Alice Waters believes in puttering in the kitchen. Chop and grind your own food. Cook slowly over moderate heat. Breathe. Taste. Compost. What’s the big rush, right?
Just in time for Earth Day, the ideas behind the Slow Food Nation 2008 event that brought together reform-minded foodies in San Francisco can now be savored at your leisure with Waters’ new cookbook “In the Green Kitchen” (April 2010, $28). Photographer Christopher Hirsheimer has captured gorgeous profiles of the chefs who offered cooking demos in the event’s Green Kitchen during the weekend. Simple recipes accompany each photo, their bylines reading like a “who’s who” of the foodie world: Tomatillo Salsa from Rick Bayless; Buttermilk Biscuits from Scott Peacock; Simple Tomato Sauce from Charlie Trotter; Linguine with Clams from Lidia Bastianich; Buttered Couscous from Dan Barber; Potato Gratin from Deborah Madison, and the list goes on. (Kinda makes you wish you had flown out there, huh?)
“All the good cooks I know are sensualists who take great pleasure in the beauty, smell, taste, and feel of the ingredients,” writes Waters in the introduction. “The value of learning a foundation of basic techniques is that once these skills become instinctive, you can cook comfortably and confidently without recipes, inspired by the ingredients you have.”
A cookbook that says forget about cookbooks? That’s about right. But sometimes we all need a reminder just to jump in and swim, er, cook and “In the Green Kitchen” with its pantry and essential kitchen-tool list is a good place to start.
Or if you are a procrastinator, take some time and copy this down and fasten it to your ‘fridge door:
A Green Kitchen Manifesto
Delicious, affordable, wholesome food is the goal of the Green Kitchen.
An organic pantry is an essential resource.
Buy food that is organic, local, and seasonal.
Cooking and shopping for food brings rhythm and meaning to our lives.
Simple cooking techniques can be learned by heart.
Daily cooking improves the economy of the kitchen.
Cooking equipment that is durable and minimal simplifies the cooking.
A garden brings life and beauty to the table.
Composting nourishes the land that feeds us.
Setting the table and eating together teaches essential values to our children.
Now get cooking! Slowly.
Read Full Post »