Advertisement
 
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Your Own 'Cafe' Kitchen

COOKBOOK WATCH

September 15, 1999|RUSS PARSONS

Even if you think you've had enough of restaurant cookbooks, even if the words "chef's recipe" send you fleeing from the kitchen in panic, remember that there's always the exception that proves the rule. In this case, it's the "Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook" (HarperCollins, $34). This is the best Chez Panisse cookbook since Lindsey Shere's 1985 "Chez Panisse Desserts" (available only in paper; Random House, $18). And though that one is still a must for any California cook, "Cafe" may be even better. Like the previous Chez Panisse books (there have been seven), this one is beautifully produced, with an elegant typeface and those incredible David Lance Goines illustrations. Unlike the others, it is extremely well-balanced. There are a few recipes likely to be cooked only by the truly obsessed: from-scratch headcheese and homemade pancetta. But there are far more recipes that are remarkably easy and that sound absolutely delicious. Though you thumb through most cookbooks hoping to find something you want to cook, virtually every page in "Cafe" has a winner. You're likely to leaf through it wishing the seasons would change faster. Though this time of late summer is perfect for something like pan-fried stuffed squash blossoms, if it was fall, you could be cooking a nice country terrine with pistachios. If it was spring, it might be time for morels on toast. Though most restaurant cookbooks are designed as souvenirs--kind of hard-bound, photo-filled baseball caps--this is a book you will use over and over.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|