A collection of recipes from Bryan-College Station restaurants and bars has been compiled into a limited edition cookbook, thanks to the efforts of an Aggie mom hoping to raise scholarship money for Texas A&M students.
“The Best of Aggieland” features more than 60 recipes from more than 30 area restaurants and bars.
The cookbook is available for $40, and proceeds will go to multiple scholarship organizations for Texas A&M University students.
Tamar Elkeles, the president of the California Aggie Moms Club, said her daughter, Mia Michaels, a sophomore sports management major, inspired her to put the cookbook together.
Elkeles said she wanted to help the community that has become her daughter’s home away from home.
The 166-page cookbook took two months to make as Elkeles worked with Johnny Poché and John Harvey Slocum, the owners of 1860 Italia Restaurant in College Station, who reached out to other restaurant owners to see if they wanted to participate in the project.
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Poché said Elkeles was one of his first guests when his restaurant opened in January.
“I became friends with a lot of the chefs around town, and we all got together and asked people if they wanted to join, and so many people did. We have a lot of local favorites and what people are known for,” he said. “I wondered if anybody had done something like this in the area, and it doesn’t seem like anybody had. It has beautiful photos and it was a pretty special project, and I was happy to be a part of it.”
He said some of the chefs came together at his restaurant and cooked their recipe for the cookbook the same day to be photographed by Wade Barkman, the executive chef and owner of the Republic Steakhouse in College Station. Barkman did the underwriting and the photography for the book.
Melissa Davis, the food and beverage director for Traditions Club in Bryan, said she was excited to have contributed a recipe for the book.
“It was so great to be able to share a recipe from the club that everyone can enjoy and the community can be a part of,” she said.
The restaurants and bars featured in the book include Burger Mojo, First Watch, Shipwreck Grill, The Vintage House, Porters, Dixie Chicken, Sbisa Dining Hall, Primrose Path Wine Bar and more.
Proceeds from the book will go toward scholarships to students through the 12th Man Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs and the California Aggie Moms’ Club.
Katie McMordie Latham, the president of the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs, is grateful the organization is among those that will benefit from the cookbook.
“I am honored to help promote these local restaurants in Bryan-College Station who bring good dining to college students, and to help raise funds for scholarships for students,” she said. “This cookbook helps everybody, the community, restaurants, students and Aggie moms.”
She said Bryan-College Station residents could make the cookbook a bucket list adventure and try to visit every place or make every recipe.
“It is so exciting to see this happening. Our club raises money for Aggies everywhere, so we are helping people that we don’t even know, and that is the bigger picture,” she said. “Selfless service is amazing, and this is a wonderful way to make that happen.”
Elkeles said she loves the Aggieland community and is proud to have the cookbook available at the restaurants and bars featured in it.
“My daughter loves this university and I felt like we have to give back. I have to help students; I have to help other Aggies. That is our responsibility as Aggie moms, and if we can raise a lot of money for scholarships for students, that is a big impact,” she said. “The restaurants weren’t trying to get something from this other than the ability to help. This is a legacy for them to have. There was no competition just collaboration, and a community that wants to collaborate is really special.”
The cookbook can be ordered at go.theeagle.com/cookbook.