To all the cooks stuck in their homes and low on supplies, whether you’re an expert or novice: Have no fear! Restaurants Juliet and Peregrine, under the name Juliet + Company, have released a multi-part cookbook for how to cook with what you have in the pantry during the quarantine.
“Bean Zine,” also known as “cooking in the time of Corona” and “message for the homefront,” is a three-issue collection of simple recipes designed for common stockpile ingredients. The purpose of the collection is to shed the stress of cooking during this time, and introduce better, simpler ways to cook with ingredients you likely already have.
“We wanted to be providing a product not a service, that’s what we do,” says creative director and contributor to Bean Zine, Joshua Lewin. “So, even though our product today is very different then our core work of running a restaurant, we like the idea that we’re working for it and providing something of value for people.”
The first volume, released on March 26, was created by culinary directors Joshua Lewin and Will Deeks. The following editions–one of which will be released this week, and the following one a week later–have different chefs and sous chefs from each restaurant all offering their variations.
Lewin says his favorite part of the project is that the three volumes have very different looks at primarily the same ingredients.
“You can kind of pick and choose wherever your proclivities match up best. Or, experiment in different ways,” he says.
The issues are offered in both a print version, which Lewin says can be picked up with dinner orders or mailed, and an online version available to download. The print issue costs $10, and the online copy is free, though donations to their Venmo are appreciated. All revenue and donations funds carry the staff wages through this time of uncertainty.
“It’s free for the taking if people want it, and we’re totally comfortable with that,” says Lewin. “And [we’re] hoping that if people learn something or find value in it that they are willing to, as they are able, support us that way as well.
The publication of these issues was inspired mainly by the current pandemic, which has many in quarantine, cooking each meal for themselves. Though, this is not the first time Juliet + Company has published recipes of their own. Their media arm, Prospect Tower Observation, houses various other mediums and production efforts of Juliet and Company, including the seasonal “Of Juliet, the Magazine,” and their cookbook(let), “our market season,” which is currently in the works.
“We have a whole DIY publishing side of our business, which is a very small part of our business normally,” says Lewin.
But now, with social distancing becoming a norm and people resorting to online forms of communication, this part of their business has become the most engaging.
For Juliet + Company, these visual orientated forms of communication not only help to continue their work and training but also helped inspire other avenues for releasing recipes more directly. On March 26, they launched an online television series that provides visual instructions for how to cook recipes, masterclasses, and more.
“We thought, first of all, how can we distribute more directly and quickly, because people might be looking for more things at home these days,” says Lewin. “So that’s kind of a direct response to what we think people might need at the moment.”
So far, Juliet + Company has seen a lot of interest in their project and fund. Lewin says he has noticed an encouraging level of support through Bean Zine sales, as well as just donations and delivery orders from “fans, guests, and regulars.”
“Not just our routine has solely changed, but I think for everybody,” says Lewin. “Having this acting and engaging thing they can do, even if it’s just watching, that’s entertaining, that’s a value. But the idea of [Bean Zine] spurring potential action in people to stay busy at home, or stay engaged and curious, and learning, I think is very nice too.”
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