César: Recipes from a Tapas Bar

Front Cover
Ten Speed Press, 2003 - Cooking - 211 pages
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When three Chez Panisse alums opened a tapas bar next door to Alice Waters's famed Berkeley, California, restaurant, it was only a matter of days before a culinary star was born. With its menu of innovative, Spanish-style tapas, paired with an astounding wine-and-spirits list that is among the best in the world, César earned a legion of devout fans and was named one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle.In CÉSAR the cookbook, restaurateur Olivier Said teams up with Spanish-foods authority James Mellgren and chef Maggie Pond to present over 100 classic spirits and tapa recipes from the CÉsar repertoire. Engaging discussion of the wines, staple ingredients, and cheeses of Spain provide context for appreciating and preparing this robust fare in the home kitchen. In both words and images, CÉSAR showcases the flavors of Spain, and the spirit of a beloved neighborhood tapas bar.Featuring more than 50 tapa recipes, 50 mixed drinks, extensive essays on Spanish foods and liquors of the world, and more than 50 full-color photographs.Beginning with a captivating history of sherry—the quintessential tapa accompaniment— CÉSAR commences with a mixologist's guide to signature cocktails like the Lucky 13, the Marius, and the Three-Citrus Margarita, as well as the restaurant's inspired variations on the classics.CÉSAR has been voted one of the best restaurants in the Bay Area five years in a row by the San Francisco Chronicle. Reviews“Humorously self-conscious and immediately accessible, includes 100 tapas and drink recipes [that] allow the home cook to replicate the restaurant's creations. . . . the dishes are designed with an emphasis on freshness. Most are easy to make, and the ingredient combinations are stellar.”—Publishers Weekly“A cookbook from a great restaurant is always welcome, but this one is also loaded with insight that goes greatly beyond the restaurant. The authors are super-knowledgeable about Spanish foods and traditions. CÉSAR is a major contribution to the Mediterranean library.”—David Rosengarten, editor-in-chief of The Rosengarten Report“Like its namesake Berkeley tapas bar, the CÉSAR cookbook is lively, charming, and utterly delightful. A compendium of original and classic recipes and the drinks to accompany them, it's a perfect introduction to a delicious Spanish custom that is captivating Americans.”—Nancy Harmon Jenkins, author of The Essential Mediterranean“CÉSAR is a celebration of the ultra-conviviality of tapas, cocktails, and Spanish foods and wines. This book is handsome, eminently readable, and extremely useful—a complete triumph.”—Steven Jenkins, author of Cheese Primer“One of the greatest bars in the world in terms of quality of spirits, selection, and mixology. . . . Right next door to Chez Panisse, and started by veterans of the mother ship, CÉSAR has become an eating place in its own right. . . . The tiny open kitchen turns out resonant miniature fish stews; toasts with anchovies or grilled sardines; and traditional Spanish tortillas.”—Patricia Unterman, San Francisco Food Lover's Guide

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About the author (2003)

OLIVIER SAID is co-author, with James Mellgren, of THE BAR and CESAR, which was named one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2003 by Food & Wine magazine. Currently, he and Mellgren are co-writing a quarterly column in the national publication Trump Magazine, focusing on cocktails and libations. A fifth-generation restaurateur from France, Said is a former managing partner in César, located next door to Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, and owner of Texas Coyote, a popular restaurant and nightclub in Paris. Said recently opened the upscale Kitchen on Fire cooking school in Berkeley.
JAMES MELLGREN is co-author, with Olivier Said, of THE BAR and CESAR, which was named one of the Top 10 Cookbooks of 2003 by Food & Wine magazine. Currently, he and Said are co-writing a quarterly column in the national publication Trump Magazine, focusing on cocktails and libations. Mellgren is the senior editor of one of the industry's leading trade publications, The Gourmet Retailer. He began his career in New York as the manager of Turpan Sanders in Soho, then spent a decade as a manager for Dean & DeLuca, for which he traveled extensively in Europe. He lives in Berkeley, California.
MAGGIE POND has been the executive chef at César since it opened. She has traveled extensively throughout the Iberian peninsula, and goes back annually to work, eat, and garner new recipes for César. She lives in Berkeley.

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