There is nothing more delightful than a tomato still warm from the sun, or a strawberry so perfectly ripe that it stains your fingers.
Why not eat this way all the time? The healthiest and most delicious food comes from farmers and artisans just down the roadthough it is often easy to forget when we are surrounded by food shipped to our supermarkets from around the world and by highly processed products from distant factories.
Jeff Crump learned of the pleasures of using local cuisine by working in world-famous restaurants like Alice Waters's Chez Panisse, and he set about to develop a network of farmers to keep his own restaurant's kitchen humming all year round. It was not long before he was out in the fields himself, alongside pastry chef and collaborator Bettina Schormann, planting and harvesting crops that would form the backbone of their menus, breads, and desserts.
Eating locally means eating seasonally, and Jeff and Bettina offer up the most delicious of what each season provides. It could be something as unexpected as Gnudi with Ramps and Morels picked from the woods across the road; as simple and as refreshing as Dandelion Salad; or when it is cold outside, as hearty as Bread and Butter Pudding.
Earth to Table lets nature write the menu. Tender, green things in spring. Ripe, juicy dishes in summer. The bounty of the harvest in autumn. Rich braises and tart preserves in winter. The result is a year of discovery of new ingredients and dishes, and a rediscovery of classics that suddenly taste the way they were meant to.
Bringing together stories of the passage of seasons on the farm; profiles of some of the world's most innovative chefslike Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Kellerand the farmers they count on; how-to sections that help readers make the most of the season and what their gardens and farmers' markets have to offer; stunning photographs; and, of course, creative and delicious recipes that make anyone wonder why they ever considered eating a tomato in February, Earth to Table explores what's best about food.