You’ve just GOT to love an area in this grand world of ours that has not one, but two cookbooks on the regional best sellers list! Recently, I added A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis to my cookbook collection. This guy lives my dream, without the late hours and long work, of course. “For six months a year, David Tanis is the head chef at Chez Panisse, the Berkeley, California, restaurant where he has worked alongside Alice Waters since the 1980s in creating a revolution in sustainable American cuisine. The other six months, Tanis lives in Paris in a seventeenth-century apartment, where he hosts intimate dinners for friends and paying guests, and prepares the food in a small kitchen equipped with nothing more than an old stove, a little counter space, and a handful of well used pots and pans.” Chef Tanis lives local in two locales, which is simply divine in my book!
This cookbook is for cooks who like to read, think, plan, and enjoy the simple abundance of life. Recipes are organized by season, and further broken down into suggested meals. The key here is the implied simplicity of the dishes. Grilled chicken breasts. Fish tacos. Figs on a platter. As soon as I can find good anchovies, I’m going for the Tomato Bread (grilled bread, rubbed with fresh a tomato half, with an anchovy laid on top). The meal I’m so ready for is menu sixteen, “Another Early Autumn” with Roasted Pepper Salad, Double Duck Breast with Baked Figs and Duck Liver Toasts, and Panna Cotta. Why? I’ve never made any of those, and I trust the instructions in the book enough to dig right in and give it a go. But first, I think I’ll start with something really easy.