by Lorie Lewis Ham
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Cooking With Jon. We also have a link to order it from Amazon.
Jon Koobatian is best known as the owner and head chef of Jon’s Bear Club in Reedley, California. His history with the Bear Club (he added Jon’s to the name when he became the owner) started many years before that. Jon was born in Dinuba, California and has had a love for food for most of his life.
Cooking With Jon is a collection of some of his favorite recipes through the years, and the favorites of many of his patrons at Jon’s Bear Club before he retired. Also included are wonderful photos to go with the recipes–photos that make you feel like you could just reach down and pick up the delicious food. Some of the many recipes included are: Charred Asparagus Roll-Ups, New York Steak, Lobster Bisque, Tortilla Crusted Salmon, Shish Kebab, and how to make your own kettle corn at home.
But this book is way more than just a cookbook–it is a walk down memory lane for Jon about his life growing up in the Central Valley–interspersed among the recipes are these interesting stories. Stories of how he came to be a chef, of his love for racing, what it was like going from just being the chef to owning his own restaurant, and his lifetime love of food. “Cooking has been my passion in life. It has filled my life with joy,” shares Jon in the book.
As to the recipes–Jon states in the front of the book that “they are professional recipes you can make at home.” In the introduction Jon also states, “Principally, my intention was to create a collection of my recipes and experiences, in this short journey of life, to inspire you to step away from your comfort zone in the kitchen.” I have to admit that I am not a cook, so I haven’t tried any of the recipes myself–however as I look through them they do actually look like recipes I could manage with even my meager skills. And as I said, the pictures of the food make me know if I do, it will be delicious!
So if you love to cook, or feel like being brave and stepping out of your comfort zone, check out this lovely cookbook. And along the way enjoy Jon’s journey through life–especially if you are from the Central Valley, as the stories will resonate with your lives as well–and if you aren’t, you will get to see a snippet of that part of the world through some wonderful food. What better time to try out new recipes than the holidays!
Check out our video interview with Jon from earlier this year:
To enter to win a copy of Cooking With Jon, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “jon,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 18, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
You can also use this link to purchase the book on Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases using those links. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.