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Sunday, February 22, 2009
Patrick Clark one of the first "celebrity" chefs in America. He died at 42 years old waiting for a heart transplant.
The book Cooking with Patrick Clark is a tribute to this amazing chef native of New York
If experiencing the taste of a man's life seems implausible, then you need to cook from Cooking with Patrick Clark, a cookbook generated by Charlie Trotter as a way of giving honor to the memory of one of America's great chefs. Patrick Clark died at age 42, waiting for a heart transplant. He left behind a wife and five children. Proceeds from this book go to an education fund for the Clark children. Like an underlying drumbeat, the comments of more than 50 of the chefs who knew and worked with Patrick Clark and who contributed recipes to this book continually come back to Clark's humanity, his warmth, his dedication to his art, his dedication to his family, and his ability to inspire the best in everybody.
Clark always meant to write a cookbook, but with career and family and the considerable amount of time he put into charity food events, he never got around to it. Cooking with Patrick Clark, then, is as close as we will ever come. This is classy food, challenging food. Clark was a highly skilled and trained chef who raised the bar on American cooking.
Try the Crab, Artichoke, and Potato Salad to discover Clark's delight in the mystery of how disparate ingredients can come together in a peculiarly American style. You'll find Roasted Salmon with Moroccan Barbecue Sauce, or Black Sea Bass with Israeli Couscous. Clark can get as elegant as Rabbit Loin with Leeks and Wild Mushrooms, and as down-home as barbecued Ribs with Spicy Coleslaw and Buttermilk-Chile Corn Muffins. The single note that rings true and clear through all of his recipes is passion. Then there are the contributions of the many invited chefs, who add their memories of and feelings about Patrick Clark. Nancy Silverton's addition is a Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Brown Butter Biscuits. She may sum up everyone's feelings best when she says, "I chose this dessert because it's just like Patrick--warm and comforting."
A special note of gratitude must be made to Charlie Trotter. This book might not have made it to print were it not for his drive and determination to see a fitting memorial for his friend and colleague. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Cooking with Patrick Clark is a tribute to this native New Yorker and his New American cooking. Tavern on the Green's former executive chef and a 1995 James Beard Award winner, Clark died at age 42, in 1998, while awaiting a heart transplant. Organized by super-chef Charlie Trotter, this family album-style cookbook features more than 50 of Clark's own recipes along with 51 recipes contributed by various chef friends and colleagues, including Trotter, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Emeril Lagasse and Jacques P?pin. The book is divided into two parts, both of which are organized into Appetizers, Soups and Salads, Seafood, Poultry, Meats and Desserts. The first half commemorates Clark and includes personal photographs and anecdotes told by his wife, Lynette, and each of his five children. Recipes for Clark's signature dishes emphasize big flavors, textural contrast and detail to presentation (e.g., Jumbo Lump Crab Salad with Citrus, Ginger and Soy Vinaigrette; Barbecued Quail with Sweet Potato and Mushroom Hash; Merlot-Braised Short Ribs with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.) In the second half, chef contributors share their reminiscences of Clark as well as their recipes, which, while clearly written, run the gamut from relatively simple (e.g., Alain Ducasse's Tuna Loin) to fairly elaborate preparations (e.g., Danielle Reed's Barbecued Sweetbreads). Trotter successfully pays tribute to this talented chef with an inspired recipe collection. (May) FYI: Book royalties will be donated to assist Clark's children.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.