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California Dish: What I Saw (and Cooked) at the American Culinary Revolution
Synopses & Reviews
California Dish is the most enchanting love story to come along in years: an account of culinary genius Jeremiah Tower's lifelong affair with food — an affair that helped to spark an international revolution in cuisine.
Raised in the U.S., Australia, and England, Jeremiah Tower was for wars a man without a country — until he immersed himself in the borderless world of fine cooking. In 1972, Tower became the chef and co-owner of an idiosyncratic cafe in Berkeley called Chez Panisse. The rest is legend. He dazzled the Bay Area — and then the rest of the nation — with his dedication to fresh, local ingredients prepared with breathtaking simplicity, ultimately becoming one of the first and most glamorous superchefs of the eighties.
Packed with delicious digressions on everything from the workings of a super-restaurant to the exotic romance language of menus, California Dish takes us inside chaotic kitchens fueled by cocaine and sustained by sex. It chronicles Tower's rise and fall and rise again, including his quest to build the ultimate high-style "democratic" brasserie, Stars, where denim-clad rockers mixed with tuxedoed opera-goers. And it offers glimpses of both celebrities and kitchen greats, such as James Beard, Alice Waters, and Richard Olney. Above all, California Dish is an ode to food — to meals choreographed like great ballets and menus scored like concertos.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 279-308) and index.
About the Author
Jeremiah Tower is one of the world's foremost authorities on food, wine, and travel. He began his culinary career as chef and co-owner of Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California. From 1984 to 1998 he ran several other successful restaurants in San Francisco (Stars, Stars Café, Speedo 690), Hong Kong (The Peak Café), Singapore (Stars), and Seattle (Stars). In 1996 the James Beard Foundation named Tower "Outstanding Chef in America," one of many awards and honors he has received over the years. He is the author of two previous books, Jeremiah Tower's New American Classics, winner of a James Beard Award for the best regional cookbook; and Jeremiah Tower Cooks. Most recently, he hosted the PBS series America's Best Chefs. He currently resides in New York City.
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