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Montreal Food Writer Launches Quarantine Cookbook to Benefit Restaurant Workers

The pay-what-you-can digital book focuses on pantry staples

Amie Watson’s chana masala
Amie Watson/Supplied

Montreal Gazette food writer Amie Watson has released a cookbook to help Montrealers through social distancing measures — and all proceeds from the book will go towards laid-off Montreal restaurant workers.

Named Quarantine Cooking, it’s a digital release, meaning nobody needs to break social distancing rules to get it in the hands of the public. In tune with the zeitgeist, it focuses on comforting yet interesting recipes that can be made from pantry, fridge, and freezer staples.

“There are two kinds of people in the world,” writes Watson. “Those who look at their cupboards and see what’s missing, and those who look and see opportunity.”

Watson is evidently in the latter category — with over 50 recipes, Quarantine Cooking goes well beyond obvious rice and pasta options that might come to mind when talking staple foods.

“The idea is to inspire people to cook with what they have, like lentil and spices, but to also maybe make something they never had time to try before, like homemade pasta or a Vietnamese chicken pho’ ga soup from scratch that simmers for hours,” says Watson.

Also in the book are options like Indian dosa, Vietnamese chau (a rice soup), homemade gnocchi, and zabaglione with plenty of wine.

The book is available now on a pay-what-you-want basis — all funds will go to the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund.

Disclosure: Amie Watson has previously contributed to Eater Montreal.