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Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys Hardcover – November 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Tanis (A Platter of Figs) has been a chef at Berkeley's Chez Panisse for so long, he seems to have achieved a certain California Zen master state of being. A recipe is "what happens between the concept of a dish and its final result," he observes, then paints a fine line between "om" and "yum" with 14 meditations on kitchen rituals, small moments of epiphany that tie his childhood oatmeal to his adult polenta or celebrate the genius of the Ziploc bag. Cooks who live in an unchanging climate seem to have a penchant for dividing their cookbooks into seasonal chapters and Tanis is no exception. The (artichoke) heart of this work consists of 20 full menus, five for each season. Spring offerings include Vietnamese vegetable summer rolls, and "The Flavor of Smoke," featuring tea-smoked chicken salad. Summer belongs to herbs with choices like flat-roasted chicken with rosemary, and rice salad with sweet herbs. With the fall comes flatbread, a focaccia served alongside stuffed raviolone. And winter brings fragrant lamb with prunes and almonds. Tanis rounds out the book with four feasts, celebrational meals involving a suckling pig or kid goat stew. When not easing the reader into some potentially complex dishes, Tanis enjoys reliving his culinary European adventures, adding an unfortunate air of pretension to his otherwise sincere labor of love. (Nov.) (c)
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About the Author
David Tanis has worked as a professional chef for over three decades, and is the author of several acclaimed cookbooks, including A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes, which was chosen as one of the 50 best cookbooks ever by the Guardian/Observer (U.K.) and Heart of the Artichoke, which was nominated for a James Beard Award. He spent many years as chef with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, California; he ran the kitchen of the highly praised Café Escalera in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and he operated a successful private supper club in his 17th-century walk-up in Paris. He has written for a number of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian/Observer (U.K.), Cooking Light, Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, and Saveur. Tanis lives in Manhattan and has been writing the weekly City Kitchen column for the Food section of the New York Times for nearly six years.
Top Customer Reviews
Tanis starts out the book with a fascinating and helpful series of kitchen "moments" that help define what makes cooking real to him. This ranges from peeling an apple to cooking fresh pasta. Read this and think about what you love about cooking and find some inspiration. The rest of the book is like the first book: a series of seasonal three-course menus. Each menu starts with a summary explaining the inspiration, then includes a starter, main course, and dessert. The starters and desserts are often quick simple and require minimal work. The main course might be a bit more complex, but never impossible. None should be too intimidating to try. There is a wide range of cuisines here and certainly many unique ingredients for you to try (and broaden your gastronomic horizons).
A great book for home cooks, and for us professional chefs who rarely ever cook at home, but when we do, we want it to be good.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Easy to follow...making my way through the book!