It was on the evening of March 23rd 2020 award winning cookbook author and publisher Flavel Monteiro, when seeing news footage of arrays of coffins of those fallen from COVID-19 he was inspired to publish a free cookbook. He certainly found a way for all of us to join together in solidarity with those being on the front lines of the battle in fighting the consequences of the virus.
Edouard Cointreau, founder and president of the Gourmand Awards, interviewed Flavel Monteiro on this digital and global cookbook release day of Easter Sunday 2020, giving us `Come together - the Worlds Finest Chefs´.
"It was 23rd March evening whiles watching television and the Italian Health Minister was showing the world what this virus has done. The first thing came to mind was how can I help in my small way and it just came to mind why don’t I get in touch with chefs and do a book - the name just fell in place `Come Together – The World’s Finest Chefs´."
How much does the book cost?
"The eBook is free with one aim to bring a smile of people’s faces this spring"
Is it a charity cookbook to benefit a charity or a hospital?
"At the moment, this book is to help the chefs, their restaurants closed and don’t know some may open and others may find it difficult. However I do have in mind to have the printed book proceeds to be given to the frontline nurses – a charity fund of theirs."
How do you sell the eBook?
"The eBook is free, people can go to WG website and fill the form and the link is sent to them which they can send it to their friends, and their friends."
Are you waiting for the printed book to sell?
"I am waiting for these unsettling days to end, get back to work, business and personally fund this book which as mentioned earlier that the proceeds to go to the people who have dedicated their lives to saving people."
It is the first Covid 19 book and cookbook?
"I would think yes."
It was produced extremely fast, from March 23 to April 12, launched worldwide as an ebook for Easter.
"I believe nothing is impossible and when I actually said it on the 23rd March evening that I am going to give people an Easter gift – full of color and something which they can create or come up with their own creations with using these brilliant chefs recipes, a couple of people said it can never happen and it is impossible. I just wanted to do it and have it for Easter morning. It has made me happy to see people from all around the world uploading Come Together – The World’s Finest Chefs."
The title Come Together underlines the need for everyone to Come Together to fight the virus.
"Yes, I believe everyone on the book has imagined this and for me my aim is bringing smiles to people during these most unsettling times."
The book brought together 84 of the best chefs in the world, from La Liste and 50 Best. They are world famous chefs from every continent around the world. How did you get them all on board?
"First, I am happy to know each one of them and secondly the question why just 84 and not more – looking at the all the chefs images together, 84 was the right number to visually see their faces any more than that then one would strain to see their iamges.
The question would arise – how did I choose the chefs? I called, sent what’s app messages, e-mails and the call was answered. Everyone answered the call, a few didn’t, some could not put it together and one person comes to mind – Stefano Baiocco. Stefano sent me a mail and said he would love to but the restaurant and hotel was closed. I was persistent and sent him a few images of his signature dishes and I insisted if he could do the Gold Bar – Lingotto and the next thing I knew I had the recipe for it."
Gaël Claviere, patisserie chef of the Prime Minister of France.
In Grythyttan, Sweden, Pelle Agorelius, who is the Gourmand Awards representative in Sweden, received the book Easter Sunday 2020, and read it from cover to cover. "I found the book very inspiring, I just wanted to cook something", says Pelle. "I wanted to send a message back to Flavel and all the chefs that I'm joining in. We're together. I didn't know where to start, I thought maybe I´ll just make the perfect pasta? Or treat my family with making something from a recipe created by the patisserie chef of the Prime Minister of France, Gaël Claviere.
Pelle reflects further, "Easter Sunday 2020 will be remembered by all people, across the world. And in many different ways. To many, a day of grief. Some will remember it with comfort of family in presence, others had their easter Sunday dinner in confinement, hopefully with friends or family on a video screen in front, maybe even laughing and drinking a bit.
David Bowie sang ”the planet earth is blue, ands there’s nothing I can do” in the rock classic ”Space Oddity”, an anthem about being lonely and cut off from the world… For myself, thankfully, Easter Sunday 2020 brought everything but feeling of being lonely. As I was spending some time in front of my computer screen completely absorbed by Andrea Bocellis live concert in the iconic Duomo in Milan, Italy. I got a message that had travelled across the world saying ”Come Together, with the worlds finest chefs”.
"It is not only a strong, comforting message", says Pelle. "It is a complete cookbook, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time. I even started reading it as I was still inside the cathedral in Milan. In company of people across the world, spellbound by the magical voice of Bocelli."
"The planet earth is certainly blue, but there’s really a lot that we can do. Isn’t it?", says Pelle.
Entrepreneur, artist and cookbook author Anna Benson was also reached by the call of ”Come Together” on Easter Sunday. She responded promptly from her confinement in Barcelona, Spain.
Anna Benson says:
"What a fantastic book and initiative! Besides, as beautiful as food is. The book really inspires in these times both in the kitchen and in the bookmaking. And it's amazing to see how food unites in both happy and sad times. I, with many, feel hope through the food and I am so grateful for the joy it spreads. Not least as I have experienced through my own books about cancer and food. Thanks! Just what I needed. Let's come together!"
Anna Benson from Sweden & Edouard Cointreau at the Gourmand Awards in Macao 2019 as her book Blå kokboken 2 won 2nd as Best in the World across all categories.
Flavel Monteiro is a world class author, just recently he received Best in the World Awards from the Gourmand Awards 2020 for two books published in 2019. For Absolute Coffee as well as Legacy, with Marzamo Tomato from Italy. Now, please go to WG website https://wgmagazines.com/books/and fill the form, and the link is sent to you, then send it to your friends, so that they can send it further.
"Let us come together, let’s light up the planet earth as blue as it may be", concludes Pelle Agorelius, from Grythyttan in Sweden.