Cookbooks Galore at STRATA Inspire Home Chefs

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Ryan Perrier, General Manager, at STRATA. With a Cookbook “Be the Cook You Want to Be” for Sale at the Washington Avenue Store.  Perrier was Formerly a Chef at Hugo’s and Duck Fat.

A Bottle of “Angello Negro” an Italian Wine at The Danforth. (Photo by Max Brownsberger).

The Three Bartender’s Guides by the Owners of The Danforth are Available at STRATA.  One of Them is a James Beard Award Winner. (Photo by Max Brownsberger)

About Fifty Different International Cookbooks are For Sale at STRATA, 67 Washinvton Avenue, on Munjoy Hill.

“Have you got any new cookbooks?” is a frequent question of customers at STRATA, said Ryan Perrier, general manager, today. STRATA, located at 67 Washington Avenue, has been in this location for fourteen  months.  Previously it occupied one of the nearby black box shipping container units.  It quickly outgrew that space because of the popularity of its knife inventory, sharpening service and the knowledge of its owner, Evan Atwell, and staff..

International cookbooks have become an important part of the inventory for this east end store.   “There are probably 50 different cookbooks in stock at any given time,” said Perrier. “And they come from everywhere around the world.” They come from Brazil, India and Burma for example.  The focus on cookbooks happened at the start of the pandemic two years ago.   Restaurants were closed because of the pandemic. So a lot of home cooking became the new norm.  That trend hasn’t changed.  People liked cooking at home.  They still do.  It caught on.

Some of the authors of cookbooks sold at STRATA are from chefs whose restaurants closed down during the pandemic in the Portland area.  One is a cookbook from the owners of Eventide. Another is a bartenters guide written by the owners of the prestigious bar “Death & Co.” in New York City.

Eight weeks ago a new bar and restaurant – The Danforth – opened up at 211 Danforth Street on the west end of Portland. The Danforth owners are also the authors of three bartenders guides available at STRATA.  Alex Day. David Kapln and Nick Fauchald are the authors,

“We are owned by the same company that owns Death & Co.” said Max Brownsberger, a bar tender at The Danforth this afternoon.   “This is the company’s fourth brick and mortar bar.  This is more of a restaurant than the other three establishments.”

The staff was incredibly warm and welcoming – . the beginnings of a popular neighborhood place to be in a most appealing venue says this blogger who enjoyed a glass of the wine shown in the above right photo herein.

The Danforth currently seats 75 with 14 at the bar.  In the near future, an outdoor heated patio will open to accommodate guests ten months of the year.  The Danforth is open every day from 4:00 pm – 1:00 am.  The kitchen opens at 6:00 pm  and currently a chicken dish and a swordfish dish are currently on the menu among other entrees.

“STRATA has a wonderful mix of practical, everyday cookbooks and inspirational titles to pick from,” said Amy Golding, visiting from New York City. “It’s one of the best collections of cookbooks I’ve seen in a long time,” she said this afternoon.

“I eat vegan.  So I like that STRATA has a lot of vegan options.  They have cookbooks that I have so I trust their judgment,” said Aaron Ricciardi, who had brought his parents from out-of-state to STRATA.

“Including cookbooks in our inventory has brought in a wider variety of customers.  Tourists don’t usually buy a knife, but they do buy a cookbook to take home.  Fifty percent of the people who walked through the doors here at STRATA this summer were tourists,” said Perrier.  “It was a busy tourist season.”

“There is so much home cooking because of COVID-19.  All the restaurants shut down during it, so people started cooking for themselves,” said Evan Atwell, Owner.