The Heart of the Artichoke, by David Tanis, is beautifully written and photographed. Much like those showpiece cookbooks that you will probably never cook from. But the true beauty of this book lies in its practicality. Co-Chef at Chez Panisse, Tanis’s cooking is the epitome of seasonality married to simplicity. His charming and unassuming personality shines through from the very start of the book. Yes, he cooks at the most loved and famous restaurant in the country. But here’s how he cooks at home.
near tears so pleased to see him crystallize something I have been trying to convey for sometime here in the Kitchen. You have time to cook. “mesmerized by television shows hyping the thirty-minute meal and the blood sport of competitive cooking, we have somehow forgotten the pleasure of giving ourselves over to the true kitchen experience. This doesn’t mean spending hours and hours in the kitchen. It’s not more difficult cooking, but a different way of engaging with food. What matters is the joy.”
The book begins with personal food rituals that Tanis holds dear, from peeling an apple in one long curvaceous strip, to his methodic way of enjoying oatmeal (I have a similar quirk with French toast, ask me about it sometime), to the perfect simple meal of beans (lovely Italian white beans) on toast.
It is a very intimate and throughly engaging book with each menu beginning with a story of its origins. You can sit and read this book. And when you do, you want to make these dishes. All of them. I can’t tell you how much pleasure I’ve gotten out of my copy already. It will be a well-loved treasure.
Would you like a copy? Of course you would. You’re dying for one. To win one, in the comments section of this post, or in a tweet, tell me what is your favorite cookbook? You have until Tuesday, November 30, at noon to submit your entry. The winner will be chosen randomly using Random.org. For full giveaway rules, click here. Good luck, my dear readers. I hope you win!