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.