Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Cookbook for Mothers Day

Great cooking stems from experimenting with readily available fresh foods, herbs, and spices — the kind of ingredients home cooks can find in supermarkets across the country. “I believe it’s all about convenience and innovation. That’s the philosophy I have included in every page of my cookbook,” says Zov Karamardian, nationally recognized chef and restaurateur. Her delightful cookbook, ZOV: RECIPES AND MEMORIES FROM THE HEART (Pub March 2005; second printing March 2008; $35.00/hardcover; ISBN: 0-9759558-0-2), has just gone into its second printing. Blending contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines and cultures, this unique collection of over 100 recipes, was inspired by Zov’s favorite family recipes, her extensive world travel, and the people with whom she has had the pleasure of cooking and eating.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the fresh and exciting range of recipes found in ZOV, along with her inspirations and family stories are perfect for a family brunch or dinner.

“Many of the recipes in my cookbook reflect dishes I learned from my mother, grandmother, and the many generous people I have met during my world travels. My recipes fuse traditional techniques and flavors with modern trends in cooking in order to produce unique and delicious recipes.”

Zov’s cookbook represents her life’s work and cooking knowledge. Each chapter begins with a short story about Zov’s culinary inspiration — from Syria in 1955 to Beirut in 1959 to Morocco and Vietnam in the last decade — including memories of her Armenian grandmother and other teachers from around the world. Beautiful color photos illustrate finished recipes. Zov has also provided a chapter on cooking techniques and pantry ingredients, making ZOV: RECIPES AND MEMORIES FROM THE HEART an informative and easy-to-use cookbook.

In the first few weeks of the book’s initial release in 2005, more than 5,000 copies were sold. Since then, over 10,000 have been sold across the country, prompting Zov to launch a second edition, which includes updates and new recipes.

ZOV provides a complete dining experience with recipes divided into “Mezzas” (appetizers), Soups, Salads, Meat/Poultry, Seafood, and Desserts, many of which are served at Zov’s three successful bistros in Orange County, California. Recipes in the book include:

§ Grilled Eggplant and Baked Olives with Rosemary and Thyme
§ Fattouch Salad with Purslane and Sumac Vinaigrette
§ Cannellini and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes
§ Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes, Feta, and Pine Nuts
§ Flatbreads with Spiced Ground Beef (Lahma Joune)
§ Roast Pork Rack with Sour Cherry Sauce
§ Moussaka
§ Jasmine Rice Pudding with Fresh Berries
§ Kataifi with Ricotta Custard and Orange Blossom Syrup
§ Apricot Coffee Cake

ZOV is a treasure of easy-to-follow recipes that feature unique and sometimes exotic ingredients, always with advice about where to buy them. The result is a cookbook with straightforward instructions for creating delectable and out-of-the-ordinary dishes rich in flavor. With the arrival of spring, fresh herbs and vegetables abound, making Zov’s recipes perfect for backyard gatherings or a Mother’s Day brunch.

About the Author

Zov Karamardian is the chef/owner of Zov’s Café/Bakery in Newport Coast and Irvine, California, as well as her flagship restaurant, Zov’s Bistro in Tustin, California. She was presented the “Woman in Business Award 2007” by the Orange County Business Journal, named Chef of the Year by the California Governor’s office, Business Owner of the Year by the National Association of Women’s Business Owners (Orange County), and Restaurateur of the Year by the Southern California Restaurant Writers. She received an Angel Award by the James Beard Foundation, and she also accepted the distinguished honor of serving as guest chef at the esteemed James Beard House in New York. Her recipes have been featured in Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Sunset Magazine, Orange County Register and The Los Angeles Times. You can learn more about Zov on her website, www.Zovs.com.

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