ANNIE AND MARGRIT: Recipes and Stories from the Robert Mondavi Kitchen

Annie Roberts, Author, Margrit Biever Mondavi, Author, Victoria Wise, Author . Ten Speed $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-58008-437-6

Although it can't escape a certain air of privilege (where but in Napa would you assume everyone can get hold of Dungeness crab, microgreens and flageolet beans), this earnest book emphasizes the relationship of Roberts and Biever Mondavi and their fresh, surprisingly global cuisine. Swiss-born Mondavi, the winemaker's wife, spent an army childhood roaming the globe, which explains why Chilled Udon Noodles with Shrimp and Shiitake Mushrooms rubs shoulders with Tajine of Poussins with Aubergine. Her daughter, Annie (from a previous marriage), contributes an earthy appreciation of the Mediterranean ingredients so thoroughly domesticated in California. Roberts and Biever Mondavi offer a handful of delicious and relatively simple home-style dishes, like Rock Shrimp Gazpacho and Winter Apple Tart; some of the recipes are more labor intensive, however, like Lobster Tartlets with Leek and Fennel Confit, Haricots Verts and Lobster Sauce or the julienned purgatory of Halibut with Vegetable Confetti and Scallop Sauce. Though the title promises "stories" from the kitchen, few can be found outside the brief introduction. Nevertheless, with its cleanly styled cuisine and artfully composed photographs of mother and daughter at work, this is a heartfelt cookbook that exudes all the peaceful luxury one associates with the wine country experience. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/05/2003
Release date: 04/01/2003
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