For Molly Ford and Sarah Jesup, founders of online dining resource The Food Lens, food is the heart and soul of Boston. But the pandemic, with all its restrictions and limits on restaurants, has stifled so many of their favorite places.
In response, The Food Lens released “Dining in Boston,” their first digital cookbook with recipes directly from local chefs and restaurants. Some of the city’s best dishes make an appearance — the roast beef from Cutty’s in Brookline, the Creamy Lobster Roll from Row 34 in Fort Point.
“Last week I cooked the Lamb Tajeen from Sycamore, and it was incredible — I was so proud of myself,” said Ford during a Zoom interview. “But soon after I was like wow, now I want to go to Sycamore and order 10 more dishes.”
That’s what “Dining in Boston” aims to do — it reminds readers of their favorite local restaurants and dishes and encourages them to continue supporting their kitchens away from home.
A portion of proceeds from each copy of the $14 cookbook will go to Massachusetts Restaurants United, a coalition of people from the restaurant industry advocating for solutions to help restaurants survive COVID-19 and beyond. So much of The Food Lens’s success has relied on local restaurants. They’re using this cookbook to give back, and to learn something from the pros.
“We really tried to get creative as to how we could continue to support restaurants when they were, you know, up against everything,” said Ford.
But like many of us, they can’t wait to support restaurants the traditional way.
“I can’t wait until the city feels alive like that again and we can go back to doing what we really love,” said Jesup. “Eating out and exploring Boston.”
Natachi Onwuamaegbu can be reached at email@example.com.