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Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook [Paperback]

By Alice Waters (Author)
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Item Number 153375  
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Item description for Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook by Alice Waters...

One hundred thirty recipes by the founder-chef-proprietor of one of America's truly great restaurants range from simple salads to roast duck with wild mushrooms and coulibiac of salmon with wild rice

Publishers Description
This timeless addition to the Chez Panisse paperback cookbook library assembles 120 of the restaurant's best menus, including galas, festivals, and special occasion meals that have become such gustatory celebrations. A full range of menus is featured, from picnics to informal suppers. Line drawings.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Random House
Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.09" Width: 7.37" Height: 1.07"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 18, 1995
Publisher   Random House
ISBN  0679758186  
ISBN13  9780679758181  

Availability  0 units.

More About Alice Waters

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! ALICE WATERS is the owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant and Cafe in Berkeley, California. She founded the Edible Schoolyard Project and has received the French Legion of Honor and three James Beard Awards. Her most recent books are the "New York Times" bestsellers "40 Years of Chez Panisse" and "The Art of Simple Food, " as well as" In the Green Kitchen "and "The Edible Schoolyard: A Universal Idea.""

Alice Waters currently resides in Berkeley, in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > General
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > French

Reviews - What do customers think about Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook?

Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook  Feb 13, 2008
Having heard about Chez Panisse and my sister finally having the opportunity to dine at the restaurant, I gave the book to my sister as a gift. She seems quite happy to have the cookbook (she is a fabulous cook!) and says she has plans to try a number of Alice Water's wonderful recipes!
Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook  Oct 30, 2006
American foodies owe a debt of gratitude to Alice Waters. She is the patron saint of California cooking, or new American cooking, or whatever you want to call it. She's the one who gave us goat cheese croutons, roasted beets, mache, and so many other now-ubiquitous dishes. "Former Chez Panisse chef" is just as much a brand name as the brand named meats and produce she serves at her restaurant.

For those reasons, I actually read The Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook cover to cover, the way one reads an MFK Fisher book - to get an understanding of the cook's philosophy as well as recipes. Both women write in a formal style and have strong ideas about ingredients, preparation, presentation, and consumption. Unfortunately, Water's writing is more spare, perhaps as befits a patron saint, and lacks the pithy humor that leavens Fisher's books. Reading her prose is more like learning a lesson than being entertained.

Which may be why this book struck me as an essential book for someone who wanted to learn to be a restaurant chef, but not particularly useful for someone cooking at home. Most of the menus require some final preparation of the next dish after the preceding one has been served - possible in a restaurant, but not much fun at a dinner party if the cook wants to eat with the guests.

The individual dishes are also complicated or labor-intensive, causing me to often think as I read, "I'd eat that if someone made it for me." Waters is particularly fond of leg of lamb, lobsters, and quail and her recipes for these show the difficulty in preparing them at home. First, most of the lamb recipes call for spit-roasting the leg of lamb. She even explains how to build a spit. In my spit-deficient kitchen, those recipes are not possible.

Second, while I find a steamed lobster to be a wonderful treat on a special occasion, Waters takes the fun out of it with instructions to semi-cook a lobster, then remove the meat and make a fumet with the shells - a process involving roasting the shells, making the broth, putting the shells in a blender, then straining the whole thing through a fine sieve - then finish cooking the lobster. Whew!

Finally, quail do not usually show up on my dinner table, but if they did, I do not think I'd have the dedication to follow Walter's recipes. In most of her quail recipes she gives similar instructions: "Marinate the quail in a cool place overnight . . . turning the quail four to five times during this time." No little boney bird is worth losing a night of sleep.

Reading this Menu Cookbook made me want to spring for dinner at Chez Panisse, but it did not make me want to don an apron and start cooking.
Showing its age  Apr 6, 2003
There's a lot of good sense and good food in this book, but the California style is getting a bit past mark of mouth, if you'll permit an archaic phrase/pun. I've made a few of these dishes, and they're fine, but somehow this isn't the book I pick up and flip through, asking myself, "what's for dinner?" With Jody Adams, Daniel Boulud, and Pat Wells on the shelf, I'm not sure I'd call this a "must have" addition. But, if you're a Waters fan, go for it .
not your run of the mill cookbook  Dec 27, 2002
This is one of Alice Waters' early books, and it shows, as compared to the later ones. Many of the recipes are complicated, and involve ingredients that are not easy to come by, even in NYC. I read it more for amusement. The later books (Vegetables, Fruit, Cafe), are much more user friendly and result in great dishes. I wouldn't recommend this to someone new to her philosophy of cooking, or who doesn't have serious kitchen experience.
A Classic You Must Have  Jan 8, 2001
There's a special reason we go to the books of the great chefs. It's not to throw a meal together in 2 minutes, or to make sure we will find a dish we can cook with no trouble in two pans in our kitchens at home. It's to look inside an imagination and see what someone can achieve with ingredients and passion when it's what they do all day, every day, with devotion.

As Nigella Lawson said about another writer, "I often cook, if not directly from it, then inspired by it (which is more telling)". This is a truly inspiring work, one you will go back to again and again. From the buckwheat crepes with glaced fruit and eau de vie, to the amazing amazing fish soup, simple dishes with corn and over the top reworking of french classics, the judgement of flavours and textures is perfect. Ignore Water's fetish about perfect lettuce, read it, and just go to the kitchen. 10 stars out of five, the best of all the Waters books.


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