Okay, let's get this part out of the way. We know Chris Cosentino and are huge fans of both him and his wife. Completely aside from the fact that his restaurant is one of our favorites in San Francisco, his new book Beginnings: My Way To Start a Meal is pretty darned cool. It is fun to read, with tons or personality and great food combinations.
Flipping through the pages made us wish we had a west coast trip coming up. Simple dishes like the warm salad of savoy cabbage, chanterelles and ricotta salata with a warm mustard vinaigrette emphasize the deep flavors of the ingredients. Roasted marrow bones are gently tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs before being topped with caviar for a delicious twist on surf and turf. Gorgeously pink spring lamb is roasted with fresh mint and garlic, sliced and topped with anchovy butter. And there's even a twist on classic bagna cauda made with Barolo wine from the same region as the dish to create something even better than the original.
The photography by Michael Harlan Turkell is inspiring. There are pictures in the book, like the fava bean, strawberry and pecorino salad or the treviso, pomegranate and pistachio dish that are just beautiful. They are aptly complemented by Chris' drawings, which illustrate some of the recipes and the ideas behind them. This is a book full of details, which not only inspire and enhance the food but tell a story of a chef driven by delicious.
May 16, 2009