Bring a Taste of the Beloved Maman Café Into Your Own Home with Its Co-Founder's Brand-New Cookbook

Elisa Marshall opens up about the joy of family recipes, why you should experiment in the kitchen, and the power of cooking.

Have you ever visited New York City, Montreal, or Toronto's Maman? Their nutty chocolate chip cookie is one of the best treats we've ever tasted, and the good new is that we'll soon be able to make it from scratch at home: Elisa Marshall, co-founder of Maman, wants those who pick up the highly anticipated Maman the Cookbook ($26.99 to experiment, creating her recipes with their own twists—that means if you choose to make Maman's chocolate chip cookie, Marshall invites you to swap the macadamia nuts for extra walnuts or add in some cacao flavor, following the customization ideas she outlines along the way. "We encourage people to write in the book, what you loved about the recipe, what you don't love, how you made it your own," says Marshall. "That's how my mom and I used to cook, so what we've done with this book is every recipe has a note section."

Two years in the making, the cookbook features 100 recipes covering everything from breakfast to dessert to drinks, including recipes for some of the beloved café's baked goods, like those nutty chocolate chip cookies, and savory dishes alongside never-before-seen recipes. "We would get Instagram messages saying, 'Can you please share your pistachio cake recipe, I came to visit you in New York last summer and I can't stop thinking about it,'" says Marshall. "So we started with customer demand, puting all of the classics in there, like our nutty chocolate chip cookie, our Katie sandwich, our beignets, our Oreo cookies, and a lot of our staples that we're known for."

elisa marshall setting table for party
Courtesy of Elisa Marshall

Many of the recipes, including ones that those who have visited her cafés won't have tried before, are family favorites from Marshall and her husband, Ben Sormonte. "The couscous taboule is a recipe that Ben's grandmother makes for us all the time. It's one of our favorite salads and it was nice to share that part, our family and our culture with the world," says Marshall.

Maman the Cookbook is more than a taste of the dishes Marshall and her family makes. Flipping through the pages feels like stepping into one of the cafés—a welcoming rustic, vintage chic charm saturates each page, and reading the descriptions of the recipes alongside the photographs, not only of the food but family photographs, is a glimpse into Marshall and Sormonte's world. The pair and their toddler spent much of the past 18 months, like so many of us, cooking; the only difference is that they were testing out and fine-tuning the recipes featured in the book. "We had more time to really experiment, have fun in the kitchen," says Marshall, adding that she hopes people who realized they liked cooking continue to carve out time to do it.

One of her current passions is the Cookie Tiramisu recipe you'll find in the book. "It's my ultimate favorite," she says. "I think I make it weekly, it's my go-to entertaining recipe these days." Throughout the chapters, you'll also find her tips and step-by-step advice on everything from equipment to prep to presentation, along with table décor and entertaining ideas. More than everything, though, Marshall hopes the book will encourage people to get a little messy, add their own twist, and create memories in their kitchens and at home.

"We want this to be beautiful enough that it could be a coffee table book, but then we also want you to be able to, get it messy, have you and your kids mark it up with sticky notes and bring a pen to it and make it your own," says Marshall.

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