The Bottom Line
- Authentic Surinamese recipes from Hofwijk, a well-known caterer in Amsterdam's Surinamese community.
- Plenty of anecdotes, historical info, and practical tips liven up the book.
- Only available in Dutch, unfortunately.
- I'd prefer more photographs of the actual dishes. There are too many blurry ingredients shots.
- Mavis Kookt ("Mavis Cooks")
- By Mavis Hofwijk and Karin Vaneker.
- Published by Fontaine Uitgevers.
- Euro 17,95
- ISBN 978-90-5956-243-1
Guide Review - Cookbook Review: Mavis Kookt
The best cookbook I've found in this thinly populated genre is based on the recipes of Mavis Hofwijk, an Amsterdam-based caterer from Paramaribo, Surinam, who settled in the Netherlands in the 1960s. Her take on Surinam's interesting creole kitchen - a rich brew of South American, African, Asian, Dutch and European influences - has its own authentic taste and exotic character.
The book's title simply means 'Mavis Cooks' and this straightforward approach is brought home with a gritty design - some pictures are out of focus (this is presumably intended to be artsy) and often do not look all too appetizing - but somehow this adds to the authenticity. More importantly, the recipes work and Mavis' anecdotes, explanations and intros bring her food, culture and ingredients to life. As a caterer, she has clearly reduced the recipes for at-home use (often too much so, so that I find myself doubling the amounts if I want leftovers), but this does make the book handy for singles and two person households, for a change.
If you've always wanted to learn how to make roti, moksi-aleisi or pom, this is the book for you. In fact, the 'Massalakip' (Surinamese chicken curry) recipe alone makes the book worth its purchasing price.