Writing a book is a strange and exhaustive process. The more I got to thinking about it; it must be even more difficult to write a cookbook- the measurements, the recipes, the clean up. Not saying that it wouldn’t be delicious, though. That’s why I had to meet with Adrianne Calvo, the local beloved chef/owner of Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant and Wine Bar who released a cookbook in November 2014.
This isn’t her first or even second jaunt through the cookbook process. Her first book, Maximum Flavor, was released in August 2005 and her second, Chef Adrianne: Driven by Flavor, Fueled by Fire, was released in 2008. Her third book, #MaximumFlavorSocial: Food, Family & Followers, brings it all full circle. It is more than a cookbook; it is a literary piece that is dedicated to her committed fan following and loyal employees. Third time’s the charm, I say.
Unknowingly years in the making, the cookbook is a compilation of her restaurant’s greatest hits. When she finally got down to business, she spent 1 1/2 years curating a best of list and paring down recipes to work for at-home cooks. Immediately, you will be intrigued by the size and shape of the book. It’s all on purpose to be social media friendly. You will find Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram comments as well as hand written tips alongside the recipes. As for those handwritten tips, they are a way to write back to her love letters. Best of all, every single recipe includes an image.
Back to those love letters. What are they?
A few years ago, she began collecting notes that her guest would leave her on the receipts, and began calling them love letters. Now, the letters are a trademark of the restaurant and even featured on social media from time to time.
Recipe highlights include:
Vineyard Salade - maple lardons, goat cheese, dried cranberries, & Dijon. Fun fact: This is the oldest recipe on both the menu and the book. A true mainstay of the restaurant, it was inspired by the wine country and will always have a place on the menu due to popularity.
Sweet and Spicy Shrimp - sweet chili & garlic
Niman Ranch Crispy Braised Pork Belly
Nutella Croissant Bread Pudding with chocolate ganache ( and pictured above! )
The cookbook is broken up into the following chapters, telling the story of not only the restaurant, but also the restaurant’s employees, and the chef’s personal life:
#Throwback - the chef’s bio
#Tonight - restaurant recipes
#Connected - the story behind social media
#OnTheRoad - recipes from dishes she has cooked on the road for festivals and events
#DarkDining - recipes from Dark Dining dinners
#MakeItCount - recipes she has made in contribution to her foundation Make It Count
#TheCrew - the staff’s bios
Opened in 2007 and located in the far reaches of Kendall, Chef Adrianne’s Vineyard Restaurant is one of the Miami’s most underrated restaurants, partly due to its location, but certainly not one to be missed. Unlike other restaurants out there, the menu is based on fan favorites. Here’s another insider secret, she will test drive a dish as a special and take to social media for opinions. And for those wondering, she is the one behind the social media curtain. No outsourcing, here. Many call her wonder woman as she is actually almost always in the kitchen. The team is small and consists of her, a sous chef, and her mom. She also has no forager and goes to Paradise Farms on an almost daily basis. Above all, she is banging out some pretty great food with heart and soul. Whether or not you cook any of the recipes in the book, it’s a great addition to your collection. As for me, I prefer it when the chef cooks.
Best quote in the book: “Often times flavor can define you.”
#MaximumFlavorSocial: Food, Family & Followers includes 75+ recipes. Why the +? You’ll find recipes within recipes along the way, like a sauce to go with a specific meat dish and the like. The book is available for purchase online and locally in stores at Barnes & Noble. It is priced at $34.99.
Miller Road Shopping Plaza, 11510 Southwest 147th Avenue
Miami, FL 33196