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Mary Recommends (created 6.10.09)

Two of my favorite restaurantuers are Alice Waters & Kenny Shopsin. They approach food and dining from opposite ends of the spectrum, however in some strange way they end up at the same place. They are both passionate, driven, highly creative and extremely interesting human beings.

Alice Waters started Chez Pannise over 30 years ago, and it has undergone many changes over those years. She has written many cookbooks that reflect these changes; but my favorite one is the latest; The Art Of Simple Food. It is a distilation of a lifetime of experience with food. A cookbook that's appropriate for beginners as well as experienced cooks.

The biography of Alice Waters is a fun, fast-paced and highly entertaining read, even if you're not in the restaurant business.

I Like Killing Flies is a documentary of a New York City restaurant owned by the Shopsin family that is irreverent, entertaining, sad, funny and will make you really hungry for some of Kenny's food. There really are no words that can capture the experience of this movie, you have to see it to believe it. You willl either love or hate Kenny, sort of like beets, and just like beets; Kenny doesn't really care either.

Kenny's book; Eat Me, goes into more detail about his life. It's fascinating, informative and endearing; and also contains some great recipes.

These two people are dramatically different, but I'm drawn to them because there's a little bit of Alice, as well as Kenny, inside of me. I hope you enjoyed this new page, and will check back from time to time to see what new things I have to recommend.