What's Good?: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients

What's Good?: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients

by Peter Hoffman
What's Good?: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients

What's Good?: A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients

by Peter Hoffman


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A culinary pioneer blends memoir with a joyful inquiry into the ingredients he uses and their origins

What goes into the making of a chef, a restau­rant, a dish? And if good ingredients make a differ­ence on the plate, what makes them good in the first place? In his highly anticipated first book, influential chef Peter Hoffman offers thoughtful and delectable answers to these questions. “A locavore before the word existed” (New York Times), Hoffman tells the story of his upbringing, professional education, and evolution as a chef and restaurant owner through its components—everything from the importance of your relationship with your refrigerator repairman and an account of how a burger killed his restaurant, to his belief in peppers as a perfect food, one that is adaptable to a wide range of cultural tastes and geographic conditions and reminds us to be glad we are alive.

Along with these personal stories from a life in restaurants, Hoffman braids in passionately curious explorations into the cultural, historical, and botani­cal backstories of the foods we eat. Beginning with a spring maple sap run and ending with the late-season, frost-defying vegetables, he follows the progress of the seasons and their reflections in his greenmarket favorites, moving ingredient to ingredient through the bounty of the natural world. Hoffman meets with farmers and vendors and unravels the magic of what we eat, deepening every cook’s appreciation for what’s on their kitchen counter. What’s Good a layered, insightful, and utterly enjoyable meal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781419747625
Publisher: Abrams Press
Publication date: 06/08/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 1,055,115
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Chef Peter Hoffman is the curious cook’s cook. As the former chef-owner of Savoy and Back Forty restaurants, he trailblazed farm-to-table cooking in New York City. His opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times, Edible Manhattan, and Food & Wine. Hoffman served on the boards of the Greenmarket and Chefs Collaborative and received the Slow Food NYC Snailblazer Award. On most market days he can be found on his bicycle, foraging the Union Square Greenmarket for the best in seasonal ingredients and partaking in its “village green” community life.

Table of Contents

A Foreword ix

Prologue: On the Corner xiii

Leeks and Potatoes 1

City Boy, Country Boy 13

Butter Unbound 23

Inspiration Please 33

Maple Syrup 37

My Spring Awakening 49

Green Food 56

Cook Here Now 64

Shrimp 74

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda 84

Construction Is Cooking 89

Skate 97

Passover 104

Strawberries 113

Fireplace Cooking 124

Garlic 135

Calçots 147

Alternate Transport 155

Rosemary 168

Dinner Series 176

Pietro's Canestrinos di Great Jones Street 188

Finding Community 199

Take Back the Knife 213

Stone Fruit 223

The Iceman Cometh 237

The Hive 250

Grenada Peppers 259

One Step Forward, One Step Back 269

Apples and Pears 280

The Burger Killed My Restaurant 299

Kale and Radicchio 305

Tying the Roast 318

Exit Strategy 325

The Village Green 330

Acknowledgments 333

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