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Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining Hardcover – February 24, 2004

10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of Asian- and Mediterranean-influenced dishes from celebrated cooking teacher Weir (Joanne Weir's More Cooking in the Wine Country, etc.) succeeds on many levels. The recipes are solidly written; the dishes are appealing and flavorful. As Weir explains, "That range of possibility is so incredibly interesting to me and may be at the heart of why I love to be in the city, cooking and eating city food." She offers such recipes as Spicy Bulgur and Lentil Salad and Shanghai Noodles with Chicken, Cashews, Cilantro, and Mint, as well as Croutons with Tapenade, Orange and Fennel, and Autumn Cheddar, Apple, and Walnut Salad. Weir makes a valiant effort to develop the city theme by including quotes from the famous about cities, with a particular emphasis on her home, San Francisco. (Quotes such as Norman Mailer's "Chicago is a great American city," however, feel more like padding than insight.) And many headnotes refer back to urban living, like the one that introduces Grilled Squid Salad with Winter Citrus and extols indoor grilling. However, this loosely bound collection of modern dishes feels unfocused in the aggregate, and it's surprising to see such a practiced author playing fast and loose with language: a "Tuscany by Candlelight" menu consists of Bagna Cauda (from Piedmont), Prosciutto, Parmigiano, and Pepper Breadsticks (with main ingredients from Emilia-Romagna), Golden-Sauted Veal with Arugula and Tomato Salad (from Milan, Lombardy's capital) and Warm Polenta Custard with Grappa-Soaked Golden Raisins (relying on ingredients from Friuli).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (February 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743246632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743246637
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joanne Weir is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, and cooking teacher. A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne spent 5 years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman.

The author of 18 cookbooks, including her new food memoir, Kitchen Gypsy, Joanne is also the Consulting Editor-at-Large at Fine Cooking Magazine. For years, Joanne has shared her passion for cooking as the host for PBS TV cooking shows, including "Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence" and "Joanne Weir Gets Fresh".

She opened Copita, a modern Mexican restaurant and tequileria in Sausalito, California in 2012 and she recently launched her own wine label, receiving numerous accolades. Joanne was appointed by Hilary Clinton and the State Department to the American Chef Corp. She travels and teaches extensively around the world as well as in her San Francisco studio kitchen.

For more information, visit
Twitter: @ChefJoanneWeir
Facebook Fan Page:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Todd V. Leone on January 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As she likes to point out, nothing Joanne Weir cooks is terribly difficult or complicated. The ingredients she calls for are not hard to find if one lives in a place of reasonable size. In a small town of 3,000 surrounded by farmland, the local supermarket may not carry certain items, but in larger locales frozen phyllo dough, a nice grade of olive oil, fresh herbs and nice cheeses should be available nowadays. The same should be true of a nice bottle of wine. Certainly, those who live in a city environment won't have any difficulty. What's amazing is how incredibly delectable Joanne Weir's recipes are given their relative simplicity.

"Weir Cooking in the City" is the companion volume to the television series of the same name, which can be seen on many PBS affiliates across the country. Ms. Weir's first position after graduating from cooking school was a five-year stint at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and her experience in that restaurant can be seen in her recipes. She stresses the use of fresh, pure ingredients and the results are excellent.

This sort of food could be served at any number of good restaurants and people would pay a handsome sum to have it. But Joanne Weir says that she thinks of herself as a teacher first and a chef second and what she has done here is to make superb food available to the home cook. It's probably not the sort of fare appropriate nightly for a family of six, but it's wonderful for a dinner party or an intimate meal for two. In fact, that's just how she sells her product -- food for relaxed entertaining. Nowadays, that's what I'm after.

I have tried and can highly recommend from this book several recipes. By all means, try the triple-ginger pineapple cake.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This new book by author, teacher, and PBS TV chef show host is aimed at helping people entertain at home when they are in an environment such as downtown San Francisco, where virtually every type of foodstuff imaginable is a few blocks walk away. At worst, you may have to take a cable car or motor scooter trip for a mile or so to reach your objective. Life is tough.
That last cynical remark is not fair. This is a very good book on both cooking and entertaining. It is as good as Sheila Lukins' new book `Celebrate', but complimentary to that book as Lukins is focusing on inexpensive family entertaining and Weir's target is more for young couples with few children to eat up disposable income. Both books gain from offering food / beverage pairings. Weir is more parochial in that her beverages are all modest to higher priced wines. Weir's book is clearly better than Ina Garten's book on parties, as Weir offers a really valuable instruction on a lot of the nuts and bolts of organizing and prepping a party. It is not in the same league as the classic Martha Stewart `Entertaining', which is really directed at large, catered parties.
The first feature about this book which impresses me is a table of contents which lists every recipe in the book, in chapter and page order, and chapters are arranged by course. This feature is doubly valuable in that chapters are based on very logical courses familiar to modern American families. These chapters are:
Firsts (Weir knows her stuff here, as she wrote a book on Tapas and Mezes)
Mains and a few Sides (Why not go to the very small extra effort to split these up?)
Weir's cuisine is centered on the Mediterranean, with some East Asian and Latin American dishes added for variety.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Joanne Weir has done it again! This cookbook is unbelievable. I live in an urban neighborhood myself, as soon as I had briefly looked the book over, I found myself strolling through the Italian, Asian, and Latin sections of the city searching for ingredients, visualizing the dish as I gathered the makings for a really fabulous and truely tasty meal. Joanne's show, Weir Cooking in the City, is a wonderful accompaniment to the book. It really brings the dishes to life. Good Job! I highly recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate Runyan on August 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have 3 other cookbooks by Joanne Weir, but I'm still very attached to this one, as well as all the other books by her that I have . Her recipes are excellent, and utilize many interesting tastes, and fresh ingredients with interesting twists.
This is a wonderful book, I've used it so much the pages are falling out, so I just ordered a new copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L Ross on August 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The only recipe I tried to make was the Caramelized Chocolate Almond Budino but I stopped because the recipe does not tell you what to do with the 8 eggs called for in the list of ingredients. Poor editing.
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