Story by Victoria Ruvolo
Photos courtesy of The Summer Shack Cookbook

As summer officially comes to a close, the longing to resurrect the essence
of the season begins to creep back into our daily lives. For those of us who
try to bring it back year-round, Jasper White’s The Summer Shack: The
Complete Guide to Summer Food
serves as our official guidebook.

We have all, at one point or another, savored the taste of deliciously fresh
shore food and loved it; whether it’s a basket of fried clams, a handful of
steamed crab claws, or a glistening lobster roll, there’s something deeply
satisfying about eating food that was probably caught, cooked, and served
within a few miles of where you’re feasting on it. White’s cookbook about
his restaurant, Summer Shack, just came out in paperback and it is devoted
to the art of seafood. In reality though, this book is much more than a
typical restaurant overview – it’s a love letter to all things fresh, local,
and pure.

White sets the tone by immediately making it clear that the recipes included
are nearly all his own personal recipes; meaning a lot of love and care went
into the book’s production. When asked for his thoughts on the publication
he replies, “I’m delighted to see the Summer Shack Cookbook released in
paperback. The lobster roll says it all – this is my Joy of Cooking for
the beach.” And when he says “Joy of Cooking”, he means it. White leaves no
fish, bivalve, or cephalopod untouched in this comprehensive yet
straightforward shore-style seafood bible. The reader is taken thru the
basics and beyond from how to gather mollusks, to shucking the perfect
oyster, to a large chart depicting various seafood steaming times. There’s
even a 101 on what the reader needs to create the “shore kitchen” atmosphere
at home. Truly nothing is missing.

Even a seasoned poissonier will find great new insider tips among the
fundamentals, as well as a plethora of pure, innovative recipes. Most of us
have grilled swordfish before but have you ever grilled fresh sardines or
fried smelts? Summer Shack makes the process effortless. Tired of the same
old mussel recipes? Try the Chilled Mussels with Curry Mayo; simply prepared
this is a dish that can easily be transformed from a canapé to a main
course. And for the private chef looking for a few versatile recipes that
work for both meat and fish lovers, there’s a lovely roasted garlic and
mustard glaze recipe; perfect for either mackerel, shrimp, OR pork chops.

White has written a glorious homage to his first love: shore-style food. Not
only does The Summer Shack Cookbook give great everyday fish tips; it’s a
wonderful source of inspiration for any chef yearning to bring their fondest
childhood culinary memories to food lovers everywhere.