End of the old year and in with the new

I know, I know. It’s been way too long that I added a new post to this blog. Mea culpa.

In part I have been busy with “book tour” , promoting my latest tome, Inside the California Food Revolution, which came out in September.  It has been critically well received and  has great reader comments on Amazon. Food Arts Magazine and Plate magazine, two prominent trade publications have recommended the book to their readers. But there  has been no response from the East coast. No events.,No reviews.  It is a bit like being trapped  in that old Saul Steinberg New Yorker magazine cover where Manhattan looms large and the West coast is but a dot on the horizon. Naturally this has messed with my head. After all, they are eating a lot better on the East coast because  of what we did here in California. I guess it’s hard for some people to recognize it and say thank you.

Because of the book I  have given lots of talks to food groups, women’s groups,  and book aficionados.These have been well attended and stimulating. There are more talks on the horizon so please look at the event calendar on this site.

I have been greatly saddened by the passing of Judy Rodgers. Too sad to write.  I so admired her work, her cookbook, and , above all, her amazing palate. She was not obsessed with trends and the need for constant change, concentrating instead on refining and perfecting her cooking every day, supporting our farmers and seeking the best ingredients. I knew how sick she was and kept in touch during this terrible time. She is quoted at large in my book and all of us are poorer because her voice is stilled and her amazing palate no longer in action at Zuni. Ironically the only time my book was mentioned in the New York Times was in her obituary written by Eric Asimov.

So what is on the horizon for me in 2014. Good question.

I have been enjoying writing  the California Local column for the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday food section, interviewing  chefs and telling their stories.  Change is coming to the paper and the fate of the food section  is still unknown.  I hope the column will continue but no one knows what will befall this esteemed, award wining food section. Fingers crossed that the powers that be  don’t mess it up. And that I can still keep writing  for them

I had been writing for The Sommelier Journal  since their inception, but they are out of business. A fine publication, has gone under and that is really too bad.

I am in conversation  with University of California Press about another book and we are talking about topics.  Any requests??

So I am in limbo for a little while.   I am a workaholic, always chomping at the bit to start a new project. But taking some time to think and wait patiently (not my best  skill)  is  going to be a good  lesson  for me,  I hope.

Happy New Year to all. Stay tuned…..


One thought on “End of the old year and in with the new

  1. Mediterranean Fresh has become one of my go-to cookbooks for recipes. I anticipate the recipes to be flavorful, explorative, as well as light and healthy. Another one of your works which has sat on my shelf untried for too long, although I’ve read through most of the recipes, is Italian Slow and Savory which has become my goal to complete has many of its recipes I can this year. I learned about the slow cooking movement from reading it’s introduction as well as acquired a motto for my new lifestyle “la dolce far niente”, so; you present plenty of items as food for thought for me. It is this aspect of these two books that I’ve enjoyed and appreciated…thank you!
    I will attempt to stay authentic to the ingredients of your recipes and will take advantage of the suggested wine pairings. I’m a detailed and slow cook, performing my form of “mise en place” before I make any move on the stove, I slowly pick through and inspect all my ingredients, and when I source my meats and poultries I envision that these animals have been given the time to slowly mature and grow becoming apart of their environment. I know I will become a better cook as I work through your book.

    I look forward to suggestions of your favorite Italian websites for ordering products and of insights as to how I might get the most from your book.



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