The Arrows Cookbook: Cooking and Gardening from Maine's Most Beautiful Farmhouse Restaurant

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9780743236737: The Arrows Cookbook: Cooking and Gardening from Maine's Most Beautiful Farmhouse Restaurant

Combines 160 recipes and advice on how to grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs in a volume by the seasonal Arrows restaurant chefs that includes instructions on how to build an herb box, select heirloom tomatoes, roast salmon on a cedar plank, and more. 50,000 first printing.

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Review:

Located in Ogunquit, Maine, Arrows is a country restaurant owned by Clark Fraiser and Mark Gaier, who are also its chefs. The Arrows Cookbook, written by the pair, offers 150 recipes from the dining spot, contemporary food like Plank-Roasted Salmon with Rosemary-Mustard Vinaigrette, Baby Bok Choy with Chives and Smoked Ham, and Grilled Sea Scallops with Chile Pepper Sauce. These attractive, uncomplicated dishes are suitable for company or "dressier" weeknight cooking. What sets the book apart from similar works is its attention to the "backyard" garden that supplies the restaurant with over 250 varieties of fresh seasonal produce. The authors' garden smarts yields useful advice, including "How to Build Herb Boxes," "14 Easy Seeds," and "Heirloom Gardening."

The authors make a larger point. "You don't have to believe in the cosmic wisdom of cooking from the garden," they say. "It's enough that your garden will make you smarter about food." Cooking seasonally from the garden "has kept our culinary experimentation firmly rooted," they add, "and will do the same for you." The message is born out by the book's organization, which presents dishes--soup to desserts--season by the season. The winter section, for example, begins with a brief description of Arrows's cold-weather life ("Hardy herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme are still thriving in our garden beds at Thanksgiving...") then offers appropriate fare including Maine Shrimp Dumplings with Cilantro, Boiled Dinner Our Way (a particularly good version of the traditional dish), and Kale, Swiss Cheese, and Bacon Casserole. "Winter" desserts consist of the tempting likes of Steamed Pumpkin Pudding with Vanilla Crème Anglaise and Chocolate Carrot Cake with Chocolate-Sour Cream Frosting. As both cooking and gardening guide, the book occupies a special--and engaging--spot. With color photos plus line drawings that particularly capture Arrows' special spirit. –-Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Clark Frasier grew up in Carmel, California. Before becoming a chef, he studied Chinese in Beijing and ran an import-export business in San Francisco. In 1988, he and Mark Gaier formed a business partnership and bought Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit. Today they split their time between southern Maine and northern California.

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