking the ice with some quirky jokes. Chef Holzman finally stepped foot into the Williams-Sonoma kitchen to show-off some of his awesome meatball-making skills.
He prefaced the demonstration by delving into The Meatball Shop's philosophy behind making/cooking meatballs and how they've come to find success. Ultimately, Chef Holzman reiterated, meatballs are peasants' food -- you just make them with whatever you have leftover. There is no need for crazy prep time. Nobody is really slaving over a hot stove over cooking meatballs because in practice, they're pretty easy. So when he used to visit his grandmother, she used to say she had been slaving all day over making these meatballs, and Chef Holzman fell for it every time. It wasn't until he was older and understood the "science" behind creating the "perfect meatball" that he realized the truth -- he teased that his grandma was pretty full of it because they really didn't take that long at all!
Chef Holzman shaping the meatballs into the baking pan. He also noted that there's really no "wrong way" to make meatballs -- it will usually work out with whatever ingredients you choose and whatever size you make them. At The Meatball Shop, they just go with they make because they enjoy it. And since its patrons seem to be responding well to it, they figure they must be doing something right.
Voilà! Meatballs ready for the oven!
A Williams-Sonoma associate helping plate the Cookbook's mashed potatoes to be paired with the classic beef meatballs he had just prepared.
Demonstration sample of a classic beef meatball with classic tomato sauce over mashed potatoes.
Mr. Chernow and Chef Holzman!
Our copy of The Meatball Shop Cookbook!
Chef Holzman and Mr. Chernow left us a great message inside the cookbook -- a shout-out to Four Tines and a Napkin, in silver-colored Sharpie, no less!
Findings: From Marcus's detailed account of the demonstration and cookbook signing with Chef Daniel Holzman and general manager, Michael Chernow, it seemed to be an informative and fun event to attend! I think what worked best is the two co-owners are so down-to-earth, relaxed, and easily approachable, which makes their recipes, their restaurant, and their personalities appeal very well to the general public. It definitely seems like The Meatball Shop Cookbook will be an essential one in our growing library. In fact, Marcus and I attempted making the jambalaya meatballs this past weekend, and Chef Holzman was right -- they were really easy to make! Just had to lop all of the ingredients thoroughly together, and we really had something on our hands!
This will make the perfect addition to any cook's cookbook collection -- for those looking for easy recipes, for those looking for classic and timeless recipes -- the comprehensive collection of both classic and unique meatball recipes, alongside with an eclectic range of sauces, sides, vegetables, and desserts, will satisfy any palate. They picked a great time to release their cookbook -- with Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and the colder weather just around the corner, people are definitely looking for recipes to help keep them warm in the weeks and months to come.
Anyways, I just wanted to thank Marcus for going in my place -- another one for the both of us -- and to thank Chef Holzman and Mr. Chernow for the awesome shout-out in our book. I'm still swooning over it!
Price point: $28 for each cookbook.
--November 12, 2011
Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle, Suite 114
New York, NY 10019
The Meatball Shop Cookbook
Daniel Holzman & Michael Chernow
available here at Amazon.com