Blogger at Raining Sideways
A list of my favourite cookbooks would not be complete without Alice Waters. Her influence on good food from Berkely, California right across the USA and her support for the Slow Food Movement across the world is legendary. I count myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to eat at Chez Panisse where they “ try to interfere as little as possible with the transition of good and pure ingredients from their origins to the table…” a notion reflected so well in this book.
I have never been to the restaurant but this book, organized by menu, makes me feel like I have. Or could pretend if I dared to tackle the cooking. That said, many of the recipes are actually very simple. But the real charm of this book is in seeing the menu compositions, each of which is a small masterpiece. Notable recipes: Salt cod bouillabaise, Salade Nicoise, Goat Cheese Soufflé.
Chef and owner of Gauthier Soho
Before Alice waters it was unheard of for restaurants to consider the seasons or provenance of ingredients in their menus. Her restaurant preceded everything. Before Alain Ducasse, before ‘farm to table’, before today’s de-rigeur ’local-n-seasonal’ menus, there was a lady in Berkeley who just saw this style as the most obvious reaction to a food world that had become industrialised.
Food writer and editor
Alice Waters’ groundbreaking cookbooks all still feel so utterly contemporary, with their focus on simplicity and on seasonal, locally sourced produce, that it’s hard to believe she’s been writing, cooking, teaching and advocating for forty years. This book is one of my favourites, as an endless inspiration for putting together wonderfully appealing and enticing menus.
Award-winning food writer and author. Columnist at The Sunday Telegraph
For me this was a life-changing book. Simple, seasonal cooking, a Mediterranean spirit applied to whatever ingredients are grown or farmed near you. A delicious shiver went down my spine when I first leafed through this in a bookshop (during the reign of nouvelle cuisine). The menus were daring in their simplicity.
Writer and broadcaster
Still reads as fresh as when I started cooking from it in 1986. It remains a source of inspiration with her exquisite seasonal menus and I still use many of the recipes - a true test of a great book.
Distills the intelligence and playfulness of a movement that changed American food in the late 20th century. Jeremiah Tower goes essentially uncredited, though much of the book reflects him.
The generative book in creating America's New Cuisine of local, fresh, seasonal by applying French Regional methods to the particularities of Berkeley CA.
chef/owner Porsena & Porchetta
a great reference as a young cook for how to organize a menu seasonally which wasn't something every one did when I was starting out
Honest and real recipes.
Food writer and editor
Cookbook author and food journalist
American born British Chef who owns and runs the Michelin Star Italian restaurant, The River Cafe
Owner and chef, Blakes Feast
Chef/Patron of Theo Randall at the InterContinental
Chef, cookbook author and television personality
Author and Editor