Two Sonoma County chefs take the same main ingredients, interpret them based on their own personal style, come up with completely different dishes, and then share their recipes.
That’s the premise of the new cookbook Down Home: Downtown, published by Rodney Strong Vineyards.
The two chefs, Jeff Mall from Zin restaurant (Down Home) and Josh Silvers of Syrah Bistro (Downtown) with the help of Linda Murphy do a very nice job of explaining not only how to cook each dish, but also why certain components were chosen and how they went about assembling the flavors on each plate.
There are even sections on where the chefs source some of their key proteins, cheeses and veggies, which is a boon for local Sonoma County foodies like me. The wine pairings in the book are serviceable, but I would have liked to see more Pinot noir recommendations (Dry Creek Zin with Duck Breast? Whaaa? Pinot, baby!).
My good friend Alan Campbell took the photos, a selection of which are shown below. His work is top notch, and what I like best is that every single dish is photographed. Too often cookbooks skimp on the photography, leaving home cooks wondering about things like presentation. Not so here, and that alone makes the book a keeper.
You can purchase Down Home: Downtown at The Cookbook Marketplace for $25 here. Get it for the Butternut Squash and Apple soup recipes alone (hint: bacon). Really good times.