Craig Lee, an award-winning photojournalist, poses "Davis Farmers Market Cookbook" authors Georgeanne Brennan, left, and Ann Evans at the market last fall for a photo to be included in the book. A release party and book-signing are planned Saturday, April 7, at the market. Wayne Tilcock/Enterprise file photo


Yum! Cookbook showcases farmers market

By From page A1 | March 01, 2012

When the Davis Farmers Market celebrates the debut of “The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook” on Saturday, April 7, it will be the first of several events to showcase the new volume.

Co-authors Georgeanne Brennan, an award-winning cookbook author and Winters resident, and Ann Evans, former Davis mayor and food activist, will be on hand to sign cookbooks. Customers with cookbook gift cards purchased from the market can redeem them at the market shed in Central Park, Fourth and C streets in downtown Davis.

(Gift cards purchased at other locations need to be redeemed where they were purchased.)

Chefs from the UC Davis Dining Commons will offer tastes of cookbook recipes at each Market Cookbook Day.

The cookbook is packed with full-color photos of local farmers, ranchers and food vendors, the products they bring to market and finished recipes. To see a narrated slide show about the cookbook, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnvE2YNxuEk&feature=youtube.

“The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook” (Mirabelle Press, $24.95) celebrates one of California’s earliest and most renowned markets and the food produced by California’s small farms. Brennan and Evans sing the praises of the Davis Farmers Market as well as the local food showcased there every week, year-round.

The friends and business partners, who write a monthly column for The Davis Enterprise titled “From the Ground Up,” came up with the idea to write the cookbook about three years ago. Brennan is the author of more than 30 books, winning a James Beard Award for her book “The Food and Flavours of Haute Provence,” in 1998 for best international cookbook.

Her book, “Apertif: Recipes for Simple Pleasures in the French Style,” won a Julia Child Award for best wine or beverage book that same year.

“The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook” documents the story of a pioneering farmers market — established in 1976 by Evans and other founders — and the local food movement that has swept the nation.

Evans and Brennan organized the book to provide people a simple, easy way to cook farm-fresh food throughout the seasons. The book details eight recipes to adapt to any season, followed by four chapters — one for each season— with each chapter containing about 20 recipes.

Chez Panisse founder and food activist Alice Waters wrote the book’s foreword.

Brennan said her writing draws upon personal experiences and insights, with her own vision.

“As Ann and I structured the book, we opted for a dual voice in the recipe head notes, which are really the essential element of a readable cookbook — the kind you take to bed or to the beach,” she said.

Together, they created a cookbook that is authentic on multiple levels — recipes, memory and history, all within the context of the farmers and the market.

“Hopefully the end result will be a conversation between friends that readers will enjoy,” Brennan said.

Evans called the cookbook a longtime dream of sharing easy, seasonal and flavorful recipes based on the Davis Farmers Market.

“It feels like a love letter from me to Davis, Yolo County and the Sacramento region,” she said.

Davis Farmers Market manager Randii MacNear said the market plans to use the cookbook as a platform for events throughout 2012.

“When the cookbook goes on sale April 7, ‘The Davis Farmers Market Cookbook’ is going to claim a top spot on bookshelves of home cooks and farmers market lovers everywhere.”

Additional dates for cookbook signings at the market are 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 26, and 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 16. Additional dates will be planned this fall.

For more information, call the market office at (530) 756-1695.

Shelly Keller

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