“Mitch Omer's life makes Anthony Bourdain’s look like he was an altar boy. His individualistic, personal, and idiosyncratic cooking is that of a man who is larger than life, big-hearted, generous, and wild. It's evident that he genuinely loves life and nature.” —Jacques Pépin
Damn Good Food –featuring ALL of Hell's Kitchen recipes–is a cookbook with a heartbreaking as well as uplifting look into the belly (and heart) of the beast. Ann Bauer poignantly tells the story of Mitch Omer, a wildly creative award-winning chef, who hurled through most of his life setting fires, breaking limbs, drinking 24/7, getting fired, abusing drugs, gaining 200 pounds and barely avoiding suicide until he was finally diagnosed as bipolar.
Properly medicated for the past several years, his wild ride settled down enough to open a successful Minneapolis restaurant, lose 170 pounds, enjoy a sane marriage to his third wife, and provide hope to others. “I've been fixed,” he used to pout as he jokingly glanced at his crotch…and this is the story of his survival intertwined with ALL the recipes that put Hell's Kitchen on the map.
Sadly, Mitch died unexpectedly in late 2015, but his spirit more than lives on…inside the back flap of our cookbook, you'll find a heartfelt “Life After Mitch” epilogue written by his partner and wife Cynthia Gerdes, explaining how Mitch left a vision to guide us through the next several decades. You'll also LOL at her latest tale, proving the human spirit is incredibly resilient.
Borealis Press. 256 pages.