The Art of Simple Food

by Alice Waters

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Original Publisher
Clarkson Potter
Date of publication

Recommended by

Ben Starr


3 decades ago, Alice Waters pioneered the farm-to-table trend that only now is a buzzword that is widely familiar. She revealed a great secret to Americans - you can't make truly amazing food without truly amazing ingredients, and chefs and cooks often get in the way of those ingredients with their techniques. Her legendary restaurant, Chez Panisse, is still one of the world's greatest restaurants, simply because they maintain close relationships with their farmers so they have the finest of ingredients, prepared lovingly and simply, so that they truly shine. This cookbook series teaches you to back off and let the ingredients be the star, rather than you.

Eleanor Maidment

Food writer

This and its sequel, The Art of Simple Food II, are a pair of extraordinary books from seminal US chef Alice Waters, offering advice on technique as well as simple, seasonal recipes. It’s rare that I love a cookery book with no photography, but these are both exceptional.

Jeff Stutsman

Director of Operations, Momofuku Culinary Lab

The finesse Waters cooks with and her passion for local foods are contagious. She provides such great insight into how to have a healthy relationship both with food and your community.

Richard McCarthy

Executive Director, Slow Food USA

This is my favorite of Alice’s books. It gets to the heart of what cooking should be: simple and clean. Even the very design of the book does that.

Lilian (Chinese Grandma)

Blogger, Chinese Grandma

California food and philosophy, the Chez Panisse way.

Amanda Feifer

Fermentation blogger and educator

Amy Chaplin

Vegetarian Chef and Award Winning Author

Sarah Wilson

Author and Blogger

Julie Gibbs

Publishing Director – Illustrated Books, Penguin Random House Australia

Rachel Khong

Senior Editor Lucky Peach

Sophie McNally

(Formerly) Operations Manager at Keith McNally restaurants in NYC

Shikha Kaiwar

Pastry chef and food writer

Roger Phillips

Foraging and wild food expert

Árni Ólafur Jónsson

Chef and TV presenter

Chris Fischer

Chef and farmer

Clark Wolf

Consultant and writer

Emily Elsen

Owner & Founder, Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Nikki Werner

Food writer