From Publishers Weekly
In general, tapas presents the diner with dozens of choices in dozens of flavors, and it does so with an emphasis on drinks. In 1998, the authors, all formerly associated with Alice Waters's Chez Panisse restaurant, capitalized on the appeal of tapas and opened Cesar. This cookbook, humorously self-conscious and immediately accessible, includes 100 tapas and drink recipes and allow the home cook to replicate the restaurant's creations. Heavily influenced by Waters's seminal philosophy about food (always fresh, always local, organically grown whenever possible), the dishes are bright with flavor and designed with an emphasis on freshness. Most are easy to make, and the ingredient combinations are stellar. Smoked Trout and Persimmon Salad; Bread Pudding with Orange Caramel Sauce; and Chicken Escabeche Salad are good examples. Half of the book is devoted to beverages, many of them familiar cocktails. But the information about wine and sherry is informative and sophisticated, and the Latin American mixed drink recipes are varied and inspiring. The book's design sometimes runs counter to the cook's endeavors-recipe steps are not numbered, and tend to ramble; introductions to recipes often bury the otherwise helpful tips-but overall the book is fun, inspiring and reliable.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
OLIVIER SAID is co-author, with James Mellgren, of THE BAR and CESAR, which was named one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2003 by Food & Wine magazine. Currently, he and Mellgren are co-writing a quarterly column in the national publication Trump Magazine, focusing on cocktails and libations. A fifth-generation restaurateur from France, Said is a former managing partner in César, located next door to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and owner of Texas Coyote, a popular restaurant and nightclub in Paris. Said recently opened the upscale Kitchen on Fire cooking school in Berkeley.
JAMES MELLGREN is co-author, with Olivier Said, of THE BAR and CESAR, which was named one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2003 by Food & Wine magazine. Currently, he and Said are co-writing a quarterly column in the national publication Trump Magazine, focusing on cocktails and libations. Mellgren is the senior editor of one of the industry's leading trade publications, The Gourmet Retailer. He began his career in New York as the manager of Turpan Sanders in Soho, then spent a decade as a manager for Dean & DeLuca, for which he traveled extensively in Europe. He lives in Berkeley, California.
MAGGIE POND has been the executive chef at César since it opened. She has traveled extensively throughout the Iberian peninsula, and goes back annually to work, eat, and garner new recipes for César. She lives in Berkeley.