About

Welcome to my corner of the web! This blog chronicles some of my culinary adventures as I strive to become a better cook. I live just outside San Francisco in California which means I have access to amazing vegetables, meat, cheese, and wine. Hope you enjoy it and I would love to hear from you!

Getting Started

If you are new to the blog you may want to start with A Grand Adventure and the following entries which detail the inspiration for starting the blog.  Popular entires are Brown Butter Cookies, Charles Phan I want my cookbook, Following Dreams, How do you make a $1000 dinner, and It’s my party and I can blog if I want to.

Cookbooks

I am a cookbook junky.  I simply love getting new ones and often read them cover to cover like normal people read novels.  I think it is because I always like to try new things and new cookbooks offer fresh inspirations.  I realized that if you are half as crazy as cookbooks as I am that I you may be interested in finding out which ones other people like so here are some lists…

Recently added to the nightstand

Christmas and the discovery of a cookbook store have the list very heavy right now but these are the books I am currently chewing on.

Heston Blumenthal at home

I am really liking this book.  I have used his crazy dry ice technique to make ice cream and made the pumpkin soup for Christmas dinner.  There is a lot of great cooking technique info for the advanced cook.

Bi-Rite Eat Good Food

This is from the famous grocery store in San Francisco.  I haven’t had much of a chance to sink my teeth into it yet.

The Kitchen Diaries

This is a book by Nigel Slater and is essentially a diary of a years’ worth of his cooking.  Looks very interesting.  I may use this as inspiration throughout the year instead of my normal read through.

Tender

Another Slater book.  I haven’t looked at this much yet but I am liking his approach to food so I am eager to read it.

Merchant Of Sonoma : Chuck Williams

I also love books about food and wine not just cookbooks.  My wife thought I would like this one about Williams Sonoma founder.

The Soul Of A New Cuisine

A gift from my brother this is by Marcus Samuelsson is has always struck me as a fascinating with his African / Swedish roots.

Eleven Madison Park

White truffle ice cream!  An impressive book similar in stature to the French Laundry book but filled with a lot of interesting recipes for sauces, pickles, pastes, gels, and ice cream to add to your own creations.

Milk

Very interesting book that I have almost finished.  Milk is part of David Chang’s Momofuku empire.  I have already enjoyed Confetti Cookies and Crack Pie and will be cooking a lot more from this one.  Worth it for the intro by Christina Tosi alone.

Around My French Table

I like this book and need to finish reading it.  I’ve nabbed a few things from it like marinated olives and maeleines.  I need to get back to this one!

Miette

A very cute bakery in San Francisco.  Can’t wait to get to this one.

Beloved

aka the dirtiest cookbooks in the kitchen

Sunday Suppers With Lucques

Lucques is a restaurant in LA.  I have never been disappointed by a recipe from this book.  All of the recipes are very easy to follow and deliver excellent results.  So good I’ve developed a crush on Suzanne Goin.

Ad Hoc at Home

Ad Hoc is Thomas Keller’s “temporary” restaurant in Yountville.  I’ve had the privilege of briefly meeting Dave Cruz the Chef de Cuisine when I was cooking in Yountville.  They do four course fixed menu every night and I think of it as home cooking done to perfection.  The book is very accessible and full of a lot of staples, tips, and of course the famous TK polish.

Bouchon

Fantastic reference for French Bistro food.  Worth it for the onion soup recipe alone but full of a lot of great stuff.  Don’t forget the gnocchi!

Zuni Cafe Cookbook

Zuni’s is a monumental restaurant in San Francisco.  The food is heavily Italian inspired.  There are a lot of fantastic tips and recipes.  I have cooked the gougeres many times and if I have a go to meal it is the roast chicken with bread salad recipe from this book.

Reference

Cookwise

Great book on how cooking works with the recipe for flaky, butter pie crust that I can’t live without.

Bread Bakers Apprentice

Great bread book.  This is the source of my baguette recipe as well as my pizza dough.

The Web

I use the web a lot when I start thinking of something to make.  I will rarely follow recipes I find there to the letter but it is a great starting place to get you into the right ballpark.  What did we do before this?


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6 responses to “About

  1. Hey Joshua. Just clicked on from your comment on our saffron penne (you must try the pasta-risotto technique!). Your blog is great – we’re really impressed with the pics and will be stealing ideas. Glad we found you ;o) Jono and Julie.

  2. Anonymous

    Just browsed through your blog and enjoyed your interesting tales 🙂 I’ve signed up now to enjoy some more.

  3. Pingback: Cookbooks | joshuafagans

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