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Acorns & Cattails: A Modern Foraging Cookbook of Forest, Farm & Field Hardcover – September 20, 2016
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"As visually stunning as it is informative. His work is incredibly compelling, and from an urban chef without any practical experience foraging, Rob makes me want to lay down my laptop, discover my own local flora, and see what I can also incorporate into our menusan amazing book by a dedicated visionary." Matthew Dolan, chef/owner of Twenty Five Lusk
This book provides a very thoughtful approach in articulating the art of foraging and really moves the concept of farm-to-table to the next level. Rob tells every part of the story, from the Earth to the plate. I grew up in Silver City and always admired the land and it’s a beauty in different way, but I never really appreciated its abundance until now; it makes me home sick now, more than ever.” Andres Padilla, culinary director of the Frontera Hospitality Group
"In this timely book by the unique and refreshing voice of Rob Connoley, the author offers one of the most significant guides to foraging for food written to date. The ethics set forth, together with his passionate appeal for food rich with the taste of the place from which it came, nourishing and delicious, are as inspiring to this seasoned chef as it will be to every home cook who picks up Acorns and Cattails." Paul Fehribach, chef and owner of Big Jones
Chef-owner Rob Connoley stocks the kitchen with ingredients he finds in the forest. He blends the foraged materials with locally sourced proteins like 4-H lamb and a touch of molecular magic.” Sunset
The award for most far-flung modernist cuisine may go to chef Rob Connoley of the Curious Kumquat in Silver City, New Mexico.” Saveur
"No ordinary guide to eating the wild, this beautiful, creative presentation takes 100 gourmet recipes to a new level." American Herb Association Quarterly
"Connoley’s impractical culinary mission makes it that much more inspiring: prepare modernist food out of the most primitive of ingredients. The James Beard Awardnominated chef is a passionate advocate for foraging and propels his restaurant cuisine with food gathered from the surrounding landscape in Silver City, New Mexico. That might mean wild grass seed risotto dusted with cattail pollen or yucca blossom ice cream drizzled with pinecone syrup. Both are recipes found in this confident cookbook, which is an articulate introduction to the principles of foraging and cooking foraged foods as well as a vigorous call to ethically and sustainably source all ingredients. Connoley begins with a guide to plants he harvests in the desert and some foraging how-to, followed by chapters divided into recipes for wild and locally raised meat, locally farmed produce, and wild plants. Several recipes are complex and seem clearly geared to the professional, but committed home cooks will also find plenty to love in this exploration of rediscovered flavors." Booklist
About the Author
Jay Hemphill grew up in the Kansas City area and is a graduate of Western New Mexico University, where he earned his BFA in photography. He resides in Silver City, New Mexico.
Top Customer Reviews
What makes Rob and his cooking interesting, recommendable, and delicious? Integrity; his foundation is integrity. Integrity underlies every single thing he does. On that foundation is laid his curiosity, his talent as a cook, and his love of outdoor places. This means he will go out at 6am to snip some wild herbs for the evening's dinner service: just enough for the dishes, not nearly so much as to disrupt the growth of that patch of foliage. He wants there to be enough, always.
His integrity means that taking a short-cut is not only unappealing, but it is boring. Pop-tarts from scratch? Check. Your own cured ham that takes nothing more than time? Check. The best chocolate chip cookies you've ever tasted, made with sustainable mesquite flour? Check. Rob's sweet tooth is legendary and it leads to some outstanding recipes in this book, from cookies to tea cakes to chocolates. The Ginger Horehound cookies are my favorite.
Worried about difficulty? Don't be. These recipes are what you would find in any mainstream cooking magazine like Bon appetit. Some recipes are stupendously simple; others have several components that make for an impressive final dish, but could also stand alone or pared down as your time and pantry allow. For example, the Acorn Pasta dish is comprised of Acorn Pasta, Spicy Crawfish Sauce, and Preserved Kumquats. Leaving off the preserved kumquats saves some time.Read more ›
Connoley does a great job of applying a contemporary style to cookbook organization, grouping dishes by the type of environment from which ingredients are sourced, as well as well as an introductory first section which provides an introduction to the ethos and ethics of sourcing local food sustainably from forests and fields. This first section sets a solid foundation for the recipes found within the book, but also makes fascinating coffee table reading, including Andrea Feucht's narrative of Connoley's growth into one of the most innovative chefs in the Southwest. The tone throughout the book is practical and honest and excited about its topic, which matches Connoley's writing on his blogs and his presentation in social media. Photos by Jay Hemphill are up there with the best cookbooks in the business, and there is a nice mix of static but artistic "food on a plate" shots with more journalistic shots of people in action or food preparation in process.
One of the risks with a cookbook that applies unusual or unique ingredients or methods is that the average home cook may find the ingredients inaccessible or the techniques intimidating.Read more ›
His new cookbook captures both the recipes and the spirit of his cooking. I was delighted to see many of my old favorites from the restaurant (acorn financiers and croquettes, cattail salad, 100-layer apples, peanut butter pie, and duck curry to name a few) as well as many others that I had missed like cauliflower black mole, Korean elk, pork-belly poppers, bacon jam pop-tarts, and prickly pear margarita pata de fruit. The book covers a wide range of edibles include main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and drinks. Although it focuses on incorporating local and wild ingredients, Connoley's cooking is not a sparse survivalist vision, but rather a living demonstration that wild ingredients have what it takes to produce fine dining experiences and world-class flavors.
For cooks interested in combining local wild ingredients in their own recipes, Connoley provides sections on how and where to collect and prepare common wild ingredients (particularly in the southwest) like acorns, cattails, prickly pear, hackberry, sumac, and yucca.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting book. I visited the author's restaurant in Silver City before he closed and moved East. It was a unique experience.Published 1 month ago by Lesley J. Gosling
This is more than food porn (although it is that too, with gorgeous photography provided by Jay Hemphill), it's an insight into the mind and ethos of a committed professional with... Read morePublished 3 months ago by R. Williams
This is a fantastic journey into cuisine that is known to only the privileged few. Rob great job with this truly impressed...Published 4 months ago by Kindle Customer
A gorgeous cookbook full of easy-to-follow recipes. The chef's attention to detail shows through. Not only does he put together delicious recipes, he offers substitutions for... Read morePublished 4 months ago by grabo