Six seasons - each with its own character. The first vegetables of spring are all about tenderness and new growth. We've been eating sturdy winter fare for so long that slender, tender, and delicate is exactly what we need ...a ripe juicy tomato would feel too much, too soon. Early summer steps up that game a bit - the flavours aren't yet intense, but the fresh and green notes are deeper and all is livelier. Midsummer starts the flavour riot - more variety, more colours and textures. Late summer is the lush period - the richest colours, most vibrant flavours, and sensuality. Then back to fall and winter, when life in the fields slows down. In each of the six seasons, McFadden celebrates vegetables as only a chef with the soul and experience of a farmer can. Vegetables appear not only in their prime seasons but also in multiple seasons, because how you handle, say, a young spring carrot bears no relationship to what you do to storage carrots in winter.McFadden's intuitive feel for the way seasons affect flavour translates into recipes that coax out the best of each ingredient. The 225 fresh, modern, and entirely approachable recipes range from the raw to the cooked to the preserved.
While 75 percent of the recipes are vegetarian, there are plenty in which meat, seafood, and poultry play a supporting role. All have that great vibrancy made possible by McFadden's keen sense with seasoning, and his ability to get to deep and rich without the use of unnecessary fats. These are but a few of the many lessons taught in this beautifully photographed book.
Joshua McFadden is executive chef/owner of Portland, Oregon's Ava Gene's, which Bon App tit has named a "Top 10 Best New Restaurant." Before moving to Portland, McFadden helped define the burgeoning Brooklyn food scene when he was chef de cuisine at Franny's; his other restaurant experience includes Momofuku, Blue Hill, and Lupa in New York and the groundbreaking raw food restaurant Roxanne's in Larkspur, California. McFadden also spent time in Rome, cooking at Alice Waters's project in sustainable dining at the American Academy. He kindled his love of soil, seeds, and seasons during two years as farm manager at Maine's Four Season Farm, founded by sustainability pioneers Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch. McFadden's latest restaurant, Tusk, opened in Portland, Oregon in 2016.