Cooking with Patrick Clark: A Tribute to the Man and His Cuisine

Trotter, Charlie

Published by Ten Speed Press, 1999
ISBN 10: 1580080731 / ISBN 13: 9781580080736
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Synopsis: Charlie Trotter pays tribute to Chef Patrick Clark—a pioneer in French and regional Southern cuisine, and one of the first celebrity chefs—in this cookbook filled with Clark’s signature dishes, as well as recipes contributed by other chefs and dedicated to Clark’s memory.

In this beautifully designed and photographed cookbook, over 50 of America's most notable chefs—including Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Jacques Pepin, Alice Waters, and Mark Miller—have collaborated to memorialize one of their most influential and visionary colleagues the best way they know how . . . with good food. Patrick Clark, who died at age 42 while awaiting a heart transplant, was a chef trained in the French tradition, who achieved celebrity status and served as a role model for other African Americans interested in the culinary arts. Winner of the James Beard Award for best Mid-Atlantic Chef in 1995, Clark was deemed "a terrific chef" by former New York Times critic Ruth Reichl and was credited with elevating the food at NYC's Tavern on the Green to legendary status. With all proceeds being donated to assist Clark's five young children, this book is a wonderful way for food lovers to remember and celebrate a true culinary pioneer.

Review: If experiencing the taste of a man's life seems implausible, then you need to cook from Cooking with Patrick Clark, a cookbook generated by Charlie Trotter as a way of giving honor to the memory of one of America's great chefs. Patrick Clark died at age 42, waiting for a heart transplant. He left behind a wife and five children. Proceeds from this book go to an education fund for the Clark children. Like an underlying drumbeat, the comments of more than 50 of the chefs who knew and worked with Patrick Clark and who contributed recipes to this book continually come back to Clark's humanity, his warmth, his dedication to his art, his dedication to his family, and his ability to inspire the best in everybody.

Clark always meant to write a cookbook, but with career and family and the considerable amount of time he put into charity food events, he never got around to it. Cooking with Patrick Clark, then, is as close as we will ever come. This is classy food, challenging food. Clark was a highly skilled and trained chef who raised the bar on American cooking.

Try the Crab, Artichoke, and Potato Salad to discover Clark's delight in the mystery of how disparate ingredients can come together in a peculiarly American style. You'll find Roasted Salmon with Moroccan Barbecue Sauce, or Black Sea Bass with Israeli Couscous. Clark can get as elegant as Rabbit Loin with Leeks and Wild Mushrooms, and as down-home as barbecued Ribs with Spicy Coleslaw and Buttermilk-Chile Corn Muffins. The single note that rings true and clear through all of his recipes is passion. Then there are the contributions of the many invited chefs, who add their memories of and feelings about Patrick Clark. Nancy Silverton's addition is a Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Brown Butter Biscuits. She may sum up everyone's feelings best when she says, "I chose this dessert because it's just like Patrick--warm and comforting."

A special note of gratitude must be made to Charlie Trotter. This book might not have made it to print were it not for his drive and determination to see a fitting memorial for his friend and colleague. --Schuyler Ingle

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Title: Cooking with Patrick Clark: A Tribute to the...
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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