Item description for Chez Panisse Cooking by Paul Bertolli & Alice Waters...
Overview Bertolli, the chef at Chex Panisse in Berkeley, California, since 1982, presents 150 tantalizing recipes inspired by each season's freshest ingredients: from springtime salmon carpaccio to autumn white truffles salad. Line drawings.
Publishers Description "Extraordinary," "poetic," and "inspired" are only a few words that have been used to describe the food at Chez Panisse. Since the first meal served there in 1971, Alice Waters's Berkeley, California, restaurant has revolutionized American cooking, earning its place among the truly great restaurants of the world. Renowned for the brilliant innovations of its ever-changing menu, Chez Panisse has also come to represent a culinary philosophy inspired by nature -- dedicated to the common interest of environment and consumer in the use of gloriously fresh organic ingredients. In Chez Panisse Cooking, chef Paul Bertolli -- one of the most talented chefs ever to work with Alice Waters -- presents the Chez Panisse kitchen's explorations and reexaminations of earlier triumphs. Expanding upon -- and sometimes simplifying -- the concepts that have made Chez Panisse legendary, Bertolli provides reflections, recipes, and menus that lead the cook to a critical and intuitive understanding of food itself, of its purest organic sources and most sublime uses. Perhaps best described by Richard Olney, "Paul Bertolli's cuisine is what 'health food' should be and never is: a celebration of purity. The food is imaginative but never complicated; it is art." Enhanced by Gail Skoff's breathtaking hand-colored photographs, Paul Bertolli's recipes remind us of the simple and passionate joys in cooking and of the inspiration to be drawn from each season's freshest foods: glistening local salmon creates a wildly colorful springtime carpaccio or is grilled later in the season with tomatoes and basil vinaigrette; autumn's fresh white truffles are sliced into an extraordinarily textured salad of pastel hues with fennel, mushrooms, and Parmesan cheese; figs left on the tree until they grow heavy and sweet appear in a fall fruit salad with warm goat cheese and herb toast. Season by season, Chez Panisse Cooking will captivate the senses and imagination of the cook with such entrancing recipes as Sugar Snap Peas with Brown Butter and Sage; Buckwheat Cakes with Smoked Salmon, Creme Fraiche, and Capers; Grilled Fish Wrapped in Fig Leaves with Red Wine Sauce; Lamb Salad with Garden Lettuces, Straw Potatoes, and Garlic Sauce; Marinated Veal Chops Grilled over an Oak Fire; or Seckel Pears Poached in Red Wine with Burnt Caramel. Here, some of the restaurant's most remarkable recent menus for special occasions are recreated, from a White Truffle Dinner to the Chez Panisse Tenth Annual Garlic Festival, to a supper for poet Vikram Seth that began. with "The Season's song, a summer ballad/Tomatoes, basil, flowers, beans/In unison dance, Lobster Salad..." Many of these recipes reflect Paul Bertolli's love of northern Italian food; for other dishes, the inspiration is French; in all, there is a keen awareness of the abundance of uncompromisingly pure, seasonal ingredients to be found in America. Above all, the Chez Panisse recipes are meant to inspire the cook to create his or her own version; to awaken the senses to the nuances of taste, texture, and color in cooking; to "discover the ecstatic moments when the intuition, skill, and accumulated experience of the cook merge with the taste and composition of the food." Since its original publication in 1988, this classic cookbook has proved to be indispensable to the shelf of every serious cook and every serious cookbook reader.
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Studio: Random House
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.14" Width: 7.14" Height: 1.25" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 22, 1994
Publisher Random House
ISBN 0679755357 ISBN13 9780679755357
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Bertolli & Alice Waters
PAUL BERTOLLI is executive chef and co-owner of Oliveto restaurant in Oakland, California. He has received numerous accolades, most recently the award for "Best Chef: California" from the James Beard Foundation in 2001. He is also known for his tenure as chef of Chez Panisse restaurant, where for ten years he guided the restaurant's cooking toward Italian sensibilities. Active as a chef, writer, and artisan food producer, Bertolli tends to his garden, bread oven, salumi cellar, vinegar loft, pickle vats, distillations, wine, and other mysterious fermentations from his home base in North Berkeley, California.
Reviews - What do customers think about Chez Panisse Cooking?
Great foodie read for understanding cooking and ingredients Apr 9, 2005
`Chez Panisse Cooking' by Paul Bertolli, with Alice Waters, is a reminder of the kinds of things we miss in the downpour of fast cooking and low carb cooking books with which we have been showered in the last few years. Like most celebrity cookbooks, this can be seen as a very chatty book, with lots of headnotes and essays on various subjects such as wild mushrooms and risotto techniques. So, if all you want is a simple statement of recipes, you may be much happier with a Rachael Ray book or `1000 Italian Recipes' by Michele Scicolone, although even Scicolone's very heavily recipe oriented book has its share of commentary and notes on regional origins.
Paul Bertolli is Alice Waters' second major chef at Chez Panisse, after Jeremiah Tower went off to create Stars and claim ownership of the invention of `California Cuisine'. While Tower (and Waters) are both heavily influenced by leading English writer on French cuisine, Richard Olney, Bertolli's center is clearly in Italy, with several homages to Provence and other French influences. One important foodie note is that Bertolli cites the Pellegrino Artusi's 100 year old `L'Arte di mangiar bene' (`Art of Eating Well'). I think this is notable because I have taken a quick look at a recent translation of this work and was not very impressed with the material. It may have been a very good book 100 years ago, but I did not immediately see how it stood up to the great wealth of Italian cuisine books we have today in English. But what do I know. I obviously must go back and reconsider my opinion.
What Bertolli attends to better than practically every other cookbook author I can think of (except for the very high-end restaurant chefs such as Thomas Keller and Rick Tramonto) is taste and the nature of his ingredients. In giving instructions for a broccoli dish, I can think of very few other chefs who would take the care to suggest that you buy older broccoli for the long braise, as this will stand up better to the heat over a longer time. This is not to say that Bertolli goes as far into essays on major ingredients in the style of his later, excellent `Cooking By Hand' book. This later book goes so far as to leave the world of cookbooks and enter the world of culinary essays you typically find from John Thorne, with the difference that Bertolli is a professional cook and amateur writer, while Thorne is a professional writer and amateur cook. I did, however, find the essay on yeast bread baking to be as good as anything I have seen elsewhere for the length.
Note that the reference to sources of materials is not in an appendix at the end of the book, but placed at the end of the relevant essay on technique. So, names and addresses of sources for bread flour and home flourmills can be found at the end of the essay on bread baking.
This probably explains why Bertolli succeeds in committing two of the prime fallacies exposed in a recent `Good Eats' episode by Alton Brown. Bertolli rolls out the old chestnuts about searing being a means of sealing in moisture into meat and not washing mushrooms with any water to prevent adding any more to the liberal amount of moisture in mushrooms already. I give Alton Brown great credit for shining light on these myths, but I am quite at ease with forgiving Bertolli his repeating this conventional wisdom, especially since Harold McGee's article on the searing / moisture myth came out about the same time this book was published.
Oddly enough, the focus on works by McGee, Brown, and Shirley Corriher may be partly due to the rarity of works with Bertolli's form of culinary phenomenology. What I mean here is that Bertolli shows that there is a lot to know about good and interesting cooking which has nothing to do with science, but just simple observation and experience.
Chez Panisse cookbooks have been published by Random House and by Harper Collins, and they are uniformly attractive to the eye, as they are entertaining and informative to the mind. While both of these publishing houses have great reputations for putting out good books, I have to congratulate Ms. Waters for her stylish work in print. I miss the great woodcuts which appear only on the cover of this volume and not throughout, but Bertolli's text needs all the space it can get. Another item which may seem small to some, but which always boost's my opinion of a book is the fact that the Table of Contents lists every single recipe by name and by page number. I am also very happy that this book divides dishes by more by principle ingredient than by course.
One of my routine checks on the quality of a cookbook is an examination of the recipes for stocks. And, I am quite pleased that Bertolli has given me another important rule of thumb on stock making, something I have never read elsewhere (or, just as important, if I did read it, it did not stick in my memory). The point is that all things being equal, meat stocks are better if you go light on the vegetables. Vegetable flavors can always be added in when the dish is made, but the whole story about a chicken stock should be the chicken.
If I were not an incurable cookbook collector, this book would be high on my list of sources for my daily cooking, right behind Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, and Jamie Oliver (yes, that Jamie Oliver).
A truly excellent book and cookbook!
the bible Apr 16, 2003
This is the book that taught me how to cook. To appreciate this book, read the pages on roast chicken and risotto. There are many other cookery books out there that will tell you the components of the dish, but cannot describe the essence. I did not know food before I read this book. I would recommend reading this and Chez Panisse Vegetables. If you can only have 2 cookbooks, these are the two!
Great Food, Badly Edited Feb 28, 2001
I was excited to receive this cookbook as a gift from my wife last year. Unfortunately it's a disappointing cookbook that doesn't get much use in my kitchen. There is one basic flaw that makes this book difficult to use, the layout of the recipes.
When you're cooking a large and complex meal, you need enough of an explanation of the cooking procedures to understand what the author wants you to do. Unfortunately, there is simply far too much text in these recipes. Explanations about the cooking procedures is too detailed, it is in need of much editing. While complex French cooking does require a lot of attention to detail, it should be done without the commentary throughout the recipes.
Having said that, there are still a ton of great recipes here. I love their risotto dishes; I made the wild mushroom risotto the other night and it was heavenly. I've also made their homemade pastas (tortellini or ravioli, can't remember which) with pumpkin filling and a browned butter and sage sauce (classic); again excellent. They also have a good treatment of seafood (decent squid recipes), lobster and other white fishes.
You'll find a good repertoire of French food in this book, with a slight California twist (not enough to be classified as fusion). The recipes are generally fairly complex, so I would only recommend it for intermediate or advanced cooks. If you don't mind getting lost in the text of the recipes then you might want to consider this volume. I would strongly recommend that you peruse it first at a local bookstore to see if it's to your liking before making a purchase.