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Heart of the Artichoke: and Other Kitchen Journeys
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Heart of the Artichoke: and Other Kitchen Journeys

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  337 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Recipes from a very small kitchen by a man with a very large talent.

Nobody better embodies the present-day mantra "Eat real food in season" than David Tanis, one of the most original voices in American cooking. For more than a quarter-century, Tanis has been the chef at the groundbreaking Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, where the menu consists solely of a single pe
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Hardcover, 344 pages
Published November 1st 2010 by Artisan (first published October 18th 2010)
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First Second Books
This cookbook is so delightful, you guys!

I suspect that David Tanis has a lot more time than I do to stay at home and cook things slowly, but this book has a lot of things in it that are easy, delicious ways to re-think classic dishes without a huge amount of effort.

(Also, it has traveling food advice that I am never going to manage to follow because I cannot bring an extra carry-on of food with me whilst traveling. But I admire it!)
Stacy
I don't fully know what to make of this cookbook. I heard that a famous chef recently bagged on author David Tanis with the comment, "A platter of figs is NOT a recipe!" That's kind of how I feel about this cookbook as well, but that's not to say I disliked it.

I mean, the guy is a good writer, and his ideas about food are simple and very noble sounding (nothing but the highest quality ingredients, in season). This book starts with about 14 Kitchen Traditions he enjoys (such as making Spanish Ch
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Sarah Key
What a good book! It's basically half memoir and half recipe, so it made for a very interesting read. I loved how Tanis compared other countries' cuisine to America's. It gave the reader a real perspective on other cultures and made you feel as if you were traveling the world just by staying in your own kitchen.

This probably isn't the best cookbook for beginners in the kitchen. Tanis is not going to tell you how long to boil that carrot and he certainly isn't going to tell you exactly how much o
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Loraine
If one is a meat-eater, one should disregard the rating I have given this beautifully constructed cookbook. I don't eat meat, and as a consequence would not buy this cookbook--there are just too many critter recipes among its pages. I grew up on a farm--I know where my food comes from. My path toward vegetarian eating began relatively early. First it was lamb, because I as a child I helped my grandmother bottle feed lambs rejected by their mothers. Then it was pig, because they're just so damned ...more
Miriam
Jun 27, 2011 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Miriam by: Erin
Shelves: culinary
Another Christmas present, from my friend Erin.
Lisa
I think this is the first cookbook I have read straight through cover-to-cover as one would a non-cookbook. In part this is because of Tanis's chatty, personable narration and the way the book is set up by seasons and menus. There is a wholeness to the section that you do not get when a cookbook is divided by types of food. The menus he has created seem absolutely sybaritic, despite the fact that they often contain simple ingredients. Perhaps this is because of the spices he chooses, the emphasi ...more
Joan
This is the book I decided on as my prize from a cookbooker.com challenge. It is as much fun to read as cook from. There are many things I like about this cookbook but only one thing I don't like. The thing I don't like is that not all recipes give serving sizes.

The book starts out with a "Little Disclaimer" telling you the book isn't about artichokes even though it does have a few artichoke recipes. Then it goes on to tell you how he came up with the name for the book.

Next comes "A Cuisine in M
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Margaret
A fantastic read, and how often is a cookbook something you read cover to cover? I enjoyed the opening - devoted to David Tanis' private food rituals. The heart of the book was a four-part tribute to the simple pleasures offered up by the seasons. The finish was a set of simple menus, though almost every section of the book was structured as, at least, a three course menu.

I adapted the sweet lamb tagine stew recipe for a pork shoulder and it was marvelous. Because his recipes were described in s
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penny
Sometimes all I want in a cookbook is the recipes and I don't care if there is anything else. That doesn't happen very often.

Thankfully Tanis has written a book that is much more. It is a wonderful story of his relationship with food and cooking and happens to include seasonal recipes and menu ideas that are inspiring and provide a basis for further creativity.

Seriously, how could I not enjoy the writings of a man with a deep love of those zippered plastic bags that I find useful for everything
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K
a friend sent this book to me. what a great gift. photos are beautiful. recipes and writing are interesting too. i'm a fan of David Tanis so that helps too. the book is worth it for the photos alone however the perspective that good food is for everyone and not just hipster foodies is how I've always felt about food and cooking. Remember when we didn't need to put the word local or natural (whatever that means now) in front of food packaging because, well, it just was? that's not to say that the ...more
Nikki
I didn't realize when I picked this up that it was the same author as A Platter of Figs. I'm glad I didn't, because while PoF was a nice read, I didn't find it a particularly useful cookbook. Mine and Tanis's palettes hadn't aligned--until now.

Heart of the Articoke is significantly more my speed. The book has three primary sections: Kitchen Rituals (found it somewhat useless), recipes by season (still a brilliant way to order a book, imo) and large-group recipes (significantly less useless than
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Ashley
From a 6-month-on chef at Chez Panisse, this is a cookbook with soul. It reads like an intimate diary full of musings and practical applications. I've always wanted to try making Pho, and have finally found a recipe that coaxes out that desire in just the right way. The thematic menus are just as inviting, and I would likely first try "The Ripeness of Red Chiles", including a Platter of Jicama, Radishes, Avocados and Oranges; Slow-Cooked Carne Adovada with Hominy; and Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream ...more
Rebecca Coday
His writing style is not my cup of tea, he seemed to me rather random and assumed you knew something, which wasn't fully explained. I gave up 1/3 of the way thru.
Kristin
Some day. Some day I'm going to own these David Tanis cookbooks and I will puruse through them and commit to a whole menu of his once a month. I love how he has a section of Spring Menus and talks about the importance of arugula and how to use it (pesto! what a great idea!) and uses ingredients that would be in season at that time. I wish I had the time to commit to this book, but like his last one, I'll chose one or two recipes, I'm sure, be absolutely nuts over the recipe and then tell myself ...more
Liana Brooks
I put this on my wish list as soon as I heard about it, and bought it the week it came out. I loved PLATTER OF FIGS and, if possible, HEART OF THE ARTICHOKE exceeded my expectations.

The book is divided into three main sections: meals for one or two people, meals for a family-size group (the same style as PLATTER - divided by season ect), and meals for a gathering. I've cooked my way through most of the book, and read all the accompanying stories a dozen times. Once again, Tanis charms and entert
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Sue Gregoire
Enjoyed this one! I dont care for cookbooks that are dry and read like textbooks. Conversely, I also don't care for those where I find the author's voice intrusive. This one gets the balance just right. David Tanis conveys his genuine enthusiasm for food without being preachy or coming off like a food snob. One or two of the recipes seemed a little much for the average home cook, but there were more that I plan to try. And the book itself is gorgeous - its printed on heavy, high quality paper an ...more
Erin Price
I picked this up off the recently-returned shelf at the library because I love artichokes, not to mention food memoirs. When I saw that the author is connected to Chez Panisse, well, I was sold. A mixture of stories and recipes, interspersed with delectable-looking photographs of the menus, this is worth a skim for any foodie of the Michael Pollan persuasion. My only complaint is that it's now overdue, so I won't have time to copy out all the recipes I wanted to try.
Vivian
David Tanis, part time chef at Chez Panisse, prefers to cook at home. His book is beautifully written and photographed and is brimming with recipes that are not overly complicated using seasonal ingredients, and great for the home cook. Kudos for creating recipes for small, medium and large meals. Not everyone cooks for an army every night. This one will get lots of use.
Lynn
An excellent book with delightful tales of the author's experiences with food, both on his own and sharing with others. Somehow, his recounts (both vivid and personal) seem to be able to transport me to the various countries mentioned and I found myself savouring the dishes. What's more, the recipes are too irresistible to be ignored; I can't wait to try them!
False Millennium
A beautifully published book, and I certainly agree with his food philosophies of seasonal eating and regional growing, but...the recipes made me wonder how they will turn out. They seem a "tad" general in construction, so that it could be just as he says, and the dish is delicious, or...it could need a lot of tweaking. Time will tell as I test them.
Shoshana
This book was lovely, didactic but in a totally amusing way, and had a bunch of recipes I want to try. I can't really review it yet (and the four stars are tentative/premature) because I haven't tried any of them yet, but I'm totally excited to do so! And it was a fun read/flip-through.
Beth
This is food memoir just as much as it is cookbook. Enjoyable read. I love how it is divided into 3 parts: 1st where you are pretty much just cooking for yourself, 2nd cooking for 4-6 and 3rd cooking for 15-20. I'd consider purchasing this one.
Crystal
This was so lovely - a lot like Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries. It's a very romantic view of food, with solid recipes. There are a few pretentious parts (the section on supermarket foods was especially annoying), but overall it was great.
Lindsay Allen
Not too many helpful recipes, but I like his food philosophy. Recipes are a bit lofty for me (obscure foods). My favorite quote is regarding jam: "I am not making it for posterity. I am making it for breakfast."
Julien
Exquisite mix of delicious stories, mouth-watering photography, outstanding design and finely selected and ordered recipes, this is without contest the signal best cookbook I've had the pleasure to read.
Barbara
Soulful and simple recipes with a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients. I particularly appreciated the emphasis on ritual when cooking for one and the lovely stories included with each recipe/menu.
Jessica
I'm not sure how many of these recipes I will end up trying…. I enjoyed the book and I love me some snobby food-ery but Mr. Tanis is a little pretentious even for me.
Caroline
This is one of our most used cookbooks. There are several recipes we go back to time and time again. The cookbook is also so fun for inspiration and dreaming.
Aguess
I didn't like this one that much. I'm not sure why. I found the summer menus were not very inspiring. Maybe I'll try again with it this fall.
Elyse Bekins
Best cookbook I've read in a long time. Inspiring, down-to-earth collection of recipes filled with stories and memories.
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“Give two cooks the same ingredients and the same recipe; it is fascinating to observe how, like handwriting, their results differ. After you cook a dish repeatedly, you begin to understand it. Then you can reinvent it a bit and make it yours. A written recipe can be useful, but sometimes the notes scribbled in the margin are the key to a superlative rendition. Each new version may inspire improvisation based on fresh understanding. It doesn't have to be as dramatic as all that, but such exciting minor epiphanies keep cooking lively.” 9 likes
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