Minnesota chef to sign new cookbook today
One of Minnesota's best-known chefs has released his seventh cookbook, and its recipes will remind you of home. "This is Minnesota cooking, heartland cooking," said John Schumacher, speaking on the phone while preparing noon meals in ...
One of Minnesota's best-known chefs has released his seventh cookbook, and its recipes will remind you of home.
"This is Minnesota cooking, heartland cooking," said John Schumacher, speaking on the phone while preparing noon meals in the kitchen of his historic New Prague Hotel some 50 miles southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul.
"Today's Country Cooking" ($19.95, International Cuisine Publishers, 2002) actually is an update of his popular "John Schumacher's New Prague Hotel Cookbook" written 12 years ago.
"That cookbook was successful beyond my dreams," Schumacher said. "I reprinted it four times and felt it was time to update it to make it more suitable to the way today's country cooks live their lives. I've included all sorts of new and favorite recipes for breakfasts, lunches, baked goods, informal dinners, fancier dinners and holiday meals, plus many dishes of lighter, more health-conscious fare."
He has owned the New Prague Hotel and restaurant for 29 years. The restaurant and inn enjoy a national reputation for fine food and hospitality and have been featured in national magazines like Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Gardens, Woman's Day and Country Living.
That national reputation didn't come easily and Schumacher isn't going to blow it by being an absentee owner. He and his wife, Kathleen, still work in the hotel every day. Most days he starts cooking breakfast at 7 a.m. and finishes with the dinner crowd about 11 p.m.
Schumacher grew up in Wheaton, Minn., where some members of his family, including his 80-year-old mother, Helen, still live.
"I'm the third best cook in my family," Schumacher says. "My mom is such a good cook that she's voted first- and second-best cook every time our family gets together."
His mother has a copy of the cookbook, he says, and down-to-earth cooks like her will find it accessible and useful.
"All the ingredients are things you can buy at most any store," says Schumacher who was trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has been executive chef for corporations. "These are simple recipes that will work for people."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Deneen Gilmour at (701) 241-5525