The Best Bean Cookbooks, According to Omnivore

I asked my friends at my favorite bookstore, Omnivore Books, for some bean book recommendations, and here's what they suggested:



Clockwise, from top left:
Heirloom Beans by Steve Sando and Vanessa Barrington
Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon
Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell
The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson

Other Books Omnivore Carries That I Highly Recommend for #beanmonth, and Life in General:


Clockwise, from top left: 
Heritage by Sean Brock
The Inspired Vegan by Bryant Terry
An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler
Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America by Maricel E. Presilla
The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page
The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert

Omnivore has loads of these books, signed copies, and rare and antiquarian cookbooks and will ship anywhere in the world.  To purchase, call the store between the hours of 11am and 6pm, Tuesday-Saturday, 12pm-5pm Sunday at 415.282.4712.

p.s. I am purposely refraining from linking to Amazon in this post, so if you don't want to support Omnivore, then go support your own local brick & mortar independent bookstore this time!

Tartine Afterhours Book Signing with Adam Roberts: Wednesday, October 17th

We're thrilled to announce a very special Tartine Afterhours Book Signing dinner with Adam Roberts of The Amateur Gourmet!

I am beyond honored to have been included in his new book, Secrets of The Best Chefs, along with some of my mentors and heroes, including Alice Waters, Charles Phan, Lidia Bastianich and Nancy Silverton. It's an even bigger honor to be hosting Adam's only Bay Area dinner event!

Last year, Adam and his photographer Lizzie came by for a little shoot on Valentine's Day, and the results are gorgeous! I am humbled to have some of my words and dishes printed alongside recipes and kitchen secrets from over 50 of the country's other beloved chefs. Published by Artisan Books--one of my favorite cookbook publishers--this book is beautiful. Congratulations, Adam!

When Adam and Lizzie came over, we made pasta and roast chicken, my two favorite things to make at home, so we'll be cooking those dishes for Tartine Afterhours, along with a dessert inspired by the book. We'll also have lots of special snacks, piles and piles of Tartine bread, and plentiful wine to pour while Adam makes his way through the dining room and kitchen to sign books and chat.

This dinner will sell out quickly, so sign up soon!

The all-inclusive ticket price includes hors d'oeuvre, three-course family style dinner with wine, gratuity, sales tax, and a signed copy of Adam's new book, Secrets of the Best Chefs. Just pay here and show up ready to party!

The Details

WHO: Tartine Bakery, Adam Roberts & Samin Nosrat
WHAT: A dinner celebrating Adam's new book, Secrets of the Best Chefs 
WHERE: Tartine Bakery (600 guerrero st. sf, ca) 
WHEN: Wednesday, October 17th at 8pm 
WHY: To highlight the joy of good food and good company 
HOW MUCH: $110 ticket price includes hors d'oeuvre, three-course family style dinner with wine,  gratuity, sales tax, and a signed copy of Secrets of the Best Chefs ($110 = $50 dinner + $14 wine + $28 book + $10.18 gratuity + $7.82 sales tax)

collecting quotes

Part of what I do all day in this office is read.  A lot.  I read something, which leads me to something else, and then I decide that I need to become an expert in some arcane field of research so I ask my grad student friends to order books through the inter-library loan for me, and then I read more and more and more.

I suddenly understand why it takes some people twenty years to finish their Ph.D.s  I mean, I couldn't possibly write even a sentence on how people learn and become proficient in a skill without first consulting The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance (only 899 pages), right?  (If you're curious, that's the paper on which Malcolm Gladwell based his 10,000 hour rule.)  Shoot me now.

Anyway, in all of this reading, I'm coming across some really lovely thoughts on food and cooking.  I've been recording them on sheets of butcher paper I've hung on the walls and stuck to my desktop, but I keep wanting to share them with you, and also to type them up and have them somewhere so I can refer to them.  So I think I'm going to start posting them here from time to time.

I hope they inspire and teach you as they have done for me.

Recipes do not make food taste good; people do.
--Judy Rodgers, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Experience is a good predictor of how you'll need to season and adjust food, but it is no substitute for vigilant tasting.  --Judy Rodgers, The Zuni Cafe Cookbook

This is not a manual of cookery, but a book about enjoying food....Anyone who loves to eat, can soon learn to cook well.
--Jane Grigson, Good Things

No amount of cooking skill in the kitchen can produce a fine meal on the table, unless it is preceded by selective skill in the market.
--Roy Andries de Groot, Feasts for All Seasons

p.s. I actually only have to read two short chapters in the big book.  I'm not that insane.

forty books to celebrate

i had to swing by chez panisse today, and when i tracked cal down in the kitchen, he and nathan were flipping through the auberge of the flowering hearth, a book i haven't picked up for at least eight or nine years, but whose mythical story i love as much as its recipes.

i wondered why they'd chosen this book to cook out of today of all days, and they told me it's their book for the week.  

when i made another confused face, they went on to explain that for each of the forty weeks leading up to the fortieth birthday celebration of the restaurant next august, they'll be writing menus inspired by one of the seminal cookbooks in the chez panisse library.  

brilliant!  but how come i hadn't heard about this yet?  

it's only the second week, cal said.  no one really knows about it yet.  

what was last week?  

richard olney, of course.  

so then i started asking who else was on the list:

scott peacock?  yes.  
niloufer ichaporia?  yes.  
mfk fisher?  yes.
elizabeth david?   
marcella hazan?
madhur jaffrey?

yes.  yes.  yes!

i am in love with this idea...and want to make my own list of forty cookbooks.  who would be on yours?

a few of my favorites:
the cooking of southwest france
honey from a weed
mastering the art of french cooking
the tuscan year 
jane grigson's fruit book
the fannie farmer cookbook
marion cunningham's breakfast book
the art of mexican cooking by diana kennedy
on food and cooking