RICHMOND, Calif., Oct. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Lotus Foods, the leading heirloom and organic rice and rice noodle company, is pleased to announce the nationwide launch of Rice Is Life, the first cookbook from company founders and rice visionaries Caryl Levine and Ken Lee. Written with acclaimed cookbook author Kristin Donnelly and published by Chronicle Books, Rice Is Life celebrates the world’s most important staple food through 65 recipes spotlighting the grain in easy-to-cook meals.
Additionally, the cookbook features essays on rice culture and the importance of sustainable rice agriculture, showing how rice plays a part in uplifting people across the globe. While this is first and foremost a cookbook, it will encourage food-savvy consumers to discover more about the stories and people behind their food and how it is produced.
“This book was more than 25 years in the making, a love story of sorts about the incredible diversity of a common grain that sustains half the world’s people,” said Caryl Levine and Ken Lee, Lotus Foods Co-Founders/Co-CEOs. “We often hear that people are intimidated to cook rice. One of our objectives for Rice Is Life is to help people become comfortable with cooking rice and rice noodles and to provide them with easy, inspiring recipes.”
Recipes draw inspiration from the rice-growing world and explore the cultural inspirations behind dishes. From Arroz Con Pollo to Hainanese-Inspired Chicken and Rice, to Ramen “Carbonara” and Soba Noodles with Green Tea Broth and Smoked Salmon, Rice Is Life captures the diversity of flavors and transforms simple, gluten-free pantry staples into flavorful and nourishing meals.
“Caryl and Ken bring a unique perspective drawn from their deep knowledge of rice and rice cookery over the past two decades,” said Sarah Billingsley, Editorial Director of Food & Lifestyle at Chronicle Books. “Rice is Life is a beautiful exploration of the diversity and versatility of rice with recipes emphasizing easy, weeknight cooking, and embracing a myriad of culinary traditions and new trends.”
Early praise for the cookbook includes:
Tu David Phu, chef, community ambassador and filmmaker: “Rice Is Life beautifully illustrates the complexities of rice varieties, origins, and history, proving rice is anything but monolithic. It’s more than just white rice.”
Wil Yeung, host of Yeung Man Cooking and cookbook author: “Rice Is Life is an incredibly fascinating cookbook that tells a bit of a love story about rice production, the culture that it encompasses, and the extraordinarily elegant recipes you can create with rice.”
Rachel Conners, author of Bakerita: “Rice Is Life is for rice lovers. This book delves deep into the history of rice and all its varieties, plus how to cook, store, and season them. That’s before we even get into the delicious recipes: twists on traditional classics such as Spring Minestrone with White Beans and Black Rice, Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Green Beans, and Portobello Ramen Burgers with ramen noodles as the bun! Throughout the book are stories of culture and rice’s integral place in societies around the world, and beautiful photos that will have you hopping into the kitchen to cook. This book is a tribute to this incredible grain. You’ll have so much fun delving into the world of rice with Levine and Lee as your knowledgeable guides.”
Levine and Lee will speak about the book at select events including a cooking class and conversation at Roundtable by the 92nd Street Y on October 24 at 6pm Eastern.
Caryl Levine and Ken Lee are rice visionaries. Their pioneering introduction of Forbidden Rice®, Bhutanese Red Rice and other specialty rices has fundamentally changed how Americans think about, cook, and eat rice, transforming it from a starchy white side dish to a center-of-the-plate ingredient. They also introduced a new paradigm, using market incentives for social change. By paying farmers premium prices to conserve rice biodiversity, they help improve incomes, protect the environment, and provide consumers with healthier rice.
Kristin Donnelly is the author of Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016) and Cauliflower (Short Stack Editions, 2018). Modern Potluck was lauded in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Food & Wine, Epicurious and Design Sponge. She is also co-author of The Chef’s Garden (Avery, 2021), a book about vegetables by Farmer Lee Jones. For eight years, she was a food editor at Food & Wine, where she wrote about food, wine, design, and travel. Her articles have also appeared in Women’s Health, Better Homes and Gardens, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Cherry Bombe, Taste, and many other publications.
Since 1995, Lotus Foods has partnered in direct and fair trade with small family farmers around the world who are growing rice more sustainably while preserving rice biodiversity. Lotus Foods’ product line includes pigmented heirloom and organic rice varieties such as Forbidden Rice®, Jade Pearl Rice™, Red Rice, traditional Basmati and Jasmine Rice and Tri-color Rice as well as Rice Ramen, Pad Thai Rice Noodles and Rice Ramen Noodle Soup Cups. Products are available at major retailers nationwide. As a certified B Corporation, Lotus Foods is committed to “Changing How Rice Is Grown around the World” by focusing on rice grown using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), which we call More Crop Per Drop®. SRI minimizes water usage, empowers women, financially rewards farmers and reduces climate impact. As a business co-founded and co-owned by an Asian American, and with a global supply network encompassing family farmers throughout Asia, Lotus Foods stands with the AAPI community and condemns racial violence.
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