Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family

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9780786868544: Back to the Table: The Reunion of Food and Family

Art Smith is Oprah Winfreys personal chef.Smith provides readers with an array of mouth-watering recipes that represent the very best of home cooking.He also discusses how to set the table in a way that gives reverence to the food and the guests; how various cultures give blessings before a meal; how different kinds of foods and dishes can contribute to an atmosphere of family unity; and so much more! Back to the Table is illustrated throughout with stunning photos of the food and of people sharing their tables, and their lives. He has cooked professionally for the families of celebrities and heads-of-state for almost 20 years.

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Review:

"Dining together allows us to better understand who we are, regardless of our social status," writes Art Smith, author of Back to the Table, a cookbook that explores the meaning of the dining ritual while providing 150 recipes to "strengthen bonds between loved ones." Personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and a contributing editor to her magazine, O, Smith grew up in the Southern cooking tradition, the underpinning of this enticing home-style collection. Smith's reiterated message--that we return to the "sanctity of the table"--is unassailable; his recipes, however, really make the point. Readers looking for good food to cook and share will find the book a much-turned-to treasure.

Chapters like "Breaking Bread," "The Family Meal," and "Food Is Love" organize recipes around the communal eating theme. "The Family Meal," for example, includes exemplary everyday formulas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, such as Zucchini and Tomato Frittata, Carrot-Ginger Soup with Minted Yogurt, and Grilled Fish Fillets with Watercress Mustard and Tarragon. Other outstanding recipes--such as Mushroom, Provolone, and Rosemary Pizza, Sunday Dinner Pot Roast, and Spring Vegetable Lasagna--reflect and encourage shared cooking and enjoyment. Formulas for sweets are woven throughout the book and include such delights as Kumquat-Ginger Pound Cake, Chocolate Pecan Pie, and an old-fashioned Peanut Brittle. Illustrated with photos that depict the food and cooking processes or show people enjoying meals together, the book reminds readers of the culinary and spiritual pleasures of the shared table. --Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Art Smith grew up in the small farming town of Jasper, in the Panhandle of Florida. While attending Florida State University, he completed two prestigious internships with The Greenbrier resort and was selected for the Walt Disney Magic Kingdom College Program. At the age of twenty-four, he was hired by Governor Bob Graham, now a U.S. Senator, and his wife Adele as executive chef of the Florida Governor's Mansion.
Art next traveled extensively through Europe and Africa as a family chef aboard several transatlantic motor yachts. Upon his return to the States, he took a position as chef on the American European Express Train. This led him to Chicago, where he began a career as a teacher at Williams-Sonoma and later as a private chef for the families of various celebrities.
Since the spring of 1977, he has been the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham. He is a contributing editor to O magazine and writes a monthly column for the food page of Oprah.com.

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