I have long been a fan of Deborah Madison, her cooking philosophy, Greens, the San Francisco icon she opened years ago and, above all, her cook books. More than pages filled with recipes, her books are truly a culinary education. When I learned about a dinner/book-signing event at Camino, one of my favorite Oakland restaurants, I couldn’t get tickets fast enough. I picked up a copy of her new book, Vegetable Literacy and pulled out my well-worn copy of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and was ready.
We arrived for the event a few minutes early and chatted with the folks from Mariquita Farm of Watsonville, CA. They deliver farm-fresh vegetables once a month in front of the restaurant. Mariquita Farm also supplied all the produce for the menu that night.
Note: All photos by Shelley Kadota
Owners Russell Moore (Executive Chef) and Allison Hopelain put together a stunning menu. (The preface to each of the courses here reference the categories that Madison uses in the cookbook.)
Cocktails, passed finger foods, book signing and enjoying the ambiance of the restaurant occupied the first hour of the evening. Here’s Deborah signing and chatting.
Preparations in the open kitchen.
Just browsing the restaurant and watching the preparation was fun!
Here is a view of the restaurant from the kitchen.
About 7 p.m. we sat down to dinner. First course: Fava bean, beet and carrot salad with yogurt, sumac and herbs
A photo of the second and fourth courses was not available. Believe me, they were every bit as visually appetizing and delicious.
Third course: Wood oven-roasted asparagus with cardoons, farro, dukkah and sheepsmilk ricotta grilled in a fig leaf (We were advised not to eat the fig leaf.)
The recipes on the menu are not found (literally) in the book. Here is Deborah thanking Chef Russell Moore for his interpretation of her recipes for the menu.
The evening was a complete success. The food and wine were incredible, the service was impeccable and it was quite fun chatting with so many people who were toting cookbooks that they couldn’t wait to get home to. Bon Appetit!
Thank you again Shelley for sharing these beautiful photos!