Coloring for Charlie
Meryle Evans - July/August 2014
Brooklyn, New York—Design a stylish chef’s jacket for Marcus Samuelsson. Identify nine French sauces in a crossword puzzle. Color a drawing of Oregon chef Gabriel Rucker and his tattoos.
There are 52 pages of fun for food lovers of all ages in André Hueston Mack’s self-published Small Thyme Cooks (Amazon, $11.74), ranging from naming nine cuts of lamb with Gramercy Tavern’s Michael Anthony to unscrambling words that “help Eric Ripert identify the fish for this week’s menu” at Le Bernardin.
The multifaceted Mack, formerly head sommelier at Per Se, founder/winemaker of Oregon’s Mouton Noir, and creator of the boutique graphic design firm Get Fraîche Cru, planned the book as a tribute to Charlie Trotter, and part of the proceeds benefit the Charlie Trotter Culinary Foundation, which provides scholarships and mentoring to young people interested in food-related careers.
“I had the idea around Thanksgiving,” Mack recalls, “and I was like wow—it just clicked.” Mack had staged for Trotter and remembers the three course meals the chef prepared for inner city kids. “I wanted to celebrate his legacy,” he explains.
The food world–savvy Mack, who lives in Brooklyn, spends summers in Oregon, and travels 180 days a year selling his wines, asked his culinary colleagues for an OK to include them in the book, and 60 said, “Great, go ahead.” Mack selected the content, for instance, pairing chef April Bloomfield with an East Coast versus West Coast oyster quiz and cracking a sushi code with chef Daisuke Nakazawa.
A page headed “I’d like to thank…” provides the opportunity to write your own James Beard award acceptance speech, while a fill-in-the-blanks “Star-Libs Restaurant Review” concludes: “Save yourself a trip. You’re better off ____________________.”
“It’s all meant to be in fun,” says Mack. “This is about a love affair for an industry and for a chef.”