Patina Cookbook: Spuds, Truffles and Wild Gnocchi

Joachim Splichal, Author, Charles Perry, Author
Joachim Splichal, Author, Charles Perry, Author HarperCollins Publishers $27 (0p) ISBN 978-0-00-255474-9
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The first in the publisher's Great Chefs/Great Restaurants series spotlights Splichal, owner and chef of Patina, an L.A. restaurant setting trends since the early 1990s. This combination cookbook and account of a day in the life of a four-star restaurant describes the laborious route a top-quality meal takes from market to plate. Splichal is known for tweaking traditional recipes. He substitutes potatoes for pasta (Potato Oyster Ravioli) and concocts a four-inch-high club sandwich with sweetbreads, spinach, duck liver and brioche toasts, sauced with a bacon-enhanced veal stock. The more than 60 exacting recipes, replete with instructions for assembly and wine recommendations, demand strict attention and are not for beginners or the impatient. The choppy mixture of typefaces in the text is distracting, but Splichal's spirit, devotion and talent shine through. Black-and-white photos cover the restaurant section; color photos for food. Author tour. (May)
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