Books Inc. Opera Plaza proudly welcomes acclaimed food writer Andrew Friedman to the shop for a celebration of his book The Dish!
Andrew Friedman will be joined in conversation with Chef Stuart Brioza.
Acclaimed food writer Andrew Friedman follows one restaurant dish back to its origins, tracing every hand that’s ever touched a meal to create a 360 degree look at our food supply through the lens of one dish.
On a typical night, in a contemporary American restaurant in an emerging food city, a guest orders their dinner from a server. It’s an exchange that happens hundreds of times a night in any restaurant—the core transaction that keeps the place churning. Yet this time, from the moment the guest orders the dish, acclaimed food writer Andrew Friedman follows its production via real-time reportage in the kitchen.
As various components are readied, finished, fired (cooked for service), and plated, Friedman introduces readers to the players responsible for producing it, from line cooks and sous chefs to the chef who conceived the dish. Readers will also meet the producers, farmers, foragers, and ranchers, who supply the restaurant, as Friedman visits each stop in the supply chain and interviews the key characters whose labor plays an essential role in the creation of this one singular dish.
The product is a rollicking ride inside every aspect of a restaurant dish, from the cooks who prepare it; to the farmers, foragers, fishermen, and ranchers who grow, harvest, and raise the ingredients; to the truck drivers who deliver the food to the restaurant and the dishwashers who clean the plates. Both a fascinating lens into the restaurant supply chain and the farm-to-table movement and a celebration of the unsung heroes of restaurants and the collaborative nature of restaurant work, The Dish will ensure readers will never look at a restaurant, cook, or farm the same way again.
Andrew Friedman is the author of Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession (2018), and producer and host of the independent podcast Andrew Talks to Chefs, currently in its sixth year. He is also the author of Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition (2009), co-editor of the internationally popular anthology Don’t Try This at Home: Culinary Catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs, and co-author of more than twenty-five cookbooks, memoirs, and other projects with some of the United States’ finest and most well-known chefs. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor within the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at the Culinary Institute of America. An avid tennis player, he co- authored American tennis star James Blake’s New York Times bestselling memoir Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life (2007), and was for several years a TENNIS magazine editor-at-large. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
As a teenager, California Bay Area native Stuart Brioza began his cooking & restaurant career. He was immediately entranced by the kitchen’s sensory wonders and the skills and techniques of the professional chef. Even at a young age, Stuart recognized food’s powerful role in defining the cultures and identities of people, regions, and nations. With his wife and collaborator, the celebrated Pastry Chef Nicole Krasinski, Stuart co-owns several modern-day icons of San Francisco’s vaunted culinary scene: State Bird Provisions, The Progress, and The Anchovy Bar. These restaurants are not simply beautiful dining rooms, but spaces meticulously designed to further the idea of food’s ‘locale’. They share the origin stories of the ingredients served, and capture & convey a genuine sense of place for San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Stuart characterizes his honest & bold cooking style as an evolution of California Cuisine, which is to seek out the best examples of organic ingredients in season and respecting their integrity through a cooking process defined by technique and creativity. His kitchens source Northern California's incomparable ingredients (such as quail, anchovies, oysters, seaweeds & wild mushrooms), producing a culinary repertoire that highlights seasonal abundance, preservation, smoking, fermentation & most notably lessening the gap in ‘zero waste’ cooking. Mentorship, collaboration & management ‘idea workshops’ are examples of how Stuart & his restaurants continue to hone in on goals & continue to have a significant influence on the greater conversation around food and hospitality. In order to fuel his work as a chef & restaurateur, Stuart spends much of his time with his family in the great outdoors—snowboarding, cycling, gardening, camping, and exploring the globe. He attributes his national & international success to the delicate balance of focused, yet curious cooking & a lifetime of thrill seeking.