sarahgilbert, March 5, 2009 (view all comments by sarahgilbert)
I am unreservedly in love with Vitaly Paley and his cooking philosophy. As a writer, too, he is surprising; his stories are detailed and moving and his passion for food shines through. His deep involvement in the lives of his producers overwhelms and I find myself wide-eyed waiting for the next season of Gene Thiel's potatoes or another farmer's brussels sprouts. I honor greatly his many self-referential recipes, though his recipe for a Reuben will probably turn off many home chefs (aioli, page 203; ketchup, page 201; horseradish, page 202; braised cabbage, page 150; corned beef, this page but it'll take you 4 days and 4 hours). I, on the other hand, was enchanted and have already made the braised cabbage three times and am hoping to come by a beef brisket some day soon so I can make the rest of it.
Even for the dedicated extreme chef, some of this will seem entirely too hard and costly to be borne (take, for example, the consomme, which requires at least two hours of active work and $10 of ingredients that are discarded after they've done their job flavoring the soup). And some of the stories are duplicative with the recipes, leaving you to wonder if Paley and his ghost writer were working together very well (or perhaps it's intentional; not everyone will read the stories, I suppose, and now the book's good for those who follow better through stories AND those who follow better through lists).
The book is not for everyone. It IS for me, and I love it, and will be cooking from it regularly.
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sonyazal, October 24, 2008 (view all comments by sonyazal)
lucky us. this book represents the output of the perfect marriage--the paleys' wondrous cooking skills, perfected in their marvelous portland, or. restaurant, acclaimed in the new york times and many other publications, and the writing style and knowledge of the french chef's chef, robert reynolds. the pair, fortunate portland, has managed to put together the ultimate farm to table cookbook for people interested in eating locally. They offer a northwest spin to all their recipes, highlighted by all the best foundation that french cooking provides. run don't walk to buy this beautiful book. it is edifying with its stories of local producers and its use of their products, explaining why the home-grown products, including potates, taste so good. perfect picture illutstrations on how to make it all taste so good. the northwest at its best, brought home to you. years and years of experience, no johnny-come-latelies these. Tried and tested recipes from real professionals. All there for you to bring home to your own cuisine, affordable and accessible, essential especially in these turbulent economic times.
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Ten Speed Press -
by Michal D.,
Infuse your cooking with the same enticing magic that Paley creates at his Portland restaurant. With delicious recipes and alluring photographs, this mouthwatering cookbook is the perfect addition to any cook's library.
by Michal D.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"This scrumptious collection of recipes and stories from the owners of Paley's Place Bistro and Bar in Portland, Ore., offers an intriguing mlange of Eastern European Jewish, Mediterranean, mainstream American and Pacific Northwest culinary influences, from Truffled Crab Melt to Duck Wellington with Mole Sauce, designed to match a Syrah's flavors of cinnamon, clover, black pepper, cayenne, butter, chocolate, tobacco and fungus. Some recipes are almost outrageously simple, like George's Gathered Greens: mixed greens, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. But most are complex, and many, like Chicken Roulade, in which chicken legs are ground with herbs and wrapped with breasts in caulfat — the lacy 'lining of a pig's abdominal cavity' that keeps the chicken 'beautifully moist, then melts away in the cooking' — require elaborate preparation, which, fortunately, the authors illustrate with excellently detailed photos. The Paleys often highlight their suppliers, such as Gene Thiel, a potato farmer in his 70s, who 'speaks of the pleasing esters present in potatoes, explaining how they affect both taste and smell' and likes to breakfast on a pan-sized steamed potato pancake with herbed scrambled eggs and vinegared bread. Recipes for 'pantry' items such as ketchup, maraschino cherries and persillade (a mix of chopped garlic and parsley) are included, as well as imaginative suggestions for wines to complement the dishes." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by The New York Times,
"Paley's Place...is recognized as one of the top restaurants in the Northwest, if not the country, and Mr. Paley has been celebrated for applying French techniques to the Northwestern palette of ingredients."
by Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness,
"Heavenly recipes... This is a cookbook that will be used until it's in tatters."
At Paley's Place Bistro and Bar, Vitaly Paley brings French training and international influences to bear on his unquenchable passion for the local foodstuffs of his adopted Oregon. In The Paley's Place Cookbook, he adapts his food for the home cook, tempting the reader with a casually elegant Walla Walla Onion Tart with Fresh Goat Cheese and Summer Herb Pesto, a show-stopping Cedar Planked Salmon, an indelible Crème Brulée, and many others.
Stories of the farmers, fishers, and foragers who supply Paley's Place with ingredients and inspiration; wine notes emphasizing local wines; and photographs of the food, the restaurant, and Oregon landscapes make this book a showcase of the regions culinary riches.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.