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Chez Panisse Café Cookbook Hardcover – August 25, 1999


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Chez Panisse Café Cookbook + Chez Panisse Vegetables + The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1 edition (August 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060175834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060175832
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the 1970s, Alice Waters helped launch the revolution in American cuisine. She inspired a generation of food lovers with her passion for freshness and the best ingredients. Her influence helped infuse menus all over the U.S. with dishes rooted in Mediterranean cooking, often with a sunny, California twist. Dishes at the casual café, located upstairs in the same enchanting house as Chez Panisse, her more formal restaurant in Berkeley, California, include Wood Oven Baked Porcini Mushrooms, Tuna Confit, and Meyer Lemon Éclairs. Waters suggests making the mushrooms in your fireplace if you can, although recipe directions are for a conventional oven. Typical of the ingredient-driven cooking Waters encourages, the stunning tang of the éclairs requires Meyer lemons: a cross between a lemon and an orange, which are now exported beyond their native California. But the fresh tuna steak gently simmered in olive oil with garlic, fresh thyme, and fennel seeds and served with barely cooked green beans and aïoli, a pungent garlic mayonnaise, is sublime even made in an apartment kitchen. Her point is that you should use her recipes as guides, letting them inspire you to make the most of locally produced, seasonal foods in your area.

Alice Waters is an enchanting raconteur and an activist as well as a chef. In The Chez Panisse CaféCookbook, she weaves her beliefs about food as pleasure, sustenance, art, and politics in with over 200 recipes. Bringing you into the community she has been instrumental in creating to preserve the earth's resources as well as to provide great ingredients, Waters tells about the producers who share her passions. They respect the environment, using only sustainable production methods while delivering the freshest possible product, be it free-range poultry and eggs, acorn-fed pigs, impeccable oysters, or organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Jewel-colored Art Nouveau-style illustrations by David Goines give this book the same distinctive look as earlier Chez Panisse cookbooks, including those devoted solely to pasta, vegetables and desserts. --Dana Jacobi

From Publishers Weekly

Award-winning cookbook author (Chez Panisse Vegetables; Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook) and chef-owner Waters takes readers back to her highly lauded restaurant in Berkeley, Calif. This alluring 200-plus recipe collection is an innovative amalgam of Mediterranean, California, New American and Proven?al dishes. Waters shares her Chez Panisse vision: that all of the restaurant's ingredients be certifiable as "organically grown" by the year 2000. A culinary purist, Waters devotes herself to cooking with fresh, seasonal, organic ingredients, relying upon a choice network of purveyors, producers, farmers, fishmongers and ranchers. The clear and incisive recipes range from simple (Fresh Mozzarella Salad) to elaborate (Headcheese, a jellied meat dish with one small pig's head and two pig's feet) and time-consuming (15-day Home-Cured Pancetta), with an emphasis on incorporating seasonal bountyAfor example, Minestra Verdissima (spring); Venetian-style Pickled Sand Dabs (summer); Wild Nettle Frittata (autumn-winter); Spicy Baked Crab (winter). Despite Waters's militant stance on using organic ingredients and her exquisite attention to ingredient details, she suggests only two pantry essentials: kosher salt and quality olive oil. Aspiring to achieve a higher food karma, Waters successfully delivers a charmingly erudite yet accessible reference. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

You can't go wrong with an Alice Waters cookbook.
Werner O. Winter
For both reasons, this is a good buy for those interested in acquiring worthwhile cookbooks.
Steven A. Peterson
Very simple guidelines on how to prepare fresh local ingredients.
TC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 100 people found the following review helpful By E. Richards on December 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
My foodie friends in Berkeley jokingly refer to Alice's books as "food porn". I have actually cooked a couple of the recipes and, while they are correct, they are exhausting. In Berkeley, CA, where the author's restaurant is thriving, it is easy to get the interesting and seasonal ingredients that are described in the book. However, the complexity of preparation of the recipes makes the book less acessible to most readers and home cooks.
The illustrations are lovely, as are the narratives. It is fun to just read the book and fantasize about being a hemp-clad, kinder version of Martha Stewart. However, it is not the most practical cookbook to stick in the cookbook holder when putting the family's meal together.
The real lesson behind this book is that foods that are in season taste better, are less expensive, and are fun to eat. Changing the menu as the seasons change keeps the experience of dining and cooking interesting and entertaining. Also, buying seasonal food is better for the environment than flying foods out of season from another hemisphere.
Take that wisdom, go to your store and get seasonal fruits and vegetables and use an easier and more accessible cookbook like, "The Joy of Cooking". But do keep this one on the coffeetable for those days you want to fantasize about being a world class hippie chef.
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90 of 99 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have a lot of respect for Alice Waters. She plays a positive, constructive role in promoting excellent,healthy food in this country. I wish, however, she had take more care over the quality of the product that has her name on it, The Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. Obscure ingredients intrigue me and, because I live in northern California, I'm likely to find a lot of them. What annoys me is sloppy editing that can lead to their wastage. Too many of the recipes are unclear. My complaint has nothing to do with my experience as a cook. The flours in the pizza dough recipe could have been described more clearly. Where was the editor? Why didn't Ms Waters' read her galleys closely? I want to point out one more recipe to show how the small things matter. In the recipe that calls for bottarga (dried tuna or spelt roe that comes in small quantities, costs a fortune and can only be found at an Italian supermarket in Sacramento, as far as I know), saffron and lemon over spaghetti, the directions are to shave the bottarga over the spaghetti. Now that I've made bottarga with spaghetti and lemon (but not the saffron) several times, there is no way that shaving the bottarga (at $40 for a couple of ounces!) helps melt it over the spaghetti. Why wasn't grating called for? It's a minor detail, but when expensive ingredients are involved, I'd like to have confidence in the cookbook writer when I try it.
So, go back to Jean-George, Marcella, Lynn and even Jamie. Leave this one behind. Alice's food is best experienced in her restaurant.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Josh Morgan on October 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I was beyond excited to receive this cookbook after my wife and I had the intense pleasure of dining at Chez Panisse for our anniversary. However, while it contains fascinating background information on both the history of the Cafe and its purveyors, its recipes seem unduly impressed with themselves and somewhat precious. The esoteric nature of many of the ingredients provokes a cumulative eye-rolling effect, and to tell the truth, some recipes (Spaghetti with Herb Meatballs) that you would expect to elevate the mundane end up tasting... well, mundane. Great for reading, so-so for cooking. I love you Alice Waters, but I think I'll stick to eating your food.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Tarah on December 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had made many things out of the book, and all have turned out delicious. The success of the dishes depends completely on having the highest quality, freshest ingredients available. If you can't get a hold of any pancetta or prosciutto, you're going to be really limited in what you can prepare from this book. The cookbook is definitely for a serious home cook, who's interested in spending time in the kitchen, making homemade sausages, experimenting with homemade pancetta, etc. If that's you, you will love it!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Teantae Turner on March 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Alice Waters is an amazing chef who's tastes buds are on the mark. If only my grocery store had all of the ingredients she calls for. I've made several recipes from this book, some simply, some with more flair. All with great success. There are many I'd love to try but not until I can find the ingredients she calls for.
It's also one of the few in my collection that is simply gorgeous just to look at.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book to cook with or just to read, but it may not be what you're looking for if you don't have access to the variety and quality of ingredients some Californians might take for granted. There is a great respect for the food and the land that comes through; it makes you feel like buying organic and planting a garden ... or moving to California.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Previously bought the Chez Panisse Cookbook, was disappointed and then bought this one thinking it might be an improvement. Something about the recipes in these books leaves me cold. Either the recipes are unappealing, or they require exotic ingredients that are difficult to find in this part of the country. Also, not a lot of content for the price. I would not buy this until I had browsed it in a regular bookstore. Two mistakes are enough.
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