Photo by Ed Anderson

Photo by Ed Anderson

Twelve Recipes

Twelve-RecipesBerkeley resident and longtime Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell’s book Twelve Recipes (William Morrow Cookbooks, 2014), is a New York Times best seller and the recipient of the 2015 IACP Award in the General Cookbook category. It’s earned these accolades because it’s a thoroughly charming, personal book and a very useful and accessible introduction to the kitchen and cooking. Peternell wrote the book for his son when he was leaving for college. The 12 recipes of the title are for basic dishes he and his son had prepared together over the years, like eggs, beans, pasta, rice, potatoes, salads, soups, and toast, together with the innumerable ways these simple dishes and ingredients can be reworked in equally simple ways. Thick, soft toast with white beans or braised greens, for example. Or kedgeree, an eggy “leftovers masterpiece.” In addition to excellent recipes, colorful, creative illustrations and photographs of food, family, and home provided by Peternell’s artist-wife, Kathleen Henderson and his sons, all artists, complement the recipes. As Alice Waters says in her introduction, the book is “a celebration of family and home and deliciousness.”

—Kristina Sepetys