Although we were without power for about twelve hours, we’re already back in business. I’m not complaining, but I hardly had time to put my put culinary survival skills to good use! Anyway, we’re pleased Irene is nearly history. Thank you all for sharing your power outage menus.  The lucky winner of Michelle’s book is Lynn from Arizona. Enjoy!

Between last week’s little tremor and Irene heading our way, East Coasters are in a bit of a tizzy, so Three Many Cooks has decided it’s giveaway time. And as it turns out, the dish we’re offering is perfect late-summer fare and could be potentially the perfect dish to weather the storm.

Last week I was in Miami visiting with Michelle Bernstein, chef-owner of acclaimed Michy’s and Sra. Martinez. I had already seen her in action, so I knew she was a very gifted chef and savvy entrepreneur. What I hadn’t realized was that she was also author of a lively, appealing cookbook-Cuisine a Latina-that showcases her South American-Italian-Jewish heritage, along with her Spanish, Caribbean, Cuban, Mexican experience.

While you see Bernstein’s chef-y brilliance in each recipe, the food is very personal with the home cook in mind. I’ve heard that if a cook can find two good recipes in a book, it’ll stay on her shelf. If that’s true, Michelle’s book will find a place on mine. I’ve carefully paged through the book and there isn’t a single recipe I wouldn’t want to try.

In her introduction Michelle speaks of her mom’s early influence. “Thanks to my mother, I had a built-in comfort level with cuisines that were foreign to most American palate, with ingredients like cumin, boniato, hot chile peppers, and chorizo, and dishes like escabeche (fried marinated fish in oil and vinegar) and tamales.”

While she was home Michelle says she took her mother’s cooking for granted, but apparently not for long. While in New York pursuing a dancing career Michelle decided to trade in her ballet slippers for a chef’s jacket. Her mother’s influence continues. Tables turned, Mom bakes the cakes for one of Michelle’s restaurants.

We’re giving away a copy of Michelle’s Cuisine a Latina:. Since many of us could lose power, we’re going make this giveaway a quickie. It ends Saturday, August 27th at midnight ET. Tell us what you eat (or would like to eat) when the power goes out.

And remember, if you cook the fish and make the croutons ahead for Seared Halibut with Gazpacho Two Ways, you could be enjoying the storm in style.