La What Now?

Since the 1960s, baseball teams and players have been publishing cookbooks. I collect them and try out some of the recipes that major leaguers have shared with their fans over the years. Photos, recipes and comments included.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bookshelf - "GourMets" (2007) by the New York Mets

56 pp. paperback with wire ring binding

47 recipes from players, coaches and management, with some bonus Clubhouse recipes

After their appearance in the 2000 World Series, the New York Mets struggled through the first half of the aughts. 

At the end of the 2004 season, Omar Minaya was brought in as general manager of the team. Minaya immediately set out to build a winner, and signed players like Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran. He expanded the Mets' presence in Latin America, and the team's growing roster of Latin American stars soon earned them the moniker "Los Mets".

By 2006, the Mets were back in the postseason. They won 97 games and took the NL East by 12 games, dethroning the Atlanta Barves at last. After sweeping away the Dodgers in three, they battled the St. Louis Cardinals to a deciding seventh game in the NLCS. A ninth-inning home run by Yadier Molina clinched the series for the Cards, who went on to win the World Series that year.
Despite the NLCS setback, things were on the upswing in Metsland at the start of 2007, when they published GourMets: New York Mets Family Cookbook

Proceeds from sales of the book went to the Food Bank for New York City, and to Island Harvest, an organization dedicated to reducing hunger and food waste on Long Island.

This glossy, high quality production includes fun photos of players with chef's hats and cooking tools.

There was a previous version of "GourMets" published back in the early 80s. The biggest difference between the two reflects the Latino face of Minaya's Mets teams. The newer cookbook is heavy on family recipes from the Dominican and Venezuela, as well as Latino Clubhouse recipes that players enjoyed.

I've prepared the following dishes so far:

Chivo Guisado (Stewed Goat) by Moisés Alou, outfielder

Grilled Snapper with Avocado Salsa by Carlos Delgado, first baseman

Garlic Mashed Plantains by Ambiorix Burgos, pitcher

(This was also the era when the Mets uniforms were splashed all over with black for black's sake. Black jerseys, hats and trim everywhere. I kept the food photos period-accurate, but I'm glad they ditched these combos and went back to their traditional pinstripes, blue and orange.)

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