In 1997, Sondra Bernstein opened the doors to the first girl & the fig restaurant, showcasing her love of locally grown ingredients and her passion for French food. She named her restaurant for the fruit that symbolizes passion: the fig. Now with three restaurants in Sonoma County and with chef John Toulze at the helm, the girl & the fig restaurants are not only local favorites but also captivate thousands of visitors every year.
In the girl & the fig Cookbook: More than 100 Recipes from the Acclaimed California Wine Country Restaurant, Bernstein offers an inspired collection of simple, yet sophisticated recipes from the restaurant, featuring the finest, freshest ingredients. These are restaurant-quality recipes adapted for the home kitchen, with dishes for beginners as well as experienced cooks. Bernstein brings the culinary traditions of France to the California wine country.
The author's devotion to seasonal ingredients is wonderfully apparent in every recipe -- from the savory appetizers, soups, salads, and large plates to the innovative desserts. Starters such as Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho, Cauliflower Gruyere Soup, Shrimp and Salmon Cakes, and Grilled Asparagus Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette make the most of the region's bounty. Large plates such as Grilled Salmon with Lavender Beurre Rouge, Pan-Seared Scallops with Orange-Tarragon Beurre Blanc, Wild Mushroom Risotto, and Grilled Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce make wonderful main courses, while French classics like Coq au Vin and Duck Confit with Lentils, Applewood Smoked Bacon, and Cabbage will comfort you on a cold winter's night. Side dishes that can complement a large plate or be eaten alone include Braised Fennel, Citrus Pearl Couscous, Apple-Yam Gratin, and buttery Basil-Scented Potato Cakes. Bernstein's desserts range from the sinfully scrumptious (Chocolate Pots de Creme and Lavender and Wildflower Honey Creme Brulee) to the unique (Roasted Figs with Honey and Vanilla Ice Cream and Warm Fig and Thyme Crisp with Fig Syrup).
With gorgeous photographs throughout, the girl & the fig Cookbook also offers tips on wine pairings, highlighting California wines inspired by the Rhone Valley; imaginative ideas for aperitifs, charcuterie platters, and cheese plates; detailed sidebars on ingredients (including Bernstein's favorite food -- the fig!); and brief glimpses of the author's favorite artisan food purveyors.
This is country food with a French passion, perfect for a casual dinner or a formal dinner party. Let the girl & the fig Cookbook bring a taste of California to your kitchen.
Sondra Bernstein earned her degree in restaurant management from the Restaurant School in Philadelphia. She managed several different restaurants on the East Coast, as well as the Viansa Winery in Sonoma, before opening the first girl & the fig location in 1997. She lives in Kenwood, California, with her two dogs.
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