Chow Bella

Chez Panisse Chef Publishes New Cookbook

By Michele Laudig

David Tanis must lead a charmed life. That's the impression I have of this Renaissance man after reading his lovely new cookbook, A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes.

I mean, the Chez Panisse chef got a cover blurb from none other than Michael Pollan (who, btw, had a must-read article in the New York Times Magazine yesterday) and a foreward by Alice Waters herself. But even his un-famous friends, about whom he writes throughout the book, sound like interesting people who care about food -- and know how to have a good time. Every section is prefaced by anecdotes and insights, stories of Tanis's travels and cooking revelations.

I love the simple, mouthwatering recipes in here, and I especially love the way the book is divided into seasonal menus. The photography is beautiful as well. But I also admire Tanis's evocative writing.

That's definitely something I can't say about most cookbooks that come across my desk.