THE SUSTAINABLE KITCHEN: Passionate Cooking Inspired by Farms, Forests, and Oceans
Stu Stein, with Mary Hinds and Judith H. Dern. . New Society, $22.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-86571-505-9
Stein and Hinds's Peerless Restaurant in Oregon's Rogue Valley is becoming one of the compulsory stops for foodies making West Coast pilgrimages to places like Chez Panisse and French Laundry. Now the restaurant's executive chefs present the philosophy and recipes that inform their cooking from seasonal Northwest ingredients. Eating is political for the authors, and they make a strong case for home cooks as well as restaurant chefs to support local farmers and purveyors to "encourage a regional food supply and a strong local economy, maintain a sense of community, encourage earth stewardship, and protect the future of small to medium-size family farms." Sprinkled between elegant recipes for Sweet Corn and Shiitake Mushroom Custard and Pan-Seared Alaskan Sablefish with Green Garlic, Fiddlehead Ferns and Soft Polenta are profiles of farmers and fishermen, as well asconcise, non-preachy explanations of the environmental consequences of different production methods, in order to help readers make responsible and sustainable choices. The emphasis is firmly on Pacific Northwest products, especially fish and seafood, but each recipe offers substitutions to encourage cooks to use sources from close to home. The first step to a good meal is quality ingredients, and for Stein and Hinds that starts with knowing where your food comes from. 30 color and b&w photos.
Reviewed on: 05/10/2004