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S.B.'s Reviews

Stefanie has been the cookbook buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz for over 25 years and credits her love of good food (and good times) to being born in New Orleans. Her favorite thing in the world is to cook for family and friends.

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach

Rosenstrach knows and loves good food, but she is also a very busy working mom. Her cookbook is one of the few I’ve read (and used) that really gets how hard it can be to get a good dinner on the table every single night. She’s a huge advocate for family dinners, makes crowd-pleasing dishes, and likes a cocktail in the evening: In other words, she’s fantastic. - S.B.

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Dinner: A Love Story: It all begins at the family table Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780062080905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - June 5th, 2012

Vegetables Unleashed by José Andrés

World-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés brings his boundless energy and curiosity to vegetables in his new book. Vegetables Unleashed is packed with vibrant, robust recipes—including Vegetable Paella and Catalan-Style Spinach—that will wake up your taste buds and make them sing. Andrés’s passion for produce is contagious and his inventive recipes will embolden any cook who feels stuck in a rut or is looking for adventure. - S.B.

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Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook Cover Image
$39.99
ISBN: 9780062668387
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco - May 21st, 2019

Bar Chef by Christiaan Röllich

Christiaan Röllich is the celebrated mixologist at Suzanne Goin and Carolyn Stine’s Los Angeles restaurants, so I anticipated a fantastic book even before I opened its pages. (I am the tiniest bit obsessed with Goin’s Sunday Suppers at Lucques.) Bar Chef does not disappoint. Röllich is as inspired by great ingredients as chefs are, and fresh, seasonal fruit and artisanal spirits abound in the drinks. I’ll just go ahead and say that this book is not for beginners, and it will likely require hunting down ingredients, but goodness, are the cocktails worth it! - S.B.

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Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780393651560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 9th, 2019

Ruffage by Abra Berens

I have rarely met a cookbook written by a farmer that I haven’t liked (and frequently loved— hello, Ian Knauer’s The Farm). Abra Berens’s Ruffage continues that wonderful streak. People who actually grow food seem to have an understanding of, and reverence for, produce that is hard to match. Berens channels that passion into her fantastic book, which is organized by vegetable. Her recipes and advice (selecting, storing) manage to be inspiring and practical at the same time. I love her Midwestern charm and sensibility, and her recipes (with their many variations) are spot-on delicious. - S.B.

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Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables (Vegetarian Cookbook, Vegetable Cookbook, Best Vegetarian Cookbooks) Cover Image
By Abra Berens, EE Berger (Photographs by), Lucy Engelman (Illustrator), Francis Lam (Foreword by)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781452169323
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 23rd, 2019

In Pursuit of Flavor by Edna Lewis

I have all of Edna Lewis’s books and cannot recommend them highly enough. In Pursuit of Flavor, her third title, is a celebration of the seasonal cooking she grew up with in the farming community of Freetown, Virginia. With chapters such as From the Gardens and Orchards, For the Cupboard, and The Taste of Old-Fashioned Desserts, Miss Lewis shares memories, timeless recipes, and great tips for getting the most flavor out of food. This new edition features a foreword by acclaimed Savannah chef Mashama Bailey, who used In Pursuit of Flavor as the inspiration for her menu at The Grey. - S.B.

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In Pursuit of Flavor Cover Image
By Edna Lewis, Mashama Bailey (Foreword by)
$29.95
ISBN: 9780525655510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - March 26th, 2019

My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Cámara

This gorgeous cookbook by Gabriela Cámara, the acclaimed owner/chef of Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Francisco, includes recipes served at her restaurants, but it is essentially a collection of the dishes that she serves her family and friends. From tortillas to tortas, tamales to flan, Cámara (who has a self-described “fanaticism for freshness”) shares recipes that are traditional and also inspired by seasonal ingredients. I love her voice throughout the book (including in her essays on sustainable seafood and her friendship with Diana Kennedy) and anticipate cooking her lush, delicious recipes for years to come. - S.B.

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My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions [A Cookbook] Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780399580574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lorena Jones Books - April 30th, 2019

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

In this thoroughly engaging and delightful memoir, best-selling food writer Ruth Reichl (Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples), recounts her unexpected tenure as editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine during the last decade of its existence. I love the ease of Reichl’s writing and her great storytelling skills, whether she is recounting mouthwatering meals, the quirkiness of staff members, or the heaviness of feeding firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11. More than a behind-the-scenes look at the workings of an iconic magazine, this is an endearing and thoughtful exploration of the ways food can bring people together. - S.B.

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Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781400069996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - April 2nd, 2019

Life is a Party by David Burtka

David Burtka might be best known as the husband of Neil Patrick Harris, but he is also a Cordon Bleu–trained chef and former caterer who throws killer parties. He clearly loves to cook and entertain (just take a look at his Instagram account!), but what’s even more apparent from this book is that he loves the joy that comes from bringing a group of people together. In Life Is a Party, he celebrates moments big and small—from New Year’s Eve to game night—with great menus, party themes, decorations, and inspiration. - S.B.

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Life Is a Party: Deliciously Doable Recipes to Make Every Day a Celebration Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781538729892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 16th, 2019

A Garden Can Be Anywhere by Lauri Kranz

This gorgeous book is a bounty of creativity and information on planting and maintaining a beautiful and productive edible garden. Lauri Kranz, founder of Edible Gardens LA, has a bit of magic about her, which is clear from the testimonials of her clients (celebrities among them) who give her credit for creating gardens that have changed their lives. Even as an experienced gardener myself, I must say that I fell under her spell while picking up great tips, advice, and inspiration. - S.B.

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Garden Can Be Anywhere: A Guide to Growing Bountiful, Beautiful, Edible Gardens Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781419733192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - February 26th, 2019

A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach

Twenty years after it was first published, this classic gardening guide has been updated. I have long loved Roach’s writing (which I first found in Martha Stewart Living) for the way she conveys so much knowledge and expertise in an approachable, encouraging, and personal way. Wise and funny, inspirational and practical, A Way to Garden is the perfect book to sit down and read for pleasure as well as put to good use in the garden. - S.B. 

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A Way to Garden: A Hands-On Primer for Every Season Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781604698770
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press - April 30th, 2019

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