If Alice Waters is the matriarch of California cuisine, then Suzanne Goin may well be her heir apparent. Having trained at Chez Panisse herself, Goin's restaurants have defined how Angelenos have eaten well for over a decade.
Goin released her first cookbook, Sunday Supper at Lucques, eight years ago. A lot has happened in that time--three kids, two more restaurants--and with her newest book, The A.O.C. Cookbook ($35), she puts all of that life and work experience to good use.
Goin's latest cookbook
Inside its pages, Goin highlights dishes that have defined her iconic wine bar, A.O.C.: roasted cauliflower with curry and red vinegar, lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce, apple crostata with whipped mascarpone. Goin spent more than a year adapting her recipes for the home cook, dividing chapters by season and adding wine notes from her business partner, Caroline Styne.
The result is a book you'll want to cook from again and again. It also provides a glimpse into her storied career: Each recipe is preceded by a clever and insightful anecdote detailing her journey from her early days at Chez Panisse to cooking for President Obama (spoiler: he had the black bass with fennel pureé).
Bacon-wrapped dates with Parmesan
We were lucky enough to score Goin's recipe for bacon-wrapped dates with Parmesan (see the recipe). The sweet-and-salty, chewy, caramelized dish has been a crowd pleaser since day one.
In the book, Goin calls them "meat candy." We call them a godsend for Halloween parties.