Cook the Book

Cook the Book: The World Central Kitchen Cookbook

By: tate.jacaruso
World Central Kitchen Cookbook cover

The World Central Kitchen Cookbook: Feeding Humanity, Feeding Hope arrived shiny and blue and ready to be spattered with sauce in my kitchen. The award-winning cookbook, written by chef and World Central Kitchen founder José Andrés, includes recipes inspired by the organization’s efforts to provide food relief to those affected by disasters across the globe. Andrés, a renowned chef, author, educator, and humanitarian, was inspired to start World Central Kitchen by his time spent in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

All author proceeds from the cookbook go toward the organization’s emergency response efforts. The pages are filled with international dishes, telling stories of cooks and friends who fed countless people in need. The chapters are named after the organization’s values like resilience and urgency, filled with recipes fit for a home kitchen.

I decided to make the carrot-farro salad from chef Brooke Williamson and Ukrainian Borsch because they looked delicious, and the recipes seemed doable with fairly limited kitchen supplies. I was also drawn to the idea of making colorful dishes, especially since my usual meals tend to be a little visually bland. At the supermarket, my cart was full of vibrant vegetables from radishes to green cabbage to beets to carrots, and I was excited to color my plate.

Recipes from The World Central Kitchen Cookbook

Carrot Farro Salad in a bowl from The World Central Kitchen Cookbook

Carrot Farro Salad

This salad by chef Brooke Williamson is in the “community” chapter that walks through recipes intended to be shared with friends and family. Williamson, a Top Chef winner and restaurant owner, is a partner and friend of World Central Kitchen, supporting the organization’s efforts in Southern California. I set to work chopping onions, peeling carrots, and pulling on my apron, which is permanently stained with red sauce. I was amazed at how the farro soaked up almost three cups of carrot juice and worried I had overcooked it, but it ended up tasting just right. With the addition of lemon juice, radishes, sesame seeds, and avocado, the salad was bright, light, and filling.

Ukrainian Borsch from The World Central Kitchen Cookbook

Ukrainian Borsch

The borsch is found among the soups, stews, and warming meals in the hope chapter. The recipe was on the weekly menu at World Central Kitchen on the Poland/Ukraine border and fed countless refugees. I first tried borsch years ago in a tiny Ukrainian restaurant in New York, and I remember the bright red dish being warm and comforting in the chilly city. The beets were supposed to soften for two hours on the stove, which, to me, meant “set it and forget it.” I forgot it a little too long, though, and it didn’t come out exactly right—so be sure to set a timer and check it a little in advance. But, once I threw on a dollop of sour cream, I enjoyed it all the same.

Get these recipes and more in The World Central Kitchen Cookbook

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