Top Ten—Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse

Top Ten—Cal Peternell of Chez Panisse

A coffee and books and bluegrass kinda dude.

July 8, 2015

Cal Peternell is, as you may have guessed, the chef at Chez Panisse. He is also the author of a new cookbook, Twelve Recipes, full of heartfelt simplicity. There's a chapter on toast! This guy gets it! Peternell is a dyed-in-the-wool classic, if his top picks are any indication. Good coffee, good books, and a good fry are all anyone really needs in life. 


1. STROMBOLI
"Not the island and not the calzone-like turnover, but the Rossellini movie. Ingrid Bergman dodges flaming rocks, tries to seduce a priest for money, witnesses a tuna slaughter, and inspires songs of cuckoldry."

2. CALIFORNIA LINE-CAUGHT YELLOWTAIL JACK
"An under-appreciated fish from southern California that, raw with Jacobsen sea salt and pink peppercorns (yep) from the tree up the block, is like tuna but better: clean, rosy, and sustainable."
  

3. ANISE HYSSOP LEAVES AND FLOWERS
"Also good with yellowtail jack, or with ricotta, radishes, fennel, or battered and fried. How is it that they taste so sweet?"

4. THINGS THAT ARE BATTERED AND FRIED
"My Parsi friend taught us this vegetable pakora batter made with chickpea flour and rice flour that gets crispy and stays that way."

5. SOUR CRAFTSMAN ANGELINO WEISSE BEER
"From Pasadena. Sweet refreshment after too much frying or after no frying at all."

6. MOE'S BOOKS ON TELEGRAPH
"To Moe’s Books on Telegraph in Berkeley: may good fortune and brisk commerce reward you for your generous and genius offerings. Live long and multiply."

7. KARL OVE KNAUSGÅRD
"His books are so long. More please."

8. COFFEE
"With cream. That I drink in the morning while I make my son a sandwich for his lunchbox."

9. CREATIVE GROWTH IN OAKLAND
"An art studio for adults with disabilities. A group of exceptional people making beautiful things and making us feel better."

10. STRINGS
"...and the way Mike Marshall, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer bend them and pluck them around. Making music like getting in the kitchen and cooking."

Photo courtesy of Ed Anderson.

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