Synopses & Reviews
There is nothing more delightful than a tomato still warm from the sun, or a strawberry so perfectly ripe that it stains your fingers.
Why not eat this way all the time? The healthiest and most delicious food comes from farmers and artisans just down the road — though it is often easy to forget when we are surrounded by food shipped to our supermarkets from around the world and by highly processed products from distant factories.
Jeff Crump learned of the pleasures of using local cuisine by working in world-famous restaurants like Alice Waters's Chez Panisse, and he set about to develop a network of farmers to keep his own restaurant's kitchen humming all year round. It was not long before he was out in the fields himself, alongside pastry chef and collaborator Bettina Schormann, planting and harvesting crops that would form the backbone of their menus, breads, and desserts.
Eating locally means eating seasonally, and Jeff and Bettina offer up the most delicious of what each season provides. It could be something as unexpected as Gnudi with Ramps and Morels picked from the woods across the road; as simple and as refreshing as Dandelion Salad; or when it is cold outside, as hearty as Bread and Butter Pudding.
Earth to Table lets nature write the menu. Tender, green things in spring. Ripe, juicy dishes in summer. The bounty of the harvest in autumn. Rich braises and tart preserves in winter. The result is a year of discovery of new ingredients and dishes, and a rediscovery of classics that suddenly taste the way they were meant to.
Bringing together stories of the passage of seasons on the farm; profiles of some of the world's most innovative chefs — like Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller — and the farmers they count on; how-to sections that help readers make the most of the season and what their gardens and farmers' markets have to offer; stunning photographs; and, of course, creative and delicious recipes that make anyone wonder why they ever considered eating a tomato in February, Earth to Table explores what's best about food.
"This engrossing collection of essays and recipes by chefs Crump and Schormann works on two levels: not only does it educate readers regarding the concept of Slow Food and the importance of supporting local farmers, it gives them a wealth of recipes to make the most of their bounty. A Canadian pioneer of Slow Food with sterling credentials (having worked at Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck and Alice Water's Chez Panisse), Crump and slow food pastry chef Schormann are refreshingly off-the-cuff when it comes to the principles of Slow Food, acknowledging that the seemingly simple concept of eating locally is a complex undertaking, best illustrated in profiles and interviews with chefs like Thomas Keller, Dan Barber, and Blumenthal. Recipes are grouped by season, highlighting ingredients at their peak in concoctions like the bracing summertime Watermelon Agua Fresca, autumn's Pumpkin Seed Brittle, comforting cold-weather Apple Cider Muffins and Rabbit Stew with Herbed Dumplings, and a simple, spring lunch of Dandelion Salad with Poached Eggs. Peppered with tips on planning an herb garden, composting and getting the most out of a visit to the local farmers market, this is a true stand-out among a growing crowd of books for novice locavores." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] four-season testament to the importance — not to mention delight — of food that has been grown with care and cooked with conviction." Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma
"Here are chefs who seem to understand the farm as well as the kitchen. You can tell by the recipes that Earth to Table reflects the best possible world of garden and kitchen." Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors
From a founder of the Slow Food movement comes an extraordinary collection of reflections, beautiful photographs, and recipes that bring to life a year's relationship between a restaurant and a local organic farm.
“A beautiful book in every way.”
Earth to Table by Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann is an extraordinary, gorgeously illustrated collection of reflections and recipes in the tradition of Michael Pollans The Omnivores Dilemma and Food Matters. Subtitled “Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm,” Earth to Table sumptuously illuminates how good food is grown and how it comes to us—following over the course of one year, the journey from farm to restaurant of delicious organic produce. Featuring thoughts and recipes from some of the worlds most renowned and innovative “slow food” chefs—including Dan Barber (Blue Hill), Thomas Keller (The French Laundry), Matthew Dillon (Sitka and Spruce), and Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck)—here is a glorious celebration of the best things on earth, from Earth to Table.
About the Author
Jeff Crump has developed his talents at a number of the world's top restaurants: at Lumière, in Vancouver, B.C.; with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California; and at The Fat Duck, in Bray, England. He is a Canadian Slow Food pioneer and the executive chef at the Ancaster Old Mill.