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‘All Hands on Deck’ cookbook a fund-raiser for Red Hook’s Sandy-slammed eateries

The Brooklyn Paper

Chew the right thing!

Red Hook’s finest eateries are sharing their secret recipes to help Hurricane Sandy-slammed restaurants get back to doing what they do best.

The downloadable e-book “All Hands on Deck” features guides for more than two-dozen scrumptious dishes and delicious beverages from neighborhood restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and bars that fell victim to the Oct. 29 storm.

Catherine and Zac Overman, an editor and graphic designer who spearheaded the recipe book, returned from their honeymoon too late to be of much service in cleanup efforts — but they knew they had to do something when they saw the devastation that plagued their beloved waterfront neighborhood.

“We knew all the small businesses were going to need money to fund their repairs and we wanted to do something to help,” said Catherine, who recently got hitched on the Valentino Pier and had the reception at the legendary Sunny’s Bar. “Since we know several writers, editors, photographers, and designers, creating a cookbook seemed like a good project for us.”

She quickly turned around the 60-page book, posting it online on Dec. 21 and raising an impressive $6,000 for the relief group Restore Red Hook.

Helping inundated restaurants reopen means more than added food options in the neighborhood, the editor noted.

“Red Hook is a small community and people who live there rely on the small businesses and restaurants — not just for dining and shopping, but for social interaction,” Catherine said.

The book features mouth-watering recipes including the Good Fork’s classic pork and chive dumplings, Bait and Tackle’s short-rib chili, Home/Made’s flourless chocolate torte, and Baked’s pumpkin almond cake with almond butter frosting — as well as personal tidbits from establishment owners detailing Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the community.

Some of the contributing eateries recently managed to reopen, but others, such as the Red Hook Lobster Pound, are still struggling after the storm.

“We are just in the middle of massive quantities of rebuilding,” said Lobster Pound owner Susan Povich, who dished out the recipe for the joint’s decadent lobster macaroni and cheese and hopes to bring back her Van Brunt Street shop by mid-February.

Other restaurateurs, including St. John Frizell of Fort Defiance, said the flood-related closure of Fairway Market at the foot of Van Brunt Street crushed the neighborhood’s holiday traffic, hurting even the businesses that have been able to get their doors open since Sandy.

“The damage that Hurricane Sandy did that you don’t see is in the bank account,” said Frizell, who offered up the ingredients for his eatery’s famous Irish coffee.

The e-book “All Hands on Deck” can be purchased at www.allhandsondeckredhook.org for $15.

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at nmusumeci@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at twitter.com/souleddout.

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