A Restaurant Chef’s Advice to His Sons: Cook At Home Most of the Time


From my new favorite website, The Splendid Table, comes the advice of a chef who cooks at the legendary Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse. This was my neighborhood restaurant when I was studying Japanese at Berkeley and newly married. It was a time of discovery. The restaurant and its approach to food were a revelation.

Says Chef Cal Peternell: You can eat better, more healthful food and at a more affordable cost than eating in a restaurant.

This philosophy has been the guiding light of the Essential Puree cookbook. The advice came about when one of the chef’s sons went to college and did what I did when I went to college, constantly calling home to my mother to get instructions on how to make dishes that were the favorites of the family.

I still remember her talking me through her veal with asparagus in cream sauce. It was a stunner of a dish then and it remains so today.

At the front of the Essential Puree Guidebook, I include two quotes. One from Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse and founding mother of the California food revolution, and one from Wolfgang Puck, the global restauranteur and purveyor of my favorite kitchen gadgets. Both advocate cooking at home, getting in the kitchen, connecting with family and friends through food, and living, loving and eating well.

Sounds like a great recipe for life. I simply applied these principles to the puree kitchen. The magic is the flavor, though the form has changed.

Image Courtesy of 427 via Flickr Creative Commons