For those who have followed the San Francisco Bay Area food scene for a while, the name Jeremy Fox may be familiar. Chef Fox was the famous, and infamous, chef at Ubuntu, a vegetarian restaurant in Napa that became a national sensation about 10 years ago. Critical success didn’t translate to financial success for Ubuntu, and the pressure of the spotlight and his own perfectionism led to a breakdown of sorts for the chef. In the few years that Ubuntu flourished, Chef Fox set off a revolution in vegetarian dining. Now at Rustic Canyon in Los Angeles, and much more at peace with himself, the chef has put together a book that will inspire even the most meat-loving cooks.
On Vegetables is not a vegetarian cookbook, but it is a book about vegetables. After reading only a few recipes, I was excited to try everything. One salad used crispy potatoes as croutons (genius), pine nut pudding for dressing (genius) and a black olive caramel to provide both sweetness and a touch of bitterness (genius). Chef Fox shares his thoughts on many different types of vegetables, and tells the stories of the purveyors that provide pristine products to his restaurant. He also encourages his readers to experiment, and gives enough information and backstory to make this possible. I can’t wait to finish this write up and get back to the book!