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Once Upon a Tart...: Soups, Salads, Muffins, and Moreby Frank Mentesana
Synopses & Reviews
A cookbook in the tradition of The Silver Palate and The Barefoot Contessa . . .
In New York City, famous for its food and restaurants, locals are reverential about the bakeshop and café Once Upon a Tart. For more than a decade, they have been lining up at the store mornings and afternoons, waiting patiently for their signature scones, muffins, soups, salads, sandwiches, cookies, andof coursetarts. And pretty much since the day the café opened, patrons have been askingsometimes beggingthe proprietors for their sweet and savory recipes. Good news: the wait is over.
In Once Upon a Tart, the cafés founders and co-owners, Jerome Audureau (a New Yorker via France) and Frank Mentesana (a New Yorker via New Jersey), go public with their culinary secrets (“We dont have any,” says Frank. “Thats our biggest secret of all”) and recipes. They also tell their inspiring success story, from selling tarts wholesale out of a warehouse in Long Island City to opening their now-famous outpost in Soho.
In nine delicious chapters ranging from savory tarts to cookies, the authors instruct and advise home cooks on everything from how to make the flakiest tart crust (“keep the dough cold”) to making sandwiches (“condiments are key”) to how to diet (“you want half the calories, eat half the scone”). Once Upon a Tart is packed with more than 225 easy-to-prepare recipes, including all the store classics that have earned Frank and Jerome the devotion of their customers: Caramelized-Leek-and-Celery Tart, Creamy Carrot Soup with Fresh Dill, Pork Loin Sandwich with Frisée and Rosemary-Garlic Aioli, Buttermilk Scones with Dried Currants, Banana–Poppy Seed Muffins, and Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart with Crisp Topping.
Says Frank, “We believe that deep down, everyone is a cook.” Adds Jerome, “And that a little butter in your life is a good thing.”
For the first time, the owners of New York City's Once Upon a Tart share their recipes: for soups, salads, sandwiches, muffins, cookies, and, of course, tarts. 50 full-color photos.
The years ago, two men (one France, from one from New Jersey) hatched a plan to introduce the palates of New York to the gastronomic wonders of the tart — both sweet and savory. In a Long Island City warehouse bakery, Frank Mentesana (who trained under the sharp eye of his Italian grandmother in her New Jersey kitchen) and Jerome Audureau (who once ran a tarterie in Avignon) took orders from upscale Manhattan grocers and restaurants. Almost immediately, their business flourished, leading them to a new frontier: Once Upon a Tart, their own cafe and bakeshop in SoHo. Now, for the first time, they share their recipes: for soups (Chickpea-Tomato with Fresh Rosemary), salads (Couscous with Roasted Vegetables and Sun-dried Tomatoes), sandwiches (Pork Loin with Frisee and Rosemary-Garlic Aioli on a Baguette; Chicken Caesar-ish Salad on Toasted Country Italian Bread), muffins (Honey-Corn; Pear-Ginger-Raisin), scones (Spiced Pumpkin with Fresh Cranberries), cookies (Hazelnut Meringues; Very Ginger Cookies), and, of course, tarts (Caramelized Leek and Celery; Sauteed Spinach and Mushroom with Ricotta; Jerome's Mother's Famous Almond Tart). Here, too, are technical tips and culinary wisdom ("When people ask me for a low-calorie scone . . . I tell them: Eat half the scone, it's half the calories") from the cooks behind one of the best cafes and bakeshops in New York.
About the Author
Frank Mentesana has spent ten years as owner of Once Upon a Tart. He is the creator of several cooking curricula for children and has recently broadened his involvement with food to include food styling, photography, and gardening. He holds a degree in hotel management and met partner Jerome Audureau while working as a food and beverage director for the French Accor Hotel Group. Frank learned to cook from his Italian grandmother and learned to love food during long forays through markets with his father. His proudest achievement by far is his son, Matthew. Frank lives in New Jersey.
Jerome Audureau grew up in Avignon, France. While running a summer business as part of his studies at Maxines Hotel and Restaurant School in Paris, he developed an idea for a café dedicated to tarts. He brought this idea with him when he came to the United States, and, along with partner Frank Mentesana, made it into Once Upon a Tart. After ten years, Jerome is still responsible for running the café, remembering which customer likes which cookie, and generally making people feel good. Jerome lives in Long Island City.
Carolynn Carreño is a writer living in New York City.
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Cooking and Food » Regional and Ethnic » United States » Ethnic