Announcing...The World Central Kitchen Cookbook!
I'm so excited to share this book full of recipes for hope
I hope you had a great weekend…maybe some of you were able to watch my Keynote address with the amazing Michele Norris on Saturday at SXSW!
If you listened (thank you!), you know we announced something super special during that talk…the publication of The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope which you can pre-order now (it comes out September 12th and all author proceeds go to WCK!)
I love sharing exciting news like this new cookbook with you all on Longer Tables! If you’re not on our list, I hope you will maybe become a free or paid subscriber.
As you probably know by now, we founded WCK in 2010 after the earthquake in Haiti, and since then we have served hundreds of millions of meals in response to disasters around the world, most recently the snowstorms in California, earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, and of course during the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
We decided to write this book because of popular demand…we are always getting questions about the recipes we make at WCK, and that’s because we cook real food, with real ingredients, for real people…recipes from many of the women and men we meet during and after disasters around the world. Our belief is that in a crisis, people don’t need pity, they need respect, and that comes not from feeding people an MRE or snacks, but from learning to cook the recipes they make in their own kitchens, meals that they love, that make them feel comforted and safe.
Maybe you’ve heard me tell a story from Haiti about black beans, and how the people there like to eat them as a creamy sauce…that amazing dish is called Sòs Pwa Nwa, and we have a recipe in the book! And when we were in The Bahamas we learned about Fire Engine, a breakfast dish that’s a mix of corned beef and vegetables, then served over rice or grits. This is one of the most amazing dishes that I have never heard of. You learn about these dishes that are not only part of the people, they are the people. And now you will be able to cook them for yourself!
For WCK’s first ever cookbook, we gathered recipes inspired by many of the places our Relief Team has cooked following disasters and other crises around the world, as well as sharing stories from the chefs, volunteers, and communities we’ve met along the way. We divided the book into chapters that are linked to a WCK value: Urgency, Hope, Resilience, Adaptation, Community, Joy, and Empathy. Each one is connected to a style of cooking or presentation…the chapter titled “Urgency” focuses on food that can be eaten on the go, which is so important in our work…like the Lahmajoun Flatbread we served in Beirut in 2020 after the explosion. In the chapter called “Hope,” we included meals that give comfort…soups and stews, like the Ukrainian Borsch we’ve served to families across Ukraine and Chicken Chili Verde prepared for firefighters on the frontlines in California. In “Joy” we’ll share desserts and even a few cocktails!
What else is in this book? My friend Stephen Colbert has written a beautiful foreword, and you will also have recipes from my friends and WCK supporters…like Breakfast Tacos from First Lady Michelle Obama and a Lemon Olive Oil Cake from Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex. Plus recipes from people like Marcus Samuelsson, Ayesha Curry, Guy Fieri, Reem Assil, Emeril Lagasse, Eric Adjepong, and more!
You know for me food is more than just ingredients on a plate…it tells a story. The story of the person cooking it, the person who taught that dish to them, and the person who will eat it, in our case millions of people impacted by disasters around the world…and all of those who will remember it.
What I know about the work we do at WCK is this: we are making the table longer so we can make more space, so we can bring people together and make connections through food. That is the mission of this book too, to bring you to the table of someone living across the world, in a very different situation than you are: in a natural disaster, in a war, in a place where everything that is important to them is gone, taken out from under them. And what comes from that place is an appreciation for what can come from one plate of food at a time: hope.
I hope you will love this book and cook from it, read it, and share what you love most from it with the people you love most in your world. Thank you, my friends!
You can pre-order The World Central Kitchen Cookbook now, and it will be available on September 12. 100% of the author proceeds go to WCK and help us do what we do, and along the way make World Central Kitchen part of your kitchen.
Just ordered! Hopefully a book signing in DC?
My birthday is Sept. 19, so I just bought my present 😊