In this authoritative and immensely readable insider's account, celebrated cookbook author and former chef Joyce Goldstein traces the development of California cuisine from its formative years in the 1970s to 2000, when farm-to-table, foraging, and fusion cooking had become part of the national vocabulary. Interviews with almost two hundred chefs, purveyors, artisans, wine makers, and food writers bring to life an approach to cooking grounded in passion, bold innovation, and a dedication to "flavor first." Goldstein explains how the counterculture movement in the West gave rise to a restaurant culture characterized by open kitchens, women in leadership positions, and a surprising number of chefs and artisanal food producers who lacked formal training. The new cuisine challenged the conventional kitchen hierarchy and French dominance in fine dining, leading to a more egalitarian and informal food scene.
In weaving Goldstein's views on California food culture with profiles of those who played a part in its development - from Alice Waters to Bill Niman to Wolfgang Puck - Inside the California Food Revolution demonstrates that, while fresh produce and locally sourced ingredients are iconic in California, what transforms these elements into a unique cuisine is a distinctly Western culture of openness, creativity, and collaboration. Engagingly written and full of captivating anecdotes, this book shows how the inspirations that emerged in California went on to transform the experience of eating throughout the United States and the world.
Joyce Goldstein was chef and owner of the groundbreaking restaurant Square One in San Francisco. She received the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. She is the author of twenty-six cookbooks, and her writing appears in the San Francisco Chronicle, Sommelier Journal, Fine Cooking, and many other publications. Dore Brown is Principal Editor at University of California Press.
Preface Introduction 1. Thirty Years of Food Revolution: A Historical Overview 2. One Revolution, Two Ways: Northern versus Southern California 3. Defying Kitchen Convention: Self-Taught Chefs and Iconoclasts 4. Women Chefs and Innovation: The New Collaborative Kitchen 5. New Flavors: Upscale Ethnic, Eclectic, and Fusion Food 6. New Menus: The Daily Menu and the Story behind the Food 7. Restaurants Reimagined: Transformations in the Kitchen and Dining Room 8. A New World of Fresh Produce: Reviving the Farm-to-Table Connection 9. Custom Foods: Chefs Partner with Purveyors and Artisans 10. Merging the Worlds of Wine and Food: Common Cause Afterword: The Continuing Evolution of California Cuisine Acknowledgments Sources Index