Last night Rachel and I were privileged to attend the launch party for Daisy Martinez’s new cookbook, Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes.
This book is a bit of a departure from her previous and excellent cookbook, Daisy Cooks! in that the dishes are more oriented towards entertaining and she’s really put a serious creative spin into it. The previous book was more of a foundation or introductory type book to Latin American cuisine — this one really makes it take off like a supersonic jet blaring reggaeton music on its way into the stratosphere.
The party occurred at Don Coqui, a brand-new and massive high-end Puerto Rican restaurant in New Rochelle, New York owned by Jimmy Rodriguez, who is among the most prominent Latino chefs and restauranteurs in the country. Jimmy has opened several Latino restaurants over the last ten years, including Sofrito restaurant in New York City. Rodriguez has now devoted his energies entirely to Don Coqui, and rightfully so.
I never thought a Puerto Rican place would be a destination restaurant in the burbs of the New York metro area, but there it is. It’s also got an entire floor and kitchen dedicated to catering, so it’s a great place to have parties.
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This is a Jicama seafood Ceviche from the book, which was passed around as hors d’oeuvre.
I’ll take the whole pail, please.
Pernil, Puerto Rican roast pork being pulled for the party. Most of this would end up on my stomach as the evening progressed.
I had a brief tour of the restaurant’s main dining room, which was absolutely hopping with activity on a Friday night. The restaurant only launched in August of 2009 but it is already one of the hottest night spots in Westchester County.
Sorry dude, you won’t be partying tonight.
Puerto-rican style Surf and Turf — Lobster stuffed with garlic Mofongo (smashed fried plantains) and Filet Mignon with red wine sauce.
Unfortunately I spent too much time partying and not enough time taking pictures, but here’s a sampling of what we ate — Arroz con Mariscos (seafood rice), marinated Skirt Steak, Chicken Mojo Criollo and of course, the juicy chunks of Pernil.
Team Daisy — some of her closest friends who helped her test all the recipes in the book.
Daisy’s three youngest kids, who are featured prominently in the book’s photographs.
Daisy and her publisher thanks everyone for coming and for their support. Hey, when you offer free drinks and a party, who is NOT going to come?
Daisy looking radiant.
Thank you so much, Jay and Rachel, for being a part of my special night. We’ll have to go back under saner circumstances, to enjoy the complete Don Coqui experience!
WOW!!!! sounds like a great time, the food looked amazing that lobster stuffed with mofong sounds like a dream, two of my favorite dishes combined, wow, wow….Daisy looked fabolous as always…..
Looks like it was a delicious evening.
That looks great. I just caught Daisy’s new show on the Food Network and thought it looked great.
I’ve been teaching myself to cook Puerto Rican food, and it’ll be great to have another resource and another version of sofrito to work from. When I was little, I used to stay with my neighbors who were from Ponce and I often ate with them. I was surprised at how strong my taste-memories are for some fairly basic Puerto Rican dishes like Pollo Guisada.
Next time I’m in New York, I’ll see if I can’t round up a crowd to try Don Coqui.
Daisy, you seem like a real nice person, and your kids are beautiful. I catch your older show Daisy Cooks sometimes when I’m home, and enjoy the way you teach cooking, so easy to understand, and with such passion and humor. I find you very funny as well as being a very capable cook. Skipping around the internet I read that you worked for Lidia at an earlier time. I’m a little surprised none of that Italian rubbed off on you. Being of Italian heritage myself, I appreciate the subtle simplicity of that type of cooking. But you are amazing, really, and I wish you luck in all your endeavors. You’re a gorgeous gal.
It’s Wonderful to see A Puerto Rican Chef on TV. Food Network get’s A+ for Viva Daisy. I enjoy the shows and learn plenty. Most of us have lost the way to do Puerto Rican food the right way. I like her way of showing how to cook the meal properly. DAISY KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!