Tag Archives: East Bay Cooks

For Your Reading Pleasure

“An Onion In My Pocket”

You might think a memoir by the founding chef of San Francisco’s pioneering vegetarian restaurant, Greens, might be too didactic or preachy to take if you’re an avowed meat eater.

The surprise is that it’s not in the least. “An Onion in My Pocket: My Life with Vegetables” (Alfred A. Knopf) by Deborah Madison is a delightful read with evocative prose that envelopes all the senses.

When it comes to what you eat and cook, Madison is far from rigid. In fact, she has eaten meat — and still does — occasionally. It’s just that she most often finds vegetables more interesting.

She came to develop a vegetable-centric palate after becoming enthralled listening to a radio program on Buddhism while growing up. It led to her fascinating journey in becoming an ordained Buddhist priest, and to forming the foundation for arguably the first significant vegetarian restaurant in the country. She set the bar early, eschewing the drab and flavorless vegetarian cooking of the time such as lentil loaves in favor of bold and beautiful dishes of her own creation. In the process, she introduced the world to what vegetarian cooking could and ought to be.

“The French Laundry, Per Se”

Let me just state from the get-go: It’s good bet that I’ll never cook anything from the new “The French Laundry, Per Se” (Artisan). Not when the forward in this book even states that the recipes are even more challenging and complex than those in “The French Laundry Cookbook,” which came out in 1999.

But just because you won’t necessarily be tempted to recreate one of the more than 70 recipes doesn’t mean you won’t find this latest book by chef-proprietor Thomas Keller deeply fascinating.

As the name implies, this lavish coffee-table-sized book showcases the synergy between his two Michelin three-starred restaurants, The French Laundry in Yountville, and Per Se in Manhattan.

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Win A Signed Copy of My New “East Bay Cooks” Cookbook

Flourless chocolate cake from Old Towne Danville Bakery. (Photo by Eva Kolenko)
Flourless chocolate cake from Old Towne Danville Bakery. (Photo by Eva Kolenko)

Remember when you were a kid, and beamed with pride and happiness the first time you donned a snazzy new pair of red cowboy boots?

That’s how I feel about my newest cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1), which debuts this week. Thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of people, it turned out more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. Just get a load of the images here from the book, all of them shot by the incredibly talented Bay Area photographer Eva Kolenko.

Chorizo sourdough toast from Sabio on Main in Pleasanton. (Photo by Eva Kolenko)
Chorizo sourdough toast from Sabio on Main in Pleasanton. (Photo by Eva Kolenko)

Whether you’re a Bay Area native or not, this book will have you enthralled with the East Bay, the most populous region in the Bay Area. It spotlights 41 restaurants and bakeries, some brand new, and others that have endured for decades — no easy feat in this challenging and competitive market.

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Join Yours Truly For Not One — But Two — Macy’s Chef Cooking Demos

In celebration of my new book, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1), please join me for a signing event plus cooking demo at Macy’s Union Square San Francisco at 1 p.m. Sept. 14; as well as at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara at 2 p.m. Sept. 21.

The cookbook spotlights 41 of the East Bay’s best restaurants and bakeries.

The Sept. 14 event in San Francisco will feature Co-Chefs Paul Manousos and Jacob Alioto of Alameda’s East End, who will be cooking up one of their signature dishes from my cookbook.

The Sept. 21 event in Santa Clara spotlights Rana Saluja-Kapoor, co-founder of the Bay Area’s slew of Curry Up Now restaurants and food trucks. She’ll also be creating one of her recipes from my cookbook.

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The Big Unveil

EastBayCover.HRblog

Voila! Finally, the big reveal: Presenting the cover of my forthcoming cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1 Publishing).

I couldn’t be more excited to show off details of my newest cookbook, due out on Sept. 10, which will feature 41 of the best restaurants and bakeries in the East Bay.

To whet your appetite, that’s the paella from La Marcha Tapas Bar in Berkeley, and the lamb larb from Belcampo in Oakland’s Jack London Square prominent on the cover. The photos are all by the incredibly talented photographer Eva Kolenko.

What else will you find inside?

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The Countdown Begins — For My Next Cookbook

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook.

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my “East Bay Cooks” cookbook.

 

For most of this year, I’ve immersed myself in writing a new cookbook, “East Bay Cooks” (Figure 1 Publishing), which spotlights the diverse, progressive and talented chefs of the East Bay Area.

Writing a cookbook is a major undertaking involving a multitude of interviews, fine-tuning a heap of recipes, and conducting scores of interviews.

For so long, it’s lived mostly as text in my manuscript. But last week, it all came to vivid life when the photography on the project began.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland's Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland’s Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chefs from all around the East Bay descended upon the incredibly equipped Rule & Level Studio in Berkeley, where they and their dishes were photographed by the incomparable Eva Kolenko.

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