I need to tell y’all about a book, Paleo Comfort Foods. Here is the Foreword that I wrote for the book, check it out and then meet me at the bottom. I’ll bring brownies.
I had an idea for a cookbook. Once. Then a set of circumstances proved to me that my cookbook would not be as unique, good, or snazzy as I’d like . . . so I scuttled the whole idea. To understand why the idea of writing my own cookbook seemed silly requires a little backstory. You see, I wrote the New York Times best-selling book The Paleo Solution, and apparently after you write a successful nutrition/diet-oriented book you produce a follow-up cookbook.
Ducks quack, cats purr, and apparently nutrition gurus write (or subcontract) cookbooks.
So, I was mulling over this idea of a cookbook while on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia. Some of my very dearest friends (who are serious foodies) live in Atlanta, so I was pretty excited about this trip. My wife, Nicki, and I were scheduled to have dinner with two sets of friends: Jeff and Melissa Hayes (owners of one branch of the best gym in Atlanta, BTB Fitness) and Charles and Jules Mayfield (owners of the other branch of Atlanta’s best gym, BTB Fitness). These folks know good food and good booze, and they are great athletes and outstanding coaches. Dinner was a Thai theme with paleo ingredients that included grilled chicken, a green curry, and cauliflower “rice.” It’s tough to describe how amazing this food was without using enough four-letter explicative’s to give this book an NC-17 rating.
It was amazing.
Every time I’ve been in Atlanta I’ve had a meal or two with these folks, and the food that Charles and Jules make is just second to none. I was reflecting on the previous meals I’ve shared with the Atlanta crew, and right before I lost consciousness from a Curry Coma I mumbled, “you guys need to make a cookbook.”
With Southern-tipped drawls, Charles and Jules simultaneously said, “Excuse me?” I repeated myself, all while ladling another helping of four-alarm curry into my bowl.
“Really?” they asked.
“Yesfg,” was the closest affirmative I could muster while still shoveling curry and leaving the teensiest respiratory passageway for that silly stuff “air.”
Charles and Jules have fed me paleo interpretations of: Greek, Italian, Indian, Mexican, and several other ethnic cuisines, and their food is amazing. Perhaps most impressive for me, however, was Charles & Jules’s Paleo spin on Southern U.S. cooking. My family (on my mom’s side) is from Appleton, Arkansas, so I grew up with biscuits and gravy, fried okra, berry cobblers, and food so good that you could just weep eating it. Or, you could weep when you (or me in this case) discover you are gluten intolerant and many of the old standards are simply not options anymore if you want to be healthy.
I consider myself an athlete, I work to squeak as much performance out of my body as I can, and good-quality food is central to my quest to stay healthy, lean, and strong. That’s all great, but food is much more than “fuel.” Food should be about traditions, holidays, family gatherings, and nights on the town with friends and loved ones. This is what Paleo Comfort Foods is all about. The best food you have ever eaten, made with ingredients that will not create those other fun social gatherings—the funeral.
As I’m writing this foreword I realize that this book was born of everything that food should be about: People you love, good times, fond memories, and food that is worth a second or third helping. It was a dinner party in Atlanta that convinced me that my cookbook would be an infantile attempt compared to what Charles and Jules make every single day. I make good food, but Paleo Comfort Foods is great food. So, in many ways, this is “my” cookbook in that it shows you how to cook the type of food I’d want to eat every day, especially if I have great people to share it with. These recipes are easy and time-efficient, and, as I mentioned, they span the world of culinary offerings. If you or someone you know had reservations about eating “Paleo” because you’d be missing out on some old favorites, you will find help in this book.
Ok, I lied, I don’t have brownies. If you ever see me on the street you can remind me of this moment and I could likely be persuaded to buy you some coffee and dark chocolate. But for now, let’s talk about Paleo Comfort Foods. This is a phenomenal cook book, as I said in my foreword, it was so good that I skipped making a cookbook of my own. I love making money, but I detest doing me-too crap that I know is not the best thing I can offer up. When I talked Jules & Charles into writing this book, I “officially” checked out of doing one myself.
Ok, so what?
Well, I’d like to see this thing make New York Times bestseller. Now, obviously this would be nice as these folks are my friends, but it would be a hell of a feather in the collective Paleo/Primal cap to get a cookbook featuring these foods to be acknowledged in the most prestigious book list in the world. People are often reticent to change their nutrition for fear they will “never” get their favorite foods again. Now we have an answer. So I’m going to do a number of posts, give-aways and generally raise a hub-bub about this book and see if we can get it on the Times list. the official release date is right around Sept 12, so we need to get as many copies sold in this pre-release period as well as the first week of release…that’s when things are tallied for the first week and it’s our best chance at success. Here is the promo video for Paleo Comfort Foods, check it out:
Looks pretty good, yes? Well, to help kick this whole thing off, Jules & charles are offering a give-away. If you buy a copy of the book, just send a confirmation of the order to charles at btbfitness dot com. and you will be entered to win this:
This time, it’s another beauty of a Le Creuset piece named Cherry. She’s 4 quarts of fun, in an oval heritage shape, valued at $220. Made of enameled cast iron, she’s versatile, easy to clean, and long-lasting. She loves the oven, the stove (gas or electric, even induction), and also likes pina coladas as well as getting caught in the rain. So come on down, Miss Le Creuset Cherry Heritage Cocotte!
Don’t forget, the contest ends July 31st at midnight. Be sure to get us your proof of purchase before then. Good luck everyone and thank you for your support.
So, If you love good food, give this book a go. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever have to a cookbook, but I do admit that Jules and Charles have offered to ship me non-stop curry if we kick-ass on book sales.