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Damn Good Food

Damn Good Food

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157 Recipes from Hell's Kitchen

Author Mitch Omer, Author Ann Bauer

Minnesota Historical Society Press (October 1, 2009)

A collection of 157 recipes from Mitch Omer, chef-owner of the wildly popular Hell’s Kitchen, named one of the Best Breakfasts across America by Esquire magazine.


"Mitch Omer's life makes Anthony Bourdain's look like he was an altar boy. Mitch's individualistic, personal, and idiosyncratic cooking is that of a man who is larger than life, big-hearted, generous, and wild. It's evident that he genuinely loves life and nature." ―Jacques Pépin

In Damn Good Food, Mitch Omer reveals the recipes that have made his restaurant a pleasure seeker's destination, including inventions like his tart, ethereal Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes; dark, wild Bison Sausage Bread; and sweet, creamy Mahnomin Porridge. These dishes have the hungry and eager queued up out the doors of Hell's Kitchen, often for hours, and now you can make them at home.

Food writer Ann Bauer also gives us a glimpse behind the scenes, revealing Omer's darker side, the side responsible for the decor of Hell's Kitchen, described as the "nightmare side of Sesame Street." Bipolar, obsessive-compulsive, and a former addict, Omer's roller-coaster ride of a life has taken him through many towns and love affairs, numerous jobs, and even more controlled substances. But through it all, there has been food--recipes inspired by places and people, including Omer's own close-knit family, reworked and made his own. He beats back his demons every day with his dad's caramel rolls and coleslaw, locally raised bison burgers smeared with his mom's mustard, and his own famous homemade peanut butter, and he invites you in to share it all.

Author information

Mitch Omer is the founder of Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis and Duluth.

Ann Bauer was food editor at Minnesota Monthly and is the author of the novel A Wild Ride up the Cupboards.

Reviews and news

Praise for Mitch Omer and Damn Good Food:

"If you have time for only one meal in Minneapolis or Duluth, we strongly urge you not to go to Hell's Kitchen. Coming for just one meal will be insanely frustrating. There are too many outstanding things to eat. You will walk out yearning for the likes of hand-pulled corned beef hash, char-broiled pit ham, baked huevos rancheros, and a dozen other items for which there was no space on the table."
Jane and Michael Stern, Gourmet, December 2008

“I started out wanting this book for Mitch Omer's Sausage Bread recipe, that would be worth the price. Then I dug into his story as told by Ann Bauer. Expecting same old, same old warm fuzzy little chef's memoir, instead I got the story of a man living life full blast, wrestling with reality, compulsively open hearted, and cooking for all he is worth. Nothing about this book is what you'd expect―from recipes that defy fashion and taste great, to writing that literally keeps you flipping the pages. This one's a keeper of the first order.”
Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of The Splendid Table®, public radio's national food show from American Public Media.

“If the ‘same old’ food is haunting you, turn up the heat and put the sizzle back into your cooking! You won't have to sell your soul to the devil to get your hands on these damn good recipes. Award winning chef/owner Mitch Omer of Minneapolis' own Hell's Kitchen has assembled his most requested concoctions and potions in his new cookbook. ‘Heaven's Just A Sin Away!’ I love the food in this cookbook―it is so sinfully tasty you'd swear it's almost heavenly. Buy this cookbook now or you'll go straight to hell!"
"Famous Dave" Anderson, Founder of Famous Dave's of America Legendary Real Pit Barbeque!

  • 256 pages
  • 30 b&w and 30 color photos
  • 7.25 x 9.5 inches
  • ISBN: 9780873517249

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