A short while ago, I checked out Christopher Kostow's book, A New Napa Cuisine. It's a very tactile book, with serious heft, a pleasantly rough cover, and slick pages inside (also, nothing like that new book smell, right?). His writing, connecting what he does as Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley with his surroundings, is impassioned and inspiring. The photography makes me want to move to wine country sooner rather than later, though neither is likely. Surprisingly, the recipes, while numerous, seem unimportant to one's journey. Even though it showcases his creativity and his use of local artisans, I found it actually detracted from the experience of reading this book - I thumbed through the recipes pretty quickly, more interested in reading what he had to say next rather than seeing what I was missing at the restaurant. I'm sure, given more time, I'd appreciate the recipes more, but the writing and photography alone are enough to recommend this book.
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