3 New Cookbooks From LA Chefs and Personalities

By Lesley Balla  |  May 30, 2014
Credit: Ben Ford

Just in time for ice cream, barbecuing and picnic season, three new cookbooks from local chefs and culinary personalities have hit the shelves. Here's what to read when you want to make your own ice cream sandwiches, roast a whole hog or giant salmon or crank out some salads with a punk rock edge. You should probably do all of the above at least once this summer. 

Coolhaus Ice Cream Book: In 2008, Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started baking cookies, making ice cream and combining them into "cool hauses," aka architecturally themed ice cream sandwiches. As any avid foodster would do, they took an old postal truck to Coachella and sold ice cream sandwiches to the hungry hordes. Six years later, they have a veritable empire with 11 trucks and carts in four U.S. cities, two brick-and-mortar locations in Pasadena and Culver City and Coolhaus products in grocery stores across the country. With the launch of their first cookbook, we learn the secrets to some of the fabulous ice cream and sorbet flavors, like chocolate peppermint, fried chicken and waffle, gin and tonic and dirty mint chip, and the cookies like double chocolate chip and snickerdoodle. Plus, you get some insight into their favorite architects and designers. The goal is to show that's it's pretty easy to make ice cream and build a delicious ice cream sandwich - much easier than, say, building anything from Ikea. Released on May 20, keep an eye here for book parties around LA in the coming weeks.

Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking: Should you want to roast a whole hog or make your own bratwurst for 100 people this summer, this is the book for you. Ben Ford is chef and owner of Ford's Filling Station and also son of Harrison Ford. (Sidenote: Until now Ben's father wasn't one of his major selling points. He tends to rest on his laurels as a chef and keep Dad out of things, save for having him mill about a few parties at the restaurant. But he talks about his famous father in the book, so it's in all the press materials.) Ford has been doing hog roasts and barbecues on the patio of his Culver City restaurant for years, so this isn't much of a stretch. It's unlikely that a home cook will build his or her own box to roast a pig (instructions are in there), but you might want to learn some new recipes for salmon, turkey, lamb and a slew of side dishes for the summer table. In any case, the cookbook is on shelves now.

The Auntie Em's Cookbook: A Musician’s Guide to Breakfast & Brunch: Published by local Prospect Park Books, Terri Wahl's first cookbook hits stores this summer. Formerly the lead guitarist for all-girl punk rock band The Aunts, Wahl combines her love of cooking and music in this collection of about 80 recipes. Most are dishes familiar to anyone who's had brunch or dinner at her popular Eagle Rock cafe, Auntie Em's, including red velvet cupcakes, bacon bread pudding with herbs, and Indian-spiced carrots and fresh salads. Not only do you get seasonal shopping and home-cooking tips in this cookbook but Wahl offers up music she likes to listen to while preparing each dish. And that's everything from Curtis Mayfield to punk-blues Boss Hog. The book will be available on June 10.