cover image Munchies: Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs

Munchies: Late-Night Meals from the World’s Best Chefs

JJ Goode, Helen Hollyman, and the editors of Munchies. Ten Speed, $30 (264p) ISBN 978-0-39958-008-6

There is a lot to unpack on the title page alone of this wide-ranging collection of upscale recipes. Munchies is Vice Media’s food website and Hollyman is Munchies’ editor-in-chief. Chef’s Night Out is the long-running Munchies video series from which these recipes and accompanying chef profiles and tales are culled. Goode, having coauthored some of the more notable cookbooks of the past 10 years, including Pok Pok (featuring Andy Ricker) and A Girl and Her Pig (featuring April Bloomfield), adds vitality to the prose. However, instead of transporting the reader to exciting after-hours excursions, the single-page recipe introductions of some 65 chefs, including Anthony Bourdain and David Chang, too often read like synopses of the Chef’s Night Out videos (“Even though Andrew McConnell is a big reason we dig dining in Melbourne, one of his friends totally stole the show,” the authors write). Meanwhile, illustrator Justin Hager brings many of the chefs to life with fun drawings, including one of Bloomfield playing a game of chicken-liver beer pong. The chefs themselves serve up some dynamic sandwiches, main dishes, and desserts. New York restaurateur Phet Schwader weighs in with a beer-and-butter-spiked crab in black-bean sauce, while Callie Speer of Austin, Tex., keeps things weird with goat poutine served with a red-eye gravy made from lard, Tabasco sauce, and instant coffee. Readers will certainly gravitate to the cocktails chapter, which includes a Cajun coquito from New Orleans bartender Abigail Gullo. The accessible recipes in this witty and fun book will satisfy cravings, day or night. (Oct.)