Good Read’s: First We Surf, Then We Eat By Jim Kempton

January 9, 2019 • Good Reads / Books, New Release!

Author Jim Kempton’s bona fides are legit and this book is a total page turner.

As the press release states- “Jim Kempton is a lifelong surfer-wanderer-explorer, cook, and writer. He’s been the editor and publisher of Surfer magazine; the director of Quiksilver’s Cross- ing Project, a boat that searched the Seven Sea’s and beyond for the best surf breaks; the director of media for Billabong; and the owner of the former Margarita’s Village, an award-winning regional Mexican restaurant in San Clemente, California. The San Clemente resident currently serves as the president of the California Surf Museum.”

After scrolling through the PDF copy I was sent reading with great interest it is obvious the man knows what he is talking about and, literally, walks it like he talks it wether out on a surfboard or standing over a cutting board creating delicious dishes.

The release continues- “He has spent his life traveling and surfing the world, along the way learning to cook the world’s best beach- loving dishes. Now he’s sharing his vividly colorful, richly flavorful, and vibrantly healthful decades long collection of recipes, along with stories of the best waves, markets, restaurants, adventures, and mis- adventures that he’s experienced—from Tahiti to Hawaii, the Basque Country to Indonesia, California to Mexico, Peru to Morocco, and beyond.” and his recipes, stories and recollections backs it all up on fabulous, 4 color pages. 

Bethany Hamilton working up an appetite on a Jaws grinder before jawing down on an apres surf grind herself at a favorite Maui surfer hang-out. Photo: Tom Servais

The recipes – including a sublime collection of cocktails – are a regionally diverse, mouth watering Epicurean adventure that beckons like a mysterious wave breaking on an outside reef you’ve never surfed before but simply must paddle out to and taste for yourself.

Recipe titles such as ‘Caribbean Barry’s Barracuda’, ‘Pancit Pohnepei’ ( noodles with vegetables ) from Guam where the author was born, Terung Lodeh ( spicy sweet shrimp and eggplant soup ) from Indonesia and one we are going to try soon, grilled asparagus with crab chipotle mayonnaise from Central America, 

Grilled Asparagus with Crab Chipotle Mayonnaise after surfing Rio Tetas or Siverbacks anyone?

This extremely detailed and visually well appointed tome is accompanied by a lavish photo library’s worth of A+ surf images from a veritable Mount Rushmore surf photographers, Art Brewer, Jeff Divine and Tom Servais. First We Surf not only has top notch surf-travel shots but also pairs wicked tasty looking food images photographed by Bill Schildge for almost recipe’s that has you drooling over the food and surf stoked beyond belief as you leaf through page after page of gorgeous illustrations giving you one hell of two-fer at $29.95 at your favorite book store or the Kindle version via Amazon at $12.97.

And it’s 5 o’clock somewhere bonus time with recipe’s for exotic cocktails like this one from the famous Margarita Village restaurant that Kempton founded . S’lainte y’all in any language!

This literary coupling of perhaps the three things we love most in life – surfing, food and travel ( okay, four things if you include the love for a tasty adult beverage now and again ) makes this book totally unique in surf publishing and we’ll let Chef Kempton sum up his culinary labor of love thusly:

 “I called this book First We Surf, Then We Eat because after a few hours in the water, surfers are always ready to eat well. Nothing follows the stoke of a good surf session like a good meal. My goal here is to inspire some of that stoke at your breakfast table, your après-surf brunch, your dinner party, your beach potluck. Eat, surf, and be merry”. 

If you surf and love to cook ( speaking to you all you closeted, Iron Chef-Pioneer Woman loving Food Network TV viewers or just all the dedicated foodies amongst our tribe ) this book is inspiring and a total must have wether on your coffee table or kitchen counter. And make sure you bring a bar of wax and your appetite too. – Mez –

Eat – and buy – this! You’ll be glad you did!