The Kokkari cookbook shares kitchen secrets and favorite recipes from San Francisco's most esteemed Greek restaurant. Erik Cosselman and Janet Fletcher do a excellent job of transposing the luxurious feeling of the restaurant's dining experience into the pages of the book.
Talented local photographer Sara Remington captures the essence of Greece and Kokkari's food in her photos. Sara spent a week in Greece shooting photos for the book and says, "I basically ate my weight in the amazing food there...greens, fish, cheese etc."
After reading the book, I'm inspired to plan a trip to Greece myself or if nothing else, make a reservation at Kokkari.
In a note the restaurant owners declare, "This is not a cookbook we want you to leave on display on the shelf. We want it to be stained with olive oil and splashed with wine." However, like so many other cookbooks published by Chronicle Books, it is beautiful enough on its own for display on a shelf or coffee table.
Contemporary preparations of traditional Greek ingredients make the recipes approachable. Most of the recipes are contained on one page and require ten ingredients or less. A chapter titled "In the Kitchen" gives notes on frequently used ingredients such as gigandes beans, grape leaves and dried spearmint.
Recipes for classic Greek fare such as Taramosalata (creamy carp roe spread) and Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) are featured alongside more unexpected interpretations of Greek cuisine like Baklava Ice Cream. I'm most excited to try the recipes for Soupa Avgolemono (egg-lemon soup with chicken and rice) and Kokkinisto me Manestra (braised lamb shanks).