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The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant Hardcover – June 23, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This is not just another restaurant cookbook. In it, every dish comes enriched with a tale. . . . No matter where you live, through these recipes and stories you’ll experience the exquisite food and soulful charm that is Big Sur Bakery.” (Nancy Silverton, chef/founder of La Brea Bakery and chef/owner of Mozza)

“The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook tells the compelling story of the people and community that created that rare beauty: a great restaurant with soul. This book perfectly captures the spirit and passion of Michelle, Philip, and Michael, their food, and the grandeur of the California Coast.” (David Kinch, chef/owner of Manresa Restaurant)

One of the Top 10 Best Romantic Getaways of 2010, Big Sur Bakery & Restaurant (Bon Appétit)

About the Author

Michelle Wojtowicz oversees the bakery, pastry, desserts, and breadmaking at Big Sur Bakery. Her husband, Philip Wojtowicz, is responsible for everything that takes place in the kitchen. Originally from New Jersey, they are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. Their friend Michael Gilson, a California native, looks after the front of the house and the libations at the Bakery. Catherine Price has written for the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon.com, and many other publications and is a contributing editor at Popular Science.



Catherine Price is an avid traveler and writer who hopes never to see a body farm firsthand. Coauthor of The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and a contributing editor at Popular Science, she has written for the New York Times, O, the Oprah Magazine, Salon, Slate, and The Best American Science Writing.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; First Edition edition (June 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061441481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061441486
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By D. Hoskins on August 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I understand all the rave reviews for this cookbook based on the photography and the narrative story it tells. But as a cookbook, I find it completely impractical. I bought the book based on these rave reviews and I wish one person would have been more upfront about the recipes and I would have made a more informed choice. The photographs are lovely. The narrative is interesting. The food and recipes however are impractical to replicate in my own home which is why I only gave this cookbook one star.

As an example, here is a list of key ingredients for one recipe after another in this cookbook: fresh sardines (not canned), rabbit, rose geranium leaves, rice bran oil, huckleberries, lemon verbena leaves, mulberries, rockfish, burrata, fresh mackrel, quail, foi gras, quince, ahi tuna, fresh oysters, beluga lentils, fresh squid, etc. etc.

I have nothing against this type of cooking. I'm sure the recipes are delicious. I sadly will never know because I live in the mid west in a modest sized town and just simply don't have access to these ingredients. If you have access to this type of food then this cookbook will probably work for you. These 'rarified' ingredients aren't widely available to the rest of us and I wish I had known what type of cookbook this was before wasting my money.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a passionate reader of cookbooks most of my adult life. This cookbook tops them all. The recipes are within reach of the average kitchen cook, and they are amazingly tasty. But the reason this books stands out is not just because it's a great cookbook. It is really a fresh, compellingly honest story of what it takes and the personalities involved in owning and running a premier, slow food restaurant in Big Sur. Most importantly, it updates us on what Big Sur really is today through the lives of each of the folks involved in making this the best place to eat on Highway One.
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Format: Hardcover
I rushed to buy Big Sur Bakery's new cookbook because I've been a fan of theirs since they opened and was eager to get my hands on their recipes, but this book is so much more than I expected. It truly blew me away!
The recipes are simple, delicious, irresistible and often unique; the photography of their food, friends, and landscape is outstanding; and their story is captivating, inspiring and mesmerizing. Big Sur comes gloriously to life with all its quirks, adventure and beauty. The cookbook progresses month by month, cooking with the seasons (beginning in March), taking us through a year in the life of the bakery. Every recipe looks great, but my family is most eager to try their breakfast pizza, topped with bacon and eggs. YUM!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want to know how wonderful Big Sur is, you are in luck. Otherwise I would give this a pass. I bought it fo $.99 and it wasn't worth the price. I haven't seen any recipes that jump out at me. Organizing a cookbook by months of the year may make sense if you live in Big Sur and want to know what is available at their restaurant, but it doesn't do a thing for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a window onto a lifestyle. Recipes, yes, wonderfully creative, mouth-watering recipes, but I picked up this book and didn't put it down again until I had read it right through! How often do you do that with a cook book? I love the personalities involved in this little gem of a restaurant, the book leads us through the day in a way that gives us intimate portraits of everyone involved, from the beekeeper to the sommelier. And if you have a chance to visit Big Sur, you will not be disappointed. The restaurant, like the book, is a real find --- fabulous food in a relaxed atmosphere. Big Sur is magical, and this is part of that magic.
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Format: Hardcover
LOVE this cookbook! The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook is an amazing collection of seasonal, sustainable, delicious recipes (by month) with stories about everyday life in the restaurant and about the restaurant's eccentric, organic farmers, butchers, and fishermen. I read dozens of cookbooks each month, and I am a trained chef. That being said, my highest compliment is that the recipes in Big Sur Bakery Cookbook are some of the best written, best explained I have seen! The chefs really teach you how to make each dish exactly by explaining why you are doing certain things. I read this cookbook cover-to-cover, which is a compliment to the chefs and authors. Every recipe so far has been exceptional. HIGHLY recommended!!!
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful book from many points of view. The recipes, while sometimes complicated, are delicious. I especially recommend the blueberry pie, and the salmon trout wrapped in prosciutto. The photographs are exquisite, worthy of a coffee table in the living room. The writing by Catherine Price about the history of the restaurant, her profiles of many of the people connected to the restaurant, like the "bee guy" and the woman who raises herbs on her porch, and the man whose bread is legendary, is totally engaging. I've never seen a cook book with a format like this. It's interesting reading, even if you don't have company coming to dinner!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for a very good friend as a birthday gift. We both lived in Northern California and love this area - of course, who doesn't? As I was wrapping the book, I flipped through and found at least a dozen recipes I wished I had time to make right away! Now I need to buy my own copy of the book... This would make a perfect gift for a "foodie" and also for someone who enjoys this area of the California coast. The beautiful photography and layout of the book all add to the enjoyment - lovely!
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