Pete Mulvihill on Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal

Don’t forget: the book mentioned below is available at 20 percent off for tablehopper readers for two weeks following this mention at Green Apple Books—simply use the code “tablehopper” at checkout (either at the store or online) for your discount.

Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal

Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal
Chris Cosentino (Weldon Owen)

The latest San Francisco chef to publish a cookbook is Chris Cosentino, chef at Incanto. The book is Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal and, true to its title, it focuses on first courses.

Let’s start with Cosentino’s classification of the recipes herein: “I like to say that I live in an area of Italy called California. These recipes are … my interpretation of Italian food.” And, true to his mission, he leads off with a few colorful pages on salumi, with tips on creating a meat platter.

Further chapters are organized by season. In spring are dishes like “Charred Fava Beans, Mint, and Aioli” and “Green Garlic Brodo, Poached Egg, and Fried Bread.” Summer examples include “Pappa al Pomodoro” and “Grilled Peaches, Gorgonzola, and Dandelion Greens.”

Many recipes are vegetarian-friendly, though there are also plenty of meat and fish dishes for omnivores.

The book itself is professionally made (unlike some self-published local cookbooks trickling onto the market these days). At $25, it’s a real value: lush photographs, clear recipes proportioned for the home cook, and interesting short essays.

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