In this time of social isolation and closed restaurants, the food world has come together for its very own “We Are The World” (we will not speak of the misbegotten “Imagine” from the first week of quarantine), a digital cookbook called Family Meal: Recipes From Our Community. Due out May 5 from Penguin Random House and retailing for $5.99, all proceeds from Family Meal will benefit the Restaurant Workers’ COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. (That’s actually quite a bit of money, since no one has to pay for ink, paper, and shipping.) “This book is one humble attempt to do our part to support the restaurant industry,” Penguin Random House CEO Madeline McIntosh writes in the introduction. “As chefs and publishers, but above all as enthusiastic eaters and customers, we hope this contribution makes a difference.”
The project came together in just six weeks, Bloomberg reports. It contains more than 40 recipes that prominent chefs, cookbook authors, and bartenders are preparing in their own homes right now, including Ligurian Focaccia from Samin Nosrat, Miso Milk Bar Pie from Christina Tosi, “My Perfect Breakfast” from Alison Roman, and Essential 15-Minute Mac and Cheese from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. McIntosh also made a contribution, an adaptation of a Sephardic orange cake that she calls Conference Call Cake because it can be prepared between meetings. This is indeed a sign that Family Meal is a cookbook for this very specific time, but it also sounds like an excellent way to collect some great recipes and help restaurant workers in need.