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KAGS Exclusive: Aggie mom creates second cookbook to fund Aggie scholarships

Tamar Elkeles, author of The Best of Aggieland Cookbook in 2021, raised more than $60,000 in scholarships for Aggie students that year.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Last year, The Best of Aggieland Cookbook raised more than $60,000 in scholarships for students at Texas A&M University. The author has recently completed her second book and is set to distribute them to customers starting on Monday, Dec. 5.

Tamar Elkeles, the mother of a Texas A&M student, originally saw a need to help students after having witnessed the cost of out-of-state tuition herself. Elkeles partnered with several restaurants in 2021 to release the first cookbook that showcased recipes from several Bryan and College Station restaurants.

"What most people forget is it's not just the tuition itself. It's also room and board, traveling back to see your family. Look, costs have gone up in general so anything we can do does help. This is all about Aggies helping Aggies,” said Elkeles.

This year’s book is titled “The Best of Aggieland: Gatherings and Game Days.” 

In the book, Elkeles features recipes from several well-known restaurants and has featured some recipes from dining places that have only recently opened. Sydney Welsh, the owner of Marfa’s Texas Kitchen, has her restaurant’s Cowboy Caviar featured in the book.

“It’s very tasty. It’s one of those dishes you can sit there and enjoy it,” said Welsh.

Another restaurant featured is one that opened on Nov. 29, Le Petit Cochon. The business is a combination of French and American cuisine that the owner was inspired to create based on his experiences having traveled Europe and admiration for critically-acclaimed chef Julia Child.

“I’m a traveler. Whether I like to go to different cities or different countries, I really like to try different cuisine…end of the day, French cooking is really about the sauces. It’s about being particular about things, but it’s also the chicken, beef, fish that they’re staples for the world-over,” said Le Petit Cochon owner Tom Kenney.

Along with these restaurants, there are dozens of cocktails, main-courses, and dessert recipes featured in the book. Like the first, the proceeds from this book will go towards Aggie Scholarships as well.

“This is a tribute to all of the bars and restaurants here in Aggieland,” said Elkeles.

At this time, Elkeles doesn’t have plans for a third book in her series, but said she’s not completely ruling out the possibility. If you'd like to buy either book, click here.

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