Monday, 19 May 2014

The SoBo Cookbook: Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant at the End of the Canadian Road

The SoBo Cookbook
Recipes from the Tofino Restaurant 
at the End of the Canadian Road
By Lisa Ahier, Andrew Morrison

Trade Paperback, 288 pages

Bright. Colourful. Inventive and Delicious. These are the words I would use to describe my first impressions of The SoBo Cookbook.

It is a book you immediately want to devour. The recipes are both inspired and inspiring. And if I can't actually go live on Vancouver Island then thank goodness I at least have this book.

Crab and Goat Cheese Wontons with Cilantro Jalapeno Dipping Sauce. Killer Fish Tacos with Fruit Salsa. Surfer Noodle Soup. Flaxseed and Ginger Pancakes. Thai Chicken on Roti. Salted Chocolate Bomb with Habanero Berry Compote. There's no doubt about it. This book and these recipes are groovy. And in this world we need all the groovy we can get.

Contents include:
The SoBo Story
Food Philosophy
Cook's Notes

Sandwiches, Burgers & Our Famous Tacos
Appetizers & Snacks (and one very special drink)
SoBo Mains
Staple Recipes

From the back flap:
SoBo (Sophisticated Bohemian) started out in 2003 as a purple food truck in the parking lot behind a surf shop, way before food trucks were cool. Despite its remoteness, it attracted rave reviews from food media across North America, with the likes of Saveur magazine calling it: “perhaps the most exciting lunch stand in North America”. The back of the staff’s t-shirts read: “Quite possibly the second best thing you can do in a parking lot”–and that same fun, authentic West Coast vibe weaves throughout the stories and recipes in this book.

Sobo has since become a destination restaurant, having outgrown its food truck beginnings, with visitors making the pilgrimage to the west coast of Vancouver Island just to taste chef Lisa Ahier’s cooking–which is, to use Tofino slang, simply “killer”. The restaurant’s menu focuses on locally-sourced, seasonally-inspired ingredients from family-owned producers. The dishes are shaped by Lisa’s Tex Mex and Southwestern culinary roots, and her experience gained across several US states, including her stint as executive chef of Cibolo Creek Ranch in Texas.

The Sobo Cookbook includes over 100 of the restaurant’s all-time favourite recipes–recipes that have fed surfers, hungry locals, curious visitors and die-hard foodies alike.

Lisa makes fish tacos on CTV News:

Lisa makes ceviche on Global News

LISA AHIER was born in Texas and studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York. After working in kitchens at sea and across several states, she started the Sobo food truck in 2003 with her husband, Artie; Sobo moved to its current location in 2007. Lisa lives in Tofino, B.C.

ANDREW MORRISON is the editor-in-chief of Scout Magazine and editor of the award-winning Vancouver Cooks Cookbook. Andrew lives in Vancouver, B.C.