Two surfboards, a sharp knife, board shorts and a backpack full of photo equipment. That is all that Johannes Riffelmacher and Thomas Kosikowski set off with on their journey across South and Central America. As though any trip of this caliber could possibly be considered average, Johannes and Thomas had extraordinary plans for their journey that all led up to this one of a kind book. These two perfected the art of documenting travel while recording every drool worthy surf spot and every mouth watering food dish that accompanied it. Travel, food and surfing… what more can an adventurous person ask for?!
Being a U.S. citizen who as of recently, can visit the beaches of Cuba, I am instantly intrigued by beginning of Salt & Silver. I have grown up with many local Cuban restaurants in my area but none that have presented me with unforgettable recipes and a lengthy discussion on the untamed surf culture that Cuba has. From Cuba the duo heads to Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador followed by Peru and Chile. Why focus on Central and South America may you ask?
Well, this entire concept was intended to be a one-of-a-kind project from the get go. For it to succeed Johannes and Thomas wanted to become a part of the communities that they traveled to. This meant interacting with the locals, learning heir language and sharing their own background with them in order to truly receive the most authentic experience possible. Also, there aren’t many other regions that can offer such unique travel, surfing and culinary experiences. As you make your way through the Cuba and Mexico sections of this book you will quickly understand how valuable these recipes are. Even for a lifelong Southern California native, I just learned about a plethora of dishes that were previously non existent to me. What’s even more valuable is the method that this book simplifies each recipe and provides stunning imagery to help you visualize your creation.
Salt and Silver appeal directly to the surfer, travel seeker and chef but that doesn’t mean that you have to be all three! Each of the three topics are covered in such interesting detail that you will find value in any number of the three categories. This adventurous duo speaks about how they chose their destination and what they did to make the most of their trip. As a result we as the reader learned some valuable lessons on how to approach our very own Central America trip that is coming up this year.
For the surfing crowd, this journey resulted in first hand accounts of specific break across Central and South America. Johannes and Thomas are both experienced waterman and purposely explored waves that will appeal to all skill levels from beginner beach breaks to razor sharp reefs. The two were able to once again connect personally with the locals to gain access to places and secret spots that otherwise would be hidden. With GPS coordinates for some and detailed advice on how to find and locate and surf others without conflict, this book can literally open doors on your very own surf trip experience.
Finally and most notably, Salt and Silver is a priceless resource for discovering some of the regions most creative and mouth watering recipes. Each and every chef develops their very own style in the kitchen and that has never been more true after reading looking at this book. Across all of these documented travels there was always one constant, the majority of the dishes prepared were done so in poorly equipped kitchens, over a beach fire, in the jungle or in a shack. Maybe it’s these locations that created such delicious recipes and maybe it’s the long history of recipes being handed down from one generation to the next that lead to such incredible food being cooked. From grilled piranha with jungle fruit sauce to tropical pancakes and Panama burgers, the food looks downright irresistible to the reader.
Where this book takes the cake is in its true authenticity. Each meal was documented and photographed on the spot to preserve its appearance and display on the plate or lack there of. As you start to recreate these dishes on your own and succeed, there is absolutely no reason that it wont match the beautiful photography laying on the counter next to you.
So what are you waiting for! Go get one of the years best coffee table books!
Permission line: Andrews McMeel Publishing © 2016. All rights reserved. Images excerpted from Salt & Silver: Travel, Surf, Cook by Thomas Kosikowski & Johannes Riffelmacher. Used with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing (www.andrewsmcmeel.com).