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Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valley [Hardcover]

Hiro Sone , Lissa Doumani , Wolfgang Puck
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 47.00
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Book Description

Dec 1 2000
Just over a decade ago, Spago-trained chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani opened their award-winning Napa Valley restaurant, Terra, in a century-old fieldstone foundry in St. Helena. Their dream of running a world-class restaurant became a reality as word quickly spread about the duo's extraordinary cooking and hospitality. Now, along with the French Laundry, the venerable Terra is a cornerstone of the Napa Valley food scene, and one of its quintessential dining experiences. In TERRA, over 100 recipes from the restaurant's standing and seasonal menus showcase the chefs' sophisticated, yet eminently playful and deeply personal cuisine. Sone and Doumani provide readers with a wealth of insight into the ingredients, preparations, and techniques that shape their cooking philosophy and menus, giving readers guidance—and inspiration—to execute these dishes at home.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Restaurant Terra provides fine dining in a century-old former foundry. The very personal creation of husband-and-wife chefs Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, the Napa Valley dining spot is noted for its relaxed yet sophisticated cuisine--French- and Italian-influenced cooking that also reflects Sone's Japanese culinary heritage. Terra tells the restaurant's story and offers over 175 of its recipes, from appetizers such as Goat Cheese and Artichoke Spring Rolls with Arugula and Tomato Salad to desserts such as Chocolate Mousseline on Pecan Sablé with Coffee Granité. The authors are unapologetic about the work required to prepare many of the recipes, but they've also made them models of clarity and, better still, instruction. Readers who like to cook and those who enjoy armchair restaurant touring will welcome the book.

Beginning with a day-in-the-life restaurant diary--work starts at 4:30 a.m. and ends some 20 hours later--the book then offers recipes organized by course or food type. Standouts include Mussel Seafood Soup with Caramelized Onions, Bone Marrow Risotto with Braised Veal Shanks, and Chinese Egg Noodles with Gulf Shrimp, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Pea Tendrils. Desserts, which should bring any meal to a delirious close, include Fig Fritters with Ginger Ice Cream and Feuilleté of Caramelized Bananas with Chocolate Fudge Sauce. Present also is a particularly useful chapter on basic techniques--photos depicting various vegetable cuts are a valuable bonus--as well as basic and pantry recipes. Illustrated with color photos throughout, the book provides a sense of a restaurant performing at the top of its game, plus a blueprint for preparing its most delicious fare. --Arthur Boehm

From Publishers Weekly

After more than a decade at their restaurant, Terra, inspired by a rustic 100-year-old former foundry in the midst of California's bountiful Napa Valley countryside, Sone and Doumani, proteges of international super-chef Wolfgang Puck, share their unique blend of French-, Italian- and Japanese-influenced cooking with this collection of ambitious contemporary recipes. There is no chicken on the menu at Terra--unusual ingredients are featured out of a conviction that diners should be "reconnect[ed]... with foods that have unfairly fallen out of favor" and a desire that dining out should be a truly "remarkable" experience. Sone creates beautifully complex layered flavors and textures with his dishes. His dishes include such rare ingredients as veal sweetbreads and skate wing, but also feature such rich and traditional classics as Panzanella and Veal Cheeks. Doumani showcases some of her fresh interpretations of classic desserts such as Almond Pithiviers with Meyer Lemon Ice Cream and Huckleberry Sauce as well as standouts like Orange Risotto in Brandy Snaps with Passion Fruit Sauce. The book contains many helpful insets detailing general cooking tips such as the principles of deep-frying and how to handle or clean raw ingredients like mussels. Filled with beautiful photographs and personal detail, this is more than just a cookbook; Sone and Doumani present an intimate memoir of their labor of love.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and amazing... Jan. 2 2001
Format:Hardcover
Much like it's worthy counterpart's book (Tra Vigne), this wonderful piece should not fail to delight and please all those who happen across it.
First, if you are lucky enough to have dined at Terra, you'll already understand the beauty of (and behind) this book. Quite simply, this is a work of art. Why is that the case? Well...
Design--Beautiful graphic design and photographs. The layout is incredible and the photos are enough to make you drool.
Dialogue--Add to that delightful text and dialogue. Much closer to what this book achieves is the word "prose" as opposed to merely "text." The stories and dialogue are true pleasure to read. It makes this much more than simply a "cookbook."
Recipes--The recipes are, much like the food at the restaurant, exquisite. They are just delicious. Their difficulty ranges from relatively easy to moderately difficult. But, they are very easy to follow, making even the harder recipes accessible to the average "joe."
I strongly urge those considering this one to just go ahead and make the purchase. You will not be disappointed. It will be book you will treasure, and will reach for time and again.
Also, look into the Tra Vigne cookbook. It too is on the same level as this piece.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for special occasions Dec 13 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Great cookbook for those special occasions where you want to spend the time and resources on making something special. The recipes are a little more time-consuming, the ingredients a little harder to find, but the result is wonderful. Jacques Pepin is simpler (and excellent) and French Laundry Cookbook is even more complicated (but also excellent) - Terra is a great in-between.
I've cooked over 10 of their recipes already and every single one has turned out really well. They're not simple nor for a beginner cook, but if you have a little experience, it'll make for some very memorable dinners.
The desserts are especially great, as are the appetizers.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece for the Kitchen March 24 2001
Format:Hardcover
For those of you fortunate enough to have dined at this world class restaurant, Hiro & Lissa'a book needs no introduction. I was fortunate enough to have found Terra shortly after it opened in 1988 (living in St. Helena at the time) & have been hooked ever since. The BEST dishes of their menus past & present are included in this beautifully illustrated book. Most importantly the instructions are well detailed & the dishes turn out exactly as they do in the restaurant. What more can I say? THIS IS A FABULOUS BOOK!!!!!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Drool Dec 21 2000
By Leslie
Format:Hardcover
A mouth water sensantion to read and view - before you even get to cook a dish. If you'v ever been to Terra you know what I mean and if you ever go to Napa Valley - you won't want to miss the opportunity to dine at Terra.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome and amazing... Jan. 2 2001
By Jack Dempsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Much like it's worthy counterpart's book (Tra Vigne), this wonderful piece should not fail to delight and please all those who happen across it.
First, if you are lucky enough to have dined at Terra, you'll already understand the beauty of (and behind) this book. Quite simply, this is a work of art. Why is that the case? Well...
Design--Beautiful graphic design and photographs. The layout is incredible and the photos are enough to make you drool.
Dialogue--Add to that delightful text and dialogue. Much closer to what this book achieves is the word "prose" as opposed to merely "text." The stories and dialogue are true pleasure to read. It makes this much more than simply a "cookbook."
Recipes--The recipes are, much like the food at the restaurant, exquisite. They are just delicious. Their difficulty ranges from relatively easy to moderately difficult. But, they are very easy to follow, making even the harder recipes accessible to the average "joe."
I strongly urge those considering this one to just go ahead and make the purchase. You will not be disappointed. It will be book you will treasure, and will reach for time and again.
Also, look into the Tra Vigne cookbook. It too is on the same level as this piece.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece for the Kitchen March 24 2001
By Robert Naruse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For those of you fortunate enough to have dined at this world class restaurant, Hiro & Lissa'a book needs no introduction. I was fortunate enough to have found Terra shortly after it opened in 1988 (living in St. Helena at the time) & have been hooked ever since. The BEST dishes of their menus past & present are included in this beautifully illustrated book. Most importantly the instructions are well detailed & the dishes turn out exactly as they do in the restaurant. What more can I say? THIS IS A FABULOUS BOOK!!!!!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for special occasions Dec 13 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Great cookbook for those special occasions where you want to spend the time and resources on making something special. The recipes are a little more time-consuming, the ingredients a little harder to find, but the result is wonderful. Jacques Pepin is simpler (and excellent) and French Laundry Cookbook is even more complicated (but also excellent) - Terra is a great in-between.
I've cooked over 10 of their recipes already and every single one has turned out really well. They're not simple nor for a beginner cook, but if you have a little experience, it'll make for some very memorable dinners.
The desserts are especially great, as are the appetizers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding March 3 2006
By Vince J. Filippelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A book of artistry and inspiration, Terra is sure to please the intermediate to advance chef and their diners. A cookbook and a reference, simply wonderful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding seafood March 22 2011
By temp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a home run. I have quite a number of cookbooks, and find this to be one of my very best.
I reach for it repeatedly particularly for the outstanding seafood recipes.
The recipe for Hiro's Salmon with Thai Red Curry sauce and basmati rice is worth the price of the book alone. I have made it a number of times to rave reviews. His recipes are easy to make ahead.. and assemble just before guests sit down, which is a huge plus, particularly for seafood recipes. The depth of flavor and texture is wonderful.

I also love his very popular Broiled Sake-Marinated Chilean Sea Bass. It's easy to make the broth ahead, the shrimp dumplings (with wonton sheets) and marinate the sea bass... then broil the sea bass just before serving. And the dish has amazing flavor and freshness.

Every time I use this book, I am amazed at how easy the recipes are, and how wonderful and consistent the results. There can be a lot of steps and ingredients, but really there is nothing hard about Hiro's straight forward and delicious recipes.
I'm happy to have this book in my collection, and anxiously await any new cookbooks Hiro might release.
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