Fans of restaurants in the Eat Street area have a chance to try their hand at making their favorite dishes with a new cookbook put out by Zeus Jones.
The branding firm moved into their current space on Nicollet Avenue about six months ago.
“We wanted to get to know our neighbors and also just share what was interesting about this neighborhood,” said Dana Bedessem, a strategist with Zeus Jones. “We thought, what better way to get to know the neighborhood and share what’s great about it?”
In the process of making the book, the designers discovered a whole lot about the area.
“I think what was most surprising to us through the creation of this cookbook was really the entrepreneurial spirit, and the stories and the camaraderie, and just how close-knit this community is,” Bedessem said.
Robert Scoro, an applied anthropologist and strategist with the company, said that he remembers the neighborhood from 15 years ago, when the Zeus Jones building was still a police precinct.
“There’s a lot of historic diversity,” Scoro said. “One of the things that came up time and time again was how a lot of the history of this neighborhood is about woman-owned and immigrant-owned businesses.”
What’s more, longtime business owners like Tammy Wong, owner of Rainbow Chinese and Erich Christ, of The Black Forest, who have been around from before the area was even called Eat Street, “are nurturing and supportive of the younger influences in the neighborhood,” he said.
While some of the recipes found in the book can be found on menus at the local restaurants, that’s not true for all of them, Scoro said. For example, the book has a recipe for fried wild rice courtesy Tammy Wong.
“We had to make it from scratch in order to photograph it,” said Scoro. For the recipes they had to make from scratch, they used the community kitchen at the Wedge Table, another one of Zeus Jones’ new neighbors.
The book is being sold at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Greater Goods gift shop and Magers & Quinn Booksellers, and it will also be available online. Proceeds from the sales of the book all go to Whittier Alliance.