There’s been an influx of NYC female-fueled book publishing lately. From Village Voice critic Lauren Shockey’s Four Kitchens to Restaurant Girl’s (a/k/a Danyelle Freeman) Try This and the soon-to-hit-the-sales-floor book by Grub Street’s Alyssa Shelasky, it seems like every skirt-wearing writer is getting publishing deals. Now another femme food writer, Jill Donenfeld, and her chef partner, Josetth Gordon, have hit the scene, this time with a fete-themed cookbook: Party Like a Culinista.
Though it claims not to be a girl-power adviser, Party Like a Culinista is absolutely focused on the ladies. Boasting planning guides that suggest the perfect time during prep for your “wardrobe change” and a cocktail titled Dream Sequins, it would be remiss to call this anything but. This isn’t a bad thing: The recipes are straightforward, interesting, and well-thought-out. But let’s call a spade a spade.
Between the teal-blue covers you’ll find menus that range from “anytime” meals to last-minute options or a blowout BBQ — yellow tomato gazpacho shooters, bean and grain burgers, sautéed mushrooms, mango relish, caramelized onions. Each dish is delineated as speedy, make ahead, vegan, or vegan flex — which is apropos considering the author’s bicoastal residency and tendency toward hiking in the hills of Santa Monica.
What is a Culinista? We’ll take this straight from the book: “Culinista [is] a term coined for the personal chefs of The Dish’s Dish. … A Culinista is the person at the center of every great party scene.”
There you have it. Another cooking tome for the shelf …