Classics

welcome_to_michaels_sm.jpg Disclaimer: I know Michael and Kim McCarty. I've eaten at the New York City restaurant, and the one in Santa Monica. I love them (the restaurants, and the people). If you're not familiar with either restaurant, it might help to know that the New York restaurant is the center of the media universe (in terms of eating, anyway). And the Santa Monica restaurant is the West coast equivalent.

To quote Harper Collins editor David Hershey (from the book): "Every generation has its literary feeding trough. In the twenties and the thirties, it was the Algonquin; in the forties and fifties, it was Toots Shor's; in the sixties, it was the Lion's Head; in the seventies and the eighties, it was Elaine's; and since the nineties, Michael's has been the place for media and publishing types to eat."

Read more ...

Image The Essential New York Times Cookbook
Proving that a cookbook does NOT need photographs to be successful, this is about tried and true recipes from a familiar source and very familiar names--contributors like Mark Bittman, Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, David Chang, Nigella Lawson. Good stuff!

Bookmarked recipes: Marinated flank steak with asian slaw, Roasted carrot and red lentil ragout, Cranberry upside-down cake

Why?
Hat's off to Amanda Hesser for compiling a fantastic set of reader approved recipes and creating new notes that will ensure success with each recipe.

Who?
Anyone who has loved reading the New York Times food section and is looking for solid recipes to rely on.

ImageMastering the Art of French Cooking was my first cookbook, a gift from a friend. This happened many years ago, but I remember how it happened in great detail.

At the time, I was friendly with a woman I was too intimidated to ask out. To get over my nervousness, I offered to cook her dinner, thinking I’d grill a steak and make a tossed green salad, but she loved Julia Child and wondered if I could cook something French. Figuring I would be a good sport, I agreed.

I had watched Julia on PBS and loved her idiosyncratic character. Her passion for cooking and food was infectious. French food seemed too complicated, something eaten in a restaurant, not at home.

Not having a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, she loaned me hers. I decided on chicken with mustard (“Poulet grillé à la diable”). Why that one? I don’t know, it sounded good.

Read more ...

inside the california food revolutionMost cookbooks focus on what's new, but not all of them. And there are definitely some advantages to looking back. These books are all about American cooking, but each takes a closer look at our culinary history and regional differences.

Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years That Changed Our Culinary Consciousness is an amazing book that details the "thirty years that changed our culinary consciousness." It WAS a revolution that took place in California, but truly the effects were felt all across the country. Joyce Goldstein was there, a successful restaurateur and chef as well as food writer and so her connections and knowledge of the time make this book really stand out. She tells the stories of the people who shaped what and how we eat in the crucial era from 1970 until 2000. Her admiration for the pioneers of the time comes through and her engaging style make this a must read. No recipes are in the book, but a number of menus that help document the time.

ACenturyofRestaurantsCoverA Century of Restaurants: Stories and Recipes from 100 of America's Most Historic and Successful Restaurants is another definite "keeper" because it combines food, history and travel. It must have been a very enjoyable book to research and write, because it catalogues stories and recipes from one hundred of America's most historic and successful restaurants. It's just good fun to look up iconic restaurants and read about them and see a recipe. For California the book includes Philippe the Original in Los Angeles, Duarte's Tavern in Pescadero. The Tadich Grill in San Francisco and Fenton's Creamery in Oakland. If you are planning a trip, it's a perfect book to reference before you go. Some of my favorite old time places are here such as Durgin Park and The Union Oyster House in Boston, Commander's Palace in New Orleans and Ferrara in New York. It's wonderfully researched and well written. 

Read more ...
Page 2 of 3