Cooking at Bay: Dining In with Local Cuisine | Mechanics' Institute

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Cooking at Bay: Dining In with Local Cuisine

Meal preparation during a pandemic is tricky business. Navigating the food store and farmer's markets never used to be hazardous. Yet there is a silver lining to the current situation--more quality time in the kitchen! Whether you are an accomplished cook or a novice, experimenting with new recipes and incorporating seasonal produce feels like Sunday dinner preparation. In the new remote work environment, quick, weeknight meals in many homes have evolved into more nutritious, leisurely dinners, carefully planned and executed by a home chef.

If cookbooks have become your treasured companions, you will be happy to know that several  Bay Area restaurants have published their own collection of signature recipes. Venues that once tempted us with delicious fare and ambience can be simulated at your own dinner table. Here is a sampling of cookbooks from the Bay Area's finest eating establishments, all available for checkout through the Mechanics' Institute Library's To-Go express service. 

Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. Who doesn't love the smell of freshly baked bread? Renowned baker Chad Robertson shares bread recipes he developed over ten years working with the finest bakers in the United States and France. The only thing missing from this luscious book is the heavenly aroma.

Boulevard: the cookbook by Nancy Oakes - Rich and elegant dishes from the world class restaurant located in San Francisco's historic Audiffred Building. Lush photographs and delectable food from Bay Area-born chef Nancy Oakes. 

Atelier Crenn: metamorphosis of taste by Dominique Crenn. Nothing says fine dining like seasonal French fare. This gorgeously illustrated cookbook includes anecdotes about Chef Crenn's childhood in France. A treat that will take you away when you can't leave home. (Also available as an E-book.) 

The Millennium Cookbook: extraordinary vegetarian cuisine by Eric Tucker and John Westerdahl. Full-color photographs of elegant and intriguing vegetarian fare to help you recreate gourmet meals from Chef Eric Tucker's Oakland restaurant.  Plant-based meals never looked so tasty!

East Bay Cooks: signature recipes from the best restaurants, bars, and bakeries by Carolyn Jung. An impressive collection of 80 signature recipes from 40 East Bay restaurants, such as Oakland's Gastropig, Berkeley's Local Butcher Shop, Danville's Bridges, and many others. 

Savoring San Francisco Recipes From the City's Neighborhood Restaurants by Carolyn Miller and Sharon Smith. A culinary tour of neighborhoods, from the city center to the oceanside, with recipes and essays that celebrate San Francisco's cultural diversity. Fine food heritage, Herb Caen-style. 

Mission Street Food: recipes and ideas from an improbable restaurant by Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz. Even though this innovative, community-driven restaurant is now closed, its ethnic, Californian street food legacy can be enjoyed at home. A collection of the most popular recipes to bring Mission Street's diverse food into your own kitchen.

The Foreign Cinema Cookbook: recipes and stories under the stars by Gayle Pirie and John Clark. This book will capture the experience of the restaurant, featuring atmospheric photography of its dramatic space--the atrium, screening room and veranda overlooking the 220-seat dining room. Chef-owners, Gayle Pirie and John Clarke offer 125 favorites from the menu, a collection of recipes that reflect their training under Judy Rodgers of Zuni Cafe and the legendary Alice Waters.

Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 recipes that will change the way you bake by Kristin Miglore. It's quite possible to gain ten pounds just perusing this gorgeous book--a tribute to the most beloved desserts from the Food 52 blog. Most importantly, Miglore's book includes several San Francisco favorites, such as Michelle Polzine's slow-roasted strawberries from 20th Century Cafe and Nicole Krasinski's double chocolate cookie crumbles from State Bird Provisions.

Posted on Aug. 21, 2020 by Celeste Steward