You probably know David Tanis one of two ways:
- by his critically-acclaimed book A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
- as the chef at Chez Panisse for over 25 years
His new book, Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys, takes you through the seasons in a very personal way. David gives you not just superb recipes, but the stories behind them. He also gives you help along the way - the squid lesson alone is invaluable.
There is much to love about this cookbook:
- For one, it is uncluttered. It has beautiful photos and lots of white space, so it is easy to read (and follow) the recipes within.
- Secondly, his chapter on Rituals what many of us want in food writing - personal moments and stories that we'll remember and share with friends - except perhaps the tripe!
- And as someone who loves to throw dinner parties, I have to thank David for creating wonderfully rich, yet simple seasonal menus that allow me to cook a fabulous meal without having to spend 85 hours pouring over cookbooks, my recipe binders and scrolling online trying to assemble a chic dinner for friends.
- There are recipes for small, medium and large groups, so you can cook to the number of people, without having to quadruple recipes (that never works) or do hard math (how could you have forgotten how to add fractions at this young age?).
- You can actually make the stuff here. It's not the highfalutin dishes of a world-renowned celebrity chef, but down to earth plates that you can absolutely make. Even things that I would have considered hard to make like Italian Spice Cake and Flat-Roasted Chicken with Rosemary are easy here (p.s.I have 4 recipes for flat-roasted chicken and never has it been as easy as just removing the breastbone and pushing down on the breastbone. This is life-changing!).
Which menu will you make tonight - Cooking for Tomorrow Today (terrine, duck confit, salad, homemade bread and spiced pears) or Dead-of-Winter Dinner from the Supermarket (salad, steak, potato gratin, broiled pineapple)?