New Castle News

Closer Look

October 19, 2013

Fish fare: County native, cookbook author Kathy Hunt to talk seafood in Pittsburgh

NEW CASTLE — Area residents who like seafood will go for this hook, line and sinker.

New Castle native Kathy Hunt — cookbook author and syndicated food writer — will appear at 11 a.m. Oct. 26 at the Pittsburgh Public Market. She will conduct a seafood talk and tasting, as well as sign copies of “Fish Market,” her  cookbook published earlier this year by Running Press.

Dubbed by Publisher’s Weekly “a fine guidebook for learning to deal with a cornucopia of seafood,” “Fish Market” serves up everything that readers need to know about selecting, storing, preparing and pairing healthful fish and shellfish.

Hunt’s cookbook features more than 130 creative but approachable recipes and over 75 detailed illustrations. Sharing flavor affinities, food pairings, eco-ratings and a bit of history for each dish, this cookbook takes the mystery out of cooking seafood.

Hunt’s articles have appeared in such publications as The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, VegNews and online at Zester Daily and Yahoo! Shine. She also has contributed entries to the food encyclopedia Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl (Greenwood Press, 2007) and worked as a recipe tester and photographer.

At fishmarketbook.com, the Neshannock High graduate relates that her introduction to seafood came at age 14, following her father’s massive heart attack. At that point, she writes, prime rib, steak and roast beef dinners were replaced by “heart-healthy meals of broiled flounder, baked haddock and the occasional salmon cake.”

“Unfortunately, my mother, the self-appointed cook of our household, had little enthusiasm for the kitchen,” Hunt said. “As a result, she made our seafood suppers about as seasoned and succulent as sandpaper. I, however, knew there must be a better way.”

Inspired by Irma Rombauer’s “The Joy of Cooking” and Jane Grigson’s “Fish Book,” Hunt — a graduate of Grove City College who earned master’s degrees at Penn State and Columbia universities —   began her search for tasty ways to prepare seafood.

In addition to befriending her local fishmongers, Hunt also started catching her own fish.

“I grew to appreciate every creature that I cooked and ate,” she writes. “This ultimately resulted in me switching over to a pescetarian diet. For over 15 years, seafood has been a major source of protein for me.

“Today I count myself among the fortunate to be able to work at what I love — writing, cooking, traveling and taking photographs. Throughout my career I’ve worked as a recipe tester, trying out and tweaking the culinary creations of noted authors as well as my own recipes.”

“Fish Market,” Hunt adds, “represents a lifetime of personal and professional experiences. In this cookbook I share anecdotes and histories as well as buying, storing and cooking tips. Whatever recipe you try is a dish that I’ve made and eaten many times beforehand.”

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