2 Posts Back Home

The Uncookbook Cookbook: The New Napa Cuisine

Lena Creel
Lena Creel

Every once in a while a cookbook comes along that disrupts the conventional wisdom of what a cookbook should be.  That’s clearly the case with The New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow, executive chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley.  This is the first book by the three Michelin-starred chef and it’s more an essay on his personal journey as a chef since taking over the reins at Meadowood in February 2008 than it is a collection of recipes from The Restaurant’s menu.

EAT – A Thomas Keller Dinner at Home

On Sunday night my cookbook club took on the challenge of making dishes out of famed wine country chef Thomas Keller’s series of cookbooks. We divided up into teams of two and each made one course of a plated, sit-down dinner (usually everything’s served buffet-style.) We feasted on 6 courses, made from The French Laundry, Bouchon and Ad Hoc at Home cookbooks. At the end of the meal, we all agreed that while everything was delicious, the time involved — 8 hours for a quiche (Bouchon) 3 days for French onion soup (Bouchon) — was way more than we’d ever want to do on a regular basis. But we sure did gain an appreciation and understanding of why Keller’s restaurants are so darn expensive! To us, the Ad Hoc cookbook was the most approachable with recipes that aren’t as time consuming or complicated. Notice no one attempted anything out of…