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The author of the best-selling travel memoir and cookbook, A Taste of Croatia has done it again. This time she invites readers to explore Southern California's unique Ojai Valley. Packed with more than 125 recipes each featuring locally grown ingredients like avocados, citrus, olive oil, walnuts, persimmons, lavender, tomatoes, pomegranates, zucchini Ojai's Table goes beyond a collection of recipes. There are intriguing snippets of history, generous splashes of local color and first-hand stories about farming life. It is an entertaining tribute to Ojai's natural beauty, Mediterranean terroir, artisanal foods and community spirit.
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Karen Evenden, born and raised in Buffalo NY has a BS from Cornell's School of Human Ecology and an MPA from the University of Washington. She has lived landside in Detroit MI, NYC, Versailles KY, Sydney Australia, Seattle WA and Ojai CA. She also spent more than 6 years living aboard a sailboat in the Mediterranean where she wandered the markets and prepared the foods of France, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Croatia. In Seattle she owned a kitchen store and cooking school. In search of sunshine, she and her husband moved to Ojai CA where they became farmers growing Ojai Pixie Tangerines, lavender, olives for oil and walnuts.Review:
Take this book into the kitchen and savor its delicious collection of recipes, but settle into an easy chair, too, and read Karen Evenden's compelling essays. You will be transported to Ojai, learning its history and lore, connecting to its spiritual and artistic community, and letting yourself be drawn into the first-hand stories of the farming life. Ojai's Table: Savoring and Celebrating Ojai's Mediterranean Terroir is a wonderful tribute to natural beauty, artisanal foods, and community involvement.
----Diane Morgan, author of 17 cookbooks including Roots, winner of both a 2013 James Beard and IACP cookbook award
Karen's new book weaves the story of how two wonderful people stumbled upon Ojai, embraced the land, people, and of course the ingredients of our valley. Karen is a must-invite to any Ojai potluck and we are blessed to be able to have her Ojai recipes in this new book. As you read through the recipes your mouth will water, you will be inspired in the kitchen and it just may get you thinking about sourcing some new edibles from Ojai's farms. ----Emily Ayala, 5th generation Ojai Citrus farmer, Friend's Ranches
We know how special the Ojai Valley is, especially those of us who live here. When you add significant pieces of history and local color, it becomes even more special, and that's what Karen has done with this book. I think there's more to terroir then just uniqueness of place. It's affection. There is a deep and abiding affection for this valley we call Ojai, and Karen has helped us to understand that more deeply. And to add to its deliciousness, she's added a batch of savory, mouth-watering recipes that feature our local bounty. --Larry Yee, President and Coordinating Director, The Food Commons and University of California Emeritus Advisor
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