Sally Schmitt opened The French Laundry in Yountville in 1978 and designed her menus around local, seasonal ingredients—a novel concept at the time. Sally Schmitt takes us through the six kitchens where she learned to cook, honed her skills, and spent her working life. Six California Kitchens weaves her remarkable story with 115 recipes that distill the ethos of Northern California cooking into simple, delicious dishes, plus evocative imagery, historic ephemera, and cooking wisdom.
Schmitt died on March 5, just five days after her 90th birthday and a month before the book’s publication. But her forthright, unpretentious presence is very much alive in this beautiful volume filled with food, family, reminiscences, recipes and no-nonsense cooking tips ... Six California Kitchens, written with family friend Bruce Smith, is the rare cookbook in which the personal history, recipes, margin notes and photographs are all equally compelling ... As for the food: Six California Kitchens scores high on what I call a cookbook’s IQ—Irresistibility Quotient ... Many of Schmitt’s recipes are not for the cholesterol-leery. But they are all clear and precise ... Packed with wisdom accrued over decades, Six California Kitchens stands out as a paean to the considerable satisfactions of doing what you love, both for and alongside those you love.
This cookbook is a love letter to California cuisine and six of the kitchens Schmitt worked in...paired with 115 total recipes—sure to inspire home cooks as well as buffs of American culinary history ... Alongside Schmitt’s kitchens are easy-to-follow recipes that highlight simple, fresh ingredients ... Charming commentary ... Highly recommended for cooks who love a good story.
[A] cookbook-memoir that’s humble, proud, and filled with family ... Along with her recipes (more than 100), Schmitt shares knowledge of ingredients and culinary wisdom that forswears fancy equipment and techniques to zero in on flavor and taste. Personal photographs grace her lessons ... Dishes themselves, reflective of Schmitt’s personality, are approachable, unintimidating, and respectful of flavors ... An inspiration up to her closing lines: 'I really have done just what I loved to do . . . and that’s all that mattered.'