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Red Hook Restaurants Unveil Benefit Cookbook

By Alan Neuhauser | December 21, 2012 7:21pm

RED HOOK — New Yorkers can now take home a taste of one of city's hottest restaurant districts with "All Hands on Deck," a digital cookbook featuring dozens of favorite dishes and cocktails from 20 Red Hook restaurants, cafes, bars and bakeries.

The book, released Friday on the "All Hands on Deck" website, costs $15 to download. All proceeds go toward Restore Red Hook, which is helping neighborhood brick-and-mortar eateries and retail shops recover from Hurricane Sandy.

The book's publishers, a collection of local writers and designers, hope to raise $5,000 for Restore Red Hook, editor Catherine Overman said.

"After Sandy, everyone was trying to rebuild and using construction skills that I don't have, so this just seemed like something like, 'I know how to do this,'" Overman said.

"There were a lot of restaurants that were damaged, and I thought it would be great to help them. This seemed like a natural way to enlist their help and help each other and themselves."

The group took on the cost of building the book themselves, Overman said. Her husband, Zac, a designer and a bartender at Fort Defiance Cafe and Bar in Red Hook, handled layout, and resident Ian Crowther built the book's website.

"This didn't come about through any sort of top-down thing, and that's cool," Fort Defiance owner St. John Frizell said. "They started working on it a couple weeks after Sandy. For a recipe book with all its moving parts to come together in a few weeks is amazing."

The recipes vary widely, from The Good Fork's renowned pork-and-chive dumplings, to Homemade's flourless chocolate torte, to Brooklyn Ice House's "Frito Pie," made from chili, cheese and jalapeno peppers mixed into a full bag of Fritos corn chips.

"The Frito Pie's a traditional southern-Texas kind of thing," Brooklyn Ice House owner Trevor Budd said. "It's good for an appetizer, or good for late-night after a drinking session."

"All Hands on Deck" downloads as a PDF file, formatted with iPads, Kindles, laptops and desktops in mind. A single purchase entitles buyers to download the full version as many as five times.

To learn more or to buy the book, visit AllHandsonDeckRedHook.org.