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Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys Hardcover – November 1, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
David Tanis is the author of A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes,Heart of the Artichoke and Other KitchenJourneys, and One Good Dish. His weekly column, City Kitchen, appears in The New York Times.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into seasonal menus: spring, summer, fall and winter, each with 5 menus His focaccia is amazing, as is the Digestivo with fresh berries and then the Molasses pecan squares are a favorite, we have even substituted walnuts with great success. Another section has 4 feasts and the recipes for them, including a deconstructed turkey.
The index is done by ingredient, but could have used better spacing and highlighting. It is also frustrating to look up Focaccia and not have it listed, because it is not an ingredient.
Tanis believes in simplicity and his food-recipes are not that difficult. They are different and simple but yet complicated flavors. This is an unusual cookbook for those that collect them and for those who would like to cook something that is a conundrum between simple and complex.
Our 8.5-year-old is the major reason. She has homework now, and reading, and piano pieces to practice, and although she is the-best-girl-in-the-world, we feel the need to sit with her in the early evening, whip in hand, while she gets it all done. Then there's the bedtime ritual --- my wife delivers a nightly lecture called "Bore Me to Sleep." By then, it's nine o'clock. Two hours until Jon Stewart. Haul in a sitter, rush to a restaurant? I think not.
What's that? At a child-friendly hour, we could take the kid out with us? No, no, no and no. The Princess is in year four or five of a lycopene addiction so severe that her culinary parameters start at pasta and end at pizza --- no way is she going to sit in a real restaurant. And we tire of Sal's Pizza.
So we cook at home. Sometimes for others. Mostly for ourselves.
Few cookbooks are of much use to us. They're too fancy, too formal. They're too basic, too simple. They're too regional, too specialized.
David Tanis, in "Heart of the Artichoke," gets it just right. No shocker there: He's the half-time chef at Chez Panisse --- he lives in Paris the other six months --- and he's a great representative for Alice Waters. That is, his thing is first-class ingredients, served with one twist --- a spice you wouldn't have thought of, a vegetable others would ignore. The result is familiar and novel, which is très cool. To quote Ms. Waters: "David will give me a menu, and I'll imagine what it will taste like, and then it's nothing like what I imagined. That's the thrill to me.Read more ›
This second book, "heart of the artichoke ..." is just as wonderful. The recipes are manageable for the average cook and the taste results are authentic and superb. I cooked the de-constructed turkey for thanksgiving and it was simply stunning. Rave reviews from those at the table including 2 chefs. I will never roast a turkey the old way again. My love of Pho (iconic Vietnamese soup) comes from living a year in Saigon during the Vietnam war. It is the soup I must have often for comfort and confirmation that all is right in my world. David's recipe for Pho is absolutely authentic. The recipes are wide-ranging and very interesting. This book reveals more of David's attitude to food, life, living which has pleased me immensely. Anyone who always travels with chillies in his pocket is my kind of guy! This is a book to buy and never lend out. Everyone should have their own copy. It's the perfect Christmas gift. I have purchased 22 copies to give as gifts in late December.
While not packed to the gills with recipe after recipe, those included are offer a nice variety of flavors and ingredients which make each dish and meal (thus far) that we've enjoyed a small, scrumptious feast.
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
Simple and few fresh ingredients come together for fantastic food!
Easy to follow...making my way through the book!
David is an incredible chef...This cookbook is a classic.Published 19 months ago by Glenn C. Stewart
has some good recipes and hints in it ,Not my Number 1 howeverPublished 20 months ago by Linda M. Reed
David Tanis' cookbooks are one of my favorites because of his no-frills approach to cooking using simple ingredients but delivering delicious results.Published 23 months ago by AlenaD
I'm having a hard time totally loving this book. The recipes and photos are fantastic but, I can't stand Tannis' writing. He sounds like a pompous douchebag. Read morePublished on July 20, 2014 by Pearl
If you don't know David Tanis (he writes a weekly cooking column for the NYT), and you like to cook, you will love this book. Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by marykate