Friday, October 16, 2015
Review: This is Camino by Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain
Camino, in Oakland, California, is one of the best restaurants I've ever been to. Like many of the best restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, Camino is run by Chez Panisse alums. Their food is, simply, perfect. It is simple, beautiful, and delicious. Their food may be simple, but it is innovative and perfectly balanced. The restaurant itself is stunningly beautiful. The food, decor, service--everything at Camino is deliberate, beautiful, and perfect. This is Camino, the first book by Camino's owners, is just like everything else related to Camino. It is a very sophisticated and beautifully designed cookbook. In addition to many gorgeous photos of the restaurant itself, there are plenty of beautiful photos of the food that will leave your mouth watering. The book begins with a chapter on "Basics," many of which are relatively sophisticated, and thus not so basic for the casual cook. However, this is a thoughtful and well-written book, so everything is explained clearly. Herb Jam and Preserved Lemons are basics?? Stick with this book, though, because these are the building blocks of food with amazing depth and complexity of flavor. This is a very vegetarian friendly book, although about half of the book is about non-vegetarian dishes. But the book, like the restaurant, offers unusually sophisticated and flavorful vegetarian food. Camino takes vegetarian food very seriously, and one gets the feeling that they don't even think of it as vegetarian, so much as dishes that highlight the best of local and very fresh produce and eggs. The book also includes recipes for the restaurant's wonderful drinks and desserts. Check out this beautiful cookbook if you want to get a taste of the best of Bay Area cuisine.
(I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)