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To Cook Is to Love

Nuevo Cuban: Lighter, Healthier Latin Recipes

John Verlinden

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  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Dimensions: 9.50" x 8.00"
  • ISBN: 978-1-62652-526-9
  • Publication Date: 2014-05-01
  • Langdon Street Press

Availability: In stock

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To Cook Is to Love

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You’re invited to dinner at Mami Aida’s!

You’ll love your visit as she shares cooking tips and precious memories. Interwoven with her inspiring story of faith, persistence and commitment to family are 200 of Chef Johnny’s Nuevo Cuban recipes.

These healthier Latin dishes infuse gusto, soul, beauty and love into everyday meals. You won’t want to leave Mami Aida’s table until you’ve heard her entire story, and you’ll treasure this basic Latin cuisine resource for years to come.

Wonderfully packaged and entertaining … not only an outstanding guide to the cuisine, but a homage to the culture itself — a book to be read and cherished by everyone. — Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Our House in the Last World, and many others

"Easy Cuban recipes inspired by the late, lamented Mucho Gusto Café."— Boston Globe Magazine

You're reviewing: To Cook Is to Love

Easy Cuban recipes inspired by the late, lamented Mucho Gusto Café.— Boston Globe Magazine

A wonderfully packaged and entertaining compendium of deliciously configured Cuban recipes…not only an outstanding guide to the cuisine, but a homage to the culture itself -- a book to be read and cherished by everyone.—Oscar Hijuelos, author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Our House in the Last World, and many others.

Very impressed with this novel approach to a cookbook!...not just another cookbook but a unique mixture of practical and authentic Cuban recipes interspersed with the biography of their source …sheds light on the Revolution and its impact on the Cuban people.— Bob Vila, author and television personality, original host of This Old House

As a child of Miami, one of the things I missed most when I relocated to Boston was Cuban food. So when Mucho Gusto opened in 1995, I crossed my fingers. On my first visit I was transported to SW Eight Street with a little bit of the Tropical Park Flea Market thrown in. 'Ropa vieja, maduros, arroz con pollo'- I was back in my neighborhood. John has recreated the recipes from the restaurant and dotted his pages with love for not only the food but a Cuba from another time. — Al Stankus, former editor and food writer Boston Zagat, Boston Herald and co-author of Jazz Cooks: Portraits and Recipes of the Greats

Reading To Cook is To Love is like traveling back and forth in time…part memoir, part eulogy for a lost paradise, and part Medal of Honor for Mami Aida. So much of my love for Cuba is bound up in the food that I ate in my mother’s kitchen. I have a way to keep that alive for my daughter now. Thank you, Johnny…for bringing your culinary brilliance to my home.— Melinda Lopez, author of Sonia Flew and Becoming Cuba

In To Cook is to Love, Johnny Verlinden not only makes Latin cuisine accessible to health conscious busy American home cooks, but he masterfully validates the sustaining power of cooking to anchor family and cultural roots across generations and geography.  He proves to be great chef, storyteller, biographer, and nutritionist all at once.— Micho Spring, Chairperson of Global Corporate Practice and president of New England Operations, Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Inc 

To Cook Is To Love, is about love affairs. Mama Aida’s story is beautifully told…inspirational and life affirming. In the end love conquers all, and cooking with love is one of the means to happiness. Chef Johnny’s cookbook will help you get there!!— Judge Maria Lopez, Former Massachusetts Superior Court Judge and television personality

A masterpiece. I love the book – such an entertaining and informative read; in such a fun presentation. Food is so important—it literally and figuratively makes us who we are. We evolved with these ingredients---they are a part of us, as we are of them.— Joseph J. Baker, Jr.  MD, MPH, internal medicine, Fenway Health Center

An incredible book, I loved it. To Cook is to Love is not JUST about delicious and nutritious recipes. It is about finding the history of food, it is about learning substitutions for healthier eating, and it is about realizing that one cannot separate food and eating from personal experiences and relationships.— Carmen Vega-Barachowitz, chair, Committee for Latino Initiatives, Massachusetts General Hospital

Formatting for "foolproofing" recipes…made the recipes easy to follow and prepare. The recipe shortcuts make it more doable. Use of fresh ingredients/whole foods vs. processed is an important step…the use of nonfat/lowfat dairy and olive/canola oil make the recipes healthier.— Lillian Sonnenberg, DSc, RD, community nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital

John Verlinden’s new book, To Cook Is to Love, is not just another cookbook... the book is full of easy-to-follow (not to mention very tasty) recipes that take traditional Cuban recipes and give them a lighter, healthier spin. Here’s the thing, though. You don’t have to be a cook or a foodie or even know the difference between a plantain and a banana to enjoy reading the book. That’s right, reading it, like any other book. That’s because it’s inspired by — one could even say stars— Verlinden’s mother-in-law, the delightful Mami Aida.— Color Magazine

John Verlinden

As a farm boy in rural Missouri, John Verlinden never imagined that he’d grow up to be co-owner of Mucho Gusto Café & Collectibles or that he’d write To Cook is To Love, a basic Latin food cookbook. But, when he met Mami Aida, and tasted her food he was addicted.

 John has worked in food businesses for much of his life, and in every capacity from busboy, to waiter, to bartender to chef to owner. With Cuban food, he found a special connection.

 A food writer and educator, he created a healthy Latin cooking workshop for dieticians and trainers at Mass General Hospital, and developed a culinary arts program for inner city youth. His other passions also keep him busy -- consulting with small businesses, advocating for humanitarian, health & nutrition, social & political issues in his community, or working as a volunteer bringing friendship and material goods from the U.S. to the people of Cuba. John resides in Brookline, Massachusetts with his husband of 28 years. To Cook Is to Love is his first book.

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