This book can be appreciated by locals and visitors of Sonoma County. Being a local myself, who loves to cook and grow my own food, I absolutely admire the work put into the creation of, Season: a year of wine county food, farming, family & friends, by Justin Wangler, Tracey Shepos Cenami, and Tucker Taylor. Together, they truly captured the seasonality of this region through wonderfully written recipes.
Their recipes, along with those of pastry chef, Robert Nieto, are perfect for sharing with family and friends on any occasion. This book is filled with great tips and suggested wines for pairing, along with other local producers of ingredient products they like to use in their dishes. The recipes found in this book can elevate any meal by telling a story of farm fresh ingredients grown and harvested locally.
These recipes were written with the home cook in mind, but some less experienced cooks, may find some of the recipes to be a challenge. I would still encourage those with a slight doubt, to still attempt those more daunting dishes, because there is always an alternative. For example, you may not feel like you can cook and de-shell that live crab, but you can always just buy the crab meat already cooked. Or for those who may not understand some of the directions, just from lack of experience, you can probably find one of Chef Justin’s or Chef Tracey’s cooking classes on their website.
This book also makes a wonderful gift for the cook in your life. It has beautiful, full page food photography that inspires anyone who loves food to create exquisite meals for their family and friends. I love that they include family and friends in their title, because it really does speak to how they make you feel when you visit them at the Kendall-Jackson Estate Garden. When I had the brief opportunity to work in their kitchen, they made me feel not only as a part of their team, but as a part of their kitchen family. They took me in with little experience, encouraged me, and taught me not only the skills of working in a commercial kitchen, but they also gave me insight that I carry with me to this day.
Therefore, if you or someone you love is looking for a book to guide them in cooking seasonally and also enjoys pairing their food with wine, then this is the book to buy.
Cheers to food, wine, chefs and farmers!