Taste the nouvelle Northwest in Braiden Rex-Johnson's latest cookbook, Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining. Recipes include Cervelle de Canut (Herbed Goat Cheese with Walnut Crostini); Baked Oysters with Orange-Thyme Beurre Blanc and Citrus Zest; and Blue Cheesecake.
by Braiden Rex-Johnson
"On the Northwest edge of the United States and Canada, a quiet revolution is taking place," writes Braiden Rex-Johnson in the Introduction to her beautiful new book. "Chefs, winemakers, and grape-growers in the states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, plus the province of British Columbia, are embracing organic produce from the region's farmers and farmers' markets, flapping-fresh fish from local sustainable fisheries and Alaska, and award-winning wines from more than 900 Northwest wineries to create a signature style of cooking: Northwest Cuisine."
One of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations, the Pacific Northwest has cultivated a global reputation as a premier location for great food and wine, and in Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining: The People, Places, Food, and Drink of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, Rex-Johnson brings her more than fifteen years of experience writing about the region's food and wine scene to create a sumptuous and lavishly photographed tribute to this vital and growing culinary destination.
With 145 gorgeous color photos by Jackie Johnston and 88 recipes adapted from the kitchens of the top chefs throughout the region, Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining celebrates local flavors such as wild King salmon, Dungeness crab, Bing cherries, and Walla Walla sweet onions. A sampling of recipes includes Oysters Gratinee, Blue Cheese Mussels, Cedar-Planked Idaho Trout with Chardonnay-Lemon Beurre Blanc, Flank Steak Roulade with Red-Wine Sauce, Smoked Salmon Tartare, Roasted Halibut with Shellfish Cioppino, and Chipotle Chocolate Cake. Each recipe is paired with a Northwest wine varietal.
"Northwest Cuisine isn't evolving only in the city centers of Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver," writes Rex-Johnson, "but in small towns with rich culinary heritages such as Walla Walla, Washington; McMinnville, Oregon; and Salt Spring Island, British Columbia." Rex-Johnson describes modern Northwest Cuisine as a tapestry of many cultural and historical influences:
Rex-Johnson explores the region's rich culinary past through these influences, and profiles its present and future stars from local chefs and winemakers to family-run farms and B&Bs. She also provides an accessible wine description guide for novices and experts, cook's hints and a chapter on techniques specifically designed for the home cook, and a resource listing on Northwest wine and food festivals so aficionados of the region can explore their passions all year round.
Whether a longtime resident of the region or a first-time visitor, Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining offers something for everyone—wine primer, cookbook, food-and-wine pairing guide, and travelogue—and will serve as an invaluable resource to one of the most beautiful and adventurous culinary destinations of the world. "With Pacific Northwest Wining & Dining in hand," Rex-Johnson writes, "you have only to open a bottle of good Northwest wine, crank up the stove, and settle in for a whirlwind tour of the United States' and Canada's most exciting new wine and food regions."
Braiden Rex-Johnson has been writing about Pacific Northwest food and wine for more than fifteen years. She is the author of six books, including the best-selling Pike Place Market Cookbook. Rex-Johnson writes a quarterly food-and- wine-pairing column for Wine Press Northwest, served as the food editor at Seattle Homes & Lifestyles for five years, and has written for a wide variety of publications including Northwest Palate and CityFood. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, a judge for the James Beard Foundation, and an active member of the Seattle chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI). Rex-Johnson has appeared on The Food Network, The Travel Channel, The Discovery Channel, QVC, PBS, and National Public Radio, and has her own Web site at www.NorthwestWiningandDining.com. Visit photographer Jackie Johnston online at www.winecountrycreations.com.
This page created November 2007
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