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From the PublisherI am one of many—legions, even!—who’ve been inspired by Renee Erickson and her restaurants, and this book is Renee, through and through. Her cooking is like no one else’s: thoughtful but seemingly effortless, evocative of France but firmly rooted in the Northwest, from Mussels in Cider with crème fraîche to Messy Spot Prawns with piment d’Espelette. Even those lucky enough to eat in her restaurants can learn a thing or two (or ten) about food from this smart, opinionated beauty of a cookbook. I’m in love.
—Molly Wizenberg, author of Delancey and A Homemade Life
Renee Erickson cooks like a woman, with generosity, sensuality, and style. In this charming book she shares everything—stunning images, wonderful stories, a passionate philosophy, and her recipes to cook and live by.
— Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton, owners of The Canal House
Renee Erickson tells an incredibly personal story about the PNW and writes with love and respect of the ingredients of our region. There are engaging stories about cool people intertwined cleverly with recipes and full menu suggestions. I especially like the sections on seasonal ingredients and ideas on their best uses. This book is destined to become a great complement to Renee’s already great restaurants.
—Vitaly Paley, chef/owner of Paley’s Place, Imperial, Portland Penny Diner, and author of Paley’s Place Cookbook
Although A Boat, A Whale, & A Walrus' recipes reflect an intricate intertwining of the Pacific Northwest's bounty of sea, forests, and farms, the book's focus on simple, sourceable ingredients makes the array of mouth-watering menus approachable, whether you're in Erickson's Portage Bay backyard or in the land-locked Midwest.
Recipes from the Seattle chef are organized into seasonal menus, a.k.a. our future dinner parties.
Renee’s heartfelt menus inspire me to gather my dearest friends, uncork some bottles of wine, break out the copper pots and experience the casual graciousness of her table in my own home, no matter the season.
—Cathy Whims, chef/owner of Nostrana
A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus spins a compelling narrative with bracing charm. . . It illustrates through personal stories, cooking methods, and confident opinion a sense of place and a sense of self. Included are many beautiful photos, which evoke near perfect moments, including portraits of . . . her friends and colleagues: the cooks, mentors, foragers, gardeners and fisherman of her magnificent Puget Sound.
—Amaryll Schwertner, chef/co-owner of Boulettes Larder
Just like Renee herself, this book is perky, colorful, energetic, and full of fun. And they both make you smile! I love the fact that she pickles everything, would wear smoke as a perfume (so would I!) and feels that, when it comes to cooking, there is a very thin line between properly cooked and burned! The books makes me want to visit all of her restaurants all over again, and rush into the kitchen to make her vibrant Celery Root and Celery Leaf Salad, the well-spiced pork Crépinettes, and of course her famed Chicken Liver Pâté.
—Patricia Wells, author and cooking school teacher
Every so often a cookbook comes along that looks good, is written with style, and more important, you find yourself cooking from it and looking for ideas from it all the time. Renee’s ideas inspire hunger and they work. I can already predict that I’ll wear out my first copy.
—Kermit Lynch, wine importer, and author of Adventures on the Wine Route
Erickson owns Seattle restaurants Boat Street Cafe, the Walrus and the Carpenter, the Whale Wins, and Barnacle. For gourmets who appreciate the details of a beautiful restaurant cookbook, her debut (coauthored with food writer Thomson) offers plenty to savor—moody photographs of outdoor outings, elegantly laid tables, and proud food producers; eloquent reflections on earthy wines and vegetal escargots; and seasonal menus (e.g., Wintry Brunch, Fourth of July Crab Feast) . . . VERDICT: If a trip to Seattle isn't possible, this book provides the next best way to enjoy Erickson's beautiful seafood.
Few do Pacific Northwest cool like Seattle's Renee Erickson, owner of The Boat Street Café and The Whale Wins among others. Here she organizes her recipes (not just for seafood, mind you) into menus such as Renee's Fourth of July Crab Boil and a Wild Foods Dinner. Follow her effortless lead for those "Oh, I just pulled this together from what I caught this morning" dinner parties we all aspire to.
In this new era of cookbooks, storytelling is nearly, if not more, important than the recipes. Depending on your proclivity, that’s either a great thing or an annoyance. While I love a "hardworking" cookbook—i.e., one in which the recipes are fail-safe and speak to the home cook—I’m also a sucker for beautiful photography and good stories. In both respects, renowned Seattle chef and restaurateur Renee Erickson’s new A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus (Sasquatch Books) succeeds. It handsomely sheds light not only on her restaurants, but on the Pacific Northwest.
A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus. Nope, it's not the beginning of a bad joke (boats can't walk into a bar!), it's the title of Renee Erickson's (Boat Street Cafe, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and others) first book . . . Of the more than 70 recipes, some lean toward fancy (harissa-rubbed roasted lamb; halibut with morel cream), while others are simpler (radishes with Green Goddess dressing; crab melts), but all—with the help of drool-worthy photos by local food and travel photographer Jim Henkens—will make your stomach growl.
Seattle chef Renee Erickson (The Whale Wins, Boat Street Café, The Walrus and the Carpenter, Barnacle) offers a book of seasonal menus (attention other cookbook authors: more menus, please) that showcase the ingredients of the Pacific Northwest. The book is very pretty and evokes the feeling of an Elizabeth David book, while still being down-to-earth enough you might actually use it on a regular basis.
—Eater ("The 43 Most Anticipated Cookbooks of Fall 2014")