The ultimate book for foodies with dogs

The ultimate book for foodies with dogs

Our adorable, beloved pets are not only our “best friends,” but they’re also part of our families. It’s safe to say that while sharing meals with loved ones is one of the best ways to bond, most people don’t try to eat the same foods as their pets. That said, what if you could share the joy of breaking the break with your dog, while actually enjoying the same healthy, high-quality, carefully crafted food?

When Deborah Davis, a film producer with years of experience, was approached by her friend and children’s book author to create a dog-friendly recipe for the main character (a dog), little did she know it would be the beginning of a new adventure: bridging the gap between the dishes that both foodies and their dogs eat.

“I didn’t want to make a simple cookie recipe, so I came up with my first gourmet dog dish, called ‘Bellissima’s Chicken Risotto.’ It was very well received,” recalls Davis, whose passion for cooking and travel led her to become fascinated with food and cooking at a young age.

“As a film producer, I thought, ‘why not expand on the idea of ​​dogs and recipes from around the world and combine it with my love of fine art, photography and dog rescue,’” explains Davis, who has spent much of her life abroad and has been exposed to many different cuisines and cultures.

“The book idea came about shortly after COVID hit and film production was halted. I had plenty of time to research and develop the book concept, with vet approval.”

With decades of experience in filmmaking, Davis embarked on the venture to The Art of Cooking Dogs, just like she would do in a movie.

“I put together a team of designers, photographers, and hired the phenomenal cookbook editor who has worked for Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few. The goal was to create a unique art, photography, and cookbook for the kitchen, but also have the quality to be displayed in any home or hotel lobby in the same way as classic hardcover art books.”

The Art of Cooking Dogs is a full-color gourmet cookbook for both humans and their furry friends featuring visually appealing, unique, veterinarian-approved recipes from six international cuisines. With just a few tweaks of herbs and seasonings, each recipe can be shared with their human “parents.”

From touching rescue stories of dogs whose breed represents their country of origin and history in each culinary section, to original painted portraits of dog guides, it’s a one-of-a-kind book that doubles as a beautiful coffee table book/work of art.

During the three years she worked on the book, and after interviews with interested publishers and a brief collaboration with a well-known agent, Davis decided to start her own publishing house: Emerald Star Books.

“My goal after being exposed to the art and business of publishing was to break free from the restrictive and mundane judgment of editors at major publishing houses, not to mention the loss of control,” she recalls. “I was determined not to be confined to the concept of typical dog recipes or cookbooks — just how indie films are made.”

The art of dog cooking First Edition can currently be found in the special collections of luxury hotels and retailers including The Beverly Hills Hotel, the Auberge du Soleil Hotel Group, the luxury pet boutique Society Hounds in Beverly Hills, the luxury dog ​​hotel Barkingham in Palm Desert, California and, in its first European edition, the hunting and vineyard tours and events organized by Contessa Consulting, Italy (Gourmet Tourism).

“I had an Italian Hollywood party in honor of the star, The Art of Cooking DogsBellissima, to celebrate the upcoming release of my book,” she recalls. “I hired a chef from Italy to make pizzas for the human guests in my custom-designed stone pizza oven. I also made dog hors d’oeuvres and cookies from my book for our guests to take home.”

“Before the desserts were served, several human guests thought the cookies were on their menu and ate them, ignoring the large “for dogs only” sign. The dog parents found the cookies delicious, even without the sugar and spices normally found in human cookies.”

Davis says this happens quite often and that during photography for the book, she and the entire crew actually ate all of the dogs’ food, with “the addition of a few spices here and there.”

“All of my recipes are based on dishes I’ve always made for friends and family, with new adjustments and inventions to make people and dogs eat the same food,” Davis explains.

Davis is currently focused on the launch of her newest menu, created in collaboration with Chef Diego Sobrino of Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her menu, which is inspired by her book (also available for purchase at Two Dogs Cafe & Boutique), will be offered as a room service menu.

“I grew up on a farm and have always been surrounded by animals. I have had several dogs in my life,” says chef Diego Sobrino, originally from Mexico, whose favorite recipe is from The Art of Cooking Dogs is meat asada.

“Animals have always been an integral part of my life. The dogs and cats on the property become part of the family and it is incredibly rewarding for me to see how they interact with the hotel guests. Additionally, serving an international clientele is particularly exciting for me as it brings diverse cultures and perspectives to the property.”

We spoke with author Deborah Davis about her creative process and overall journey in creating this special book. Here’s what she had to say.

Tell me about the creative process of writing this book? Where did the recipes come from? How did you choose which dogs to feature?

The recipes are my own, collected from my long experience as a home cook and adapted to the concept of sharing human food with my dogs, with only a slight difference in seasoning, with the approval of the veterinarian. The dogs featured in the book have been chosen to match the selected six international cuisines based on the history and origins of the most prominent breeds associated with the selected cuisines. Each breed and its relationship to the related international cuisine is explained through artistic photography and the history of each dog’s origins.

Which chefs from which hotels have you worked with? What was the experience like working with chefs to create both dog and owner friendly dishes?

The first edition of the book was presented at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel, among art and photography books featuring Hollywood legends and famous artists. I wanted to offer dog-friendly dishes that match the quality of human food that the famous and international flair of the hotel demands.

I also began selling the book to pet boutiques, hotels, restaurants, bookstores, and high-end specialty stores and venues. My newest venture is working directly with hotel owners, managers, and chefs as a consultant to provide advice on dog-friendly, vet-approved menus for their restaurants, cafes, and room service to create great dining and travel experiences for owners and their dogs.

A great example of the combination of the popularity of my book and my culinary consulting services for people and their dogs is my work with the Auberge hotel group, specifically Bishop’s Lodge in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In our first European venture, my book and the recipes from the dog-friendly hunting and vineyard tours and events, organized by Contessa Consulting, Italy (Gourmet Tourism), are featured as part of the tour and dining events.

Tell us about the upcoming custom dog menus for regular and limited-time events at the Auberge hotel group, specifically at the Santa Fe hotel?

I have had a great time attending rescue events and supporting dog rescue organisations through my charity, Scarlett’s Hope, whilst working with various chefs and creating new dog-friendly menus and recipes based on the book. A copy of my original menu for Bishop’s Lodge can be found on my Instagram account. A portion of my income from the book and dog kitchen services is donated to Scarlett’s Hope as a contribution to a wide range of charities supporting dogs.