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A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes
Forget about getting back to the land, David Tanis just wants you to get back to the kitchen
For six months a year, David Tanis is the head chef at Chez Panisse, the Berkeley, California, restaurant where he has worked alongside Alice Waters since the 1980s in creating a revolution in sustainable American cuisine. The other six months, Tanis lives in Paris in a seventeenth-century apartment, where he hosts intimate dinners for friends and paying guests, and prepares the food in a small kitchen equipped with nothing more than an old stove, a little counter space, and a handful of wellused pots and pans.
This is the book for anyone who wants to gather and feed friends around a table and nurture their conversation. It’s not about showing off with complicated techniques and obscure ingredients. Worlds away from the showy Food Network personalities, Tanis believes that the most satisfying meals—for both the cook and the guest—are invariably the simplest.
Home cooks can easily re-create any of his 24 seasonal, market-driven menus, from spring’s Supper of the Lamb (Warm Asparagus Vinaigrette; Shoulder of Spring Lamb with Flageolet Beans and Olive Relish; Rum Baba with Cardamom) to winter’s North African Comfort Food (Carrot and Coriander Salad; Chicken Tagine with Pumpkin and Chickpeas). Best of all, Tanis is an engaging guide with a genuine gift for words, whose soulful approach to food will make any kitchen, big or small, a warm and compelling place to spend time.
Delightful and inspiring
By G. Constable
- September 23, 2008
How can you not love someone who writes, "What makes a boy from Ohio, born in the wrong century, raised on Tater Tots and Birds Eye, end up wanting to eat like a Greek peasant for breakfast, a French peasant for lunch, and a Moroccan peasant for dinner?"
This book is beautiful, inspiring, intelligent and unpretentious. It is laid out by seasonal menu, rather than classes of food, and gets you thinking about the experience of food as much as the creation. The recipes are well written with lovely pictures, clear formatting, and good descriptions.
I'll also include another quote from Tanis that you might find useful if contemplating a purchase: "Simplicity is key. People who cook fussy food for their friends seem to have the least fun. I say leave that fussy food to those with a staff and a paid dishwasher... A meal needn't be fancy, nor should it take all day to make. But, that said, most of the menus in this book are not those... read more
By L. Hanzlicek "L. Hanzlicek"
- January 9, 2009
I bought this cookbook for my husband for Christmas (he is the cook in the family) and he absolutely loves it. He has made several of the recipes, mostly the duck ones so far, and they have all turned out delicious AND beautiful. The recipes he has made have been fairly simple but still come off as "fancy" (meaning if you served these meals to guests they would be impressed).
He said his favorite thing about the book is that it has made it easy for him to try out new ingredients (this week it was turnips) without a lot of fuss. He also enjoys the organization of the book by menu. Finally, this is truly a beautifully made book, with gorgeous photography and nice paper.
I would say this book is great for a home chef with a bit of experience who is looking to try new things and expand their horizons.
So much better than I imagined
By Steve Sando
- November 11, 2008
I feared this would be precious and silly but what a great book! Good, simple food and creative menus. Read this instead of Rachel Ray or Sandra Lee and you'll actually learn how to cook instead of just following recipes.
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