Six California Kitchens: A Collection of Recipes, Stories, and Cooking Lessons from a Pioneer of California Cuisine (Hardcover)
"Schmitt, the founder of California’s famed French Laundry restaurant, reflects on the food that defined her life, in this sumptuous collection of recipes and tales from the kitchens that inspired them. [...] Fans of Alice Waters won’t want to miss this delectable page-turner."—Publishers Weekly
Sally Schmitt opened The French Laundry in Yountville in 1978 and designed her menus around local, seasonal ingredients—a novel concept at the time.
In this soon-to-be-classic cookbook, Sally Schmitt takes us through the six kitchens where she learned to cook, honed her skills, and spent her working life. Six California Kitchens weaves her remarkable story with 115 recipes that distill the ethos of Northern California cooking into simple, delicious dishes, plus evocative imagery, historic ephemera, and cooking wisdom.
With gorgeous food and sense-of-place photography, this is a masterful, story-rich cookbook for home and aspiring chefs who cook locally and seasonally, food historians, fans of wine country, and anyone who wants to bring the spirit of Northern California home with them.
PERSON OF NOTE: Sally Schmitt, who passed away just five days after her 90th birthday in 2022, was the great unsung hero of California cuisine, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement, and original founder of the French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. This book celebrates a respected, reputable chef and shares a collection of her best recipes from a lifetime of cooking.
AMONG THE BEST COOKBOOKS THAT CAPTURE CALIFORNIA CUISINE: From a native Californian chef, who founded one of the most well-known and revered restaurants in California (and in the world), this book was written, photographed, and designed by members of Sally's family.
COMPELLING PACKAGE: This book is full of evocative images of Napa Valley, rustic kitchens, and the rugged California coastline. With lifestyle photography that offers a peek into the history of Northern California and its food revolution, this book will appeal to readers with its lovely design and package—but they'll stay for the inspiring story and approachable recipes.
- Home cooks who cook locally and seasonally or enjoy California cuisine
- Foodies who collect regional cookbooks rich with history and visuals
- Shelve alongside Gjelina, Tartine, The Lost Kitchen, and Julia Child's My Life in France
- Fans of the French Laundry, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, and David Chang
"The book, illustrated with photographs and memorabilia, is filled with often inventive but always ingredient-driven dishes [...] Some are written with step-by-step directions — two pages for a turkey sandwich! — that convey a sense that Ms. Schmitt is at your side offering handy tips. Her French Laundry recipes are pulled from daily five-course menus: warm salad of sweetbreads and mushrooms; roasted rib-eye of veal; and rhubarb mousse, nothing precious."?The New York Times
“This cookbook is like having a grandmother teach you how to cook. But this isn’t about grandma’s green beans and pot roast — Schmitt had an expansive palate, a sesame seed toaster and a suribachi (grinding bowl) from Japan and adored salmon with sorrel sauce. […] It’s the kind of cookbook you will want to sit and read through, taking in maybe a couple kitchens a day and marking the recipes as you go along […] It becomes quite apparent why she had legions of fans of her cooking. You’re about to become one more of the them.”—San Francisco Examiner
“Schmitt’s memoir and cookbook […] was 10 years in the making. Sadly, she did not live to see the fruits of this particular labor: Schmitt died on March 5, just five days after her 90th birthday and a month before the book’s publication. But her forthright, unpretentious presence is very much alive in this beautiful volume filled with food, family, reminiscences, recipes and no-nonsense cooking tips.”—The Wall Street Journal
"Schmitt, the founder of California’s famed French Laundry restaurant, reflects on the food that defined her life, in this sumptuous collection of recipes and tales from the kitchens that inspired them. [...] Fans of Alice Waters won’t want to miss this delectable page-turner."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Schmitt, cofounder of the original French Laundry and a pioneer of California cooking, penned this exquisite debut cookbook in her 90th year (she died in March). It is a book of rigor and delight, filled with stories, photos, and recipes drawn from every place she has cooked." —Library Journal, Best Cookbooks of 2022