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The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countrysideby Amanda Hesser
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the Best Book on France by a Non-French Writer Award at the Versailles Cookbook Fair; finalist for the Julia Child Award, the Gourmet Magazine Award, and "Best Cookbook of the Year" sponsored by IACP; and nominated in the international category of the KitchenAid Book Awards of the James Beard Foundation Awards.
A unique blend of stylish cookbook and earthy garden story, here is a collection of 250 recipes derived from a centuries-old French kitchen garden. The stunning debut of a lively new culinary voice, The Cook and the Gardener chronicles a year in the life of the walled kitchen garden at Chateau du Fey and its taciturn, resourceful, charmingly sly peasant caretaker. Using the fruits and vegetables harvested from Monsieur Milbert's garden, Amanda Hesser creates four seasons of recipes tied ineluctably to the land and the all-but-forgotten practices upheld by Milbert. Hesser's sublimely simple recipes--each with accessible ingredients and clear notes and instructions--also tell a story. They are a month-by-month record of the ingredients available to her, so that this cookbook also serves as an almanac for cooks. Special "Basics" sections at the opening of each season lay the culinary groundwork for the recipes that follow. Tips on how to buy, store, and prepare particular vegetables, fruits, and herbs are presented in margin notes to recipes. By bringing the kitchen closer to the garden, The Cook and the Gardener gives home cooks a new understanding of the produce they have on hand, whether from the supermarket, the farmer's market, or their own gardens. At the same time, it captures the quirky customs and wily wisdom of a vanishing way of life in provincial France.
The unique, award-winning cookbook--a collection of seasonal recipes from a traditional French garden.
This is most assuredly a cookbook, with a collection of 250 seasonal recipes. But Hesser devotes the majority of her exceptional prose to the yearlong blossoming of her friendship with (and informal apprenticeship to) Monsieur Milbert, the august 79-year-old tender of the chateau's two-acre vegetable garden.In courting the wisdom of M. Milbert, Hesser gained the kind of old-fashioned seasonable sensibility that many of us have lost today—and her delightful recipes reflect this.The Cook and the Gardener is more than an excellent cookbook. Hesser's knowledgeable, graceful, and opinionated prose calls to mind the great food writers M. F. K. Fisher and Elizabeth David.A seasonal tribute to the symbiotic relationship between a chef and her provider of ingredients.Both Hesser's taste and voice are gentle and sure.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 606) and index.
About the Author
Amanda Hesser has been a food columnist and editor at the New York Times for more than a decade. She is the author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook, the award-winning Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener, and editor of the essay collection Eat, Memory. Hesser is also the co-founder of food52.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Tad Friend, and their two children.Kate Gridley is an artist and illustrator. She lives in Vermont.
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