Cooks with Books

Cooks with Books events take place at Bay Area restaurants. Attendees attend a meal that is prepared under the supervision of a local or celebrity chef (and since the Bay Area is one of the world's culinary capitals, that often means both!). Throughout the meal, the author-chef mingles with attendees and discusses his or her latest book. Coffee and conversation usually end about two hours later. These are happy, convivial events for any lover of fine food and wine. The ticket price includes the meal, wine, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book.

Cooks With Books: Joanne Weir - Cooking Confidence

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 6:30pm
Online Registration is now closed.
Please call (415) 927-0960 to inquire about remaining space. 
Left Bank Restaurant 
Admission: $110 per person | $170 per couple (one book)

Joanne Weir, a James Beard award-winning chef, demystifies cooking techniques and gives the home chef 100 recipes for main courses that are easy, comprehensive and delicious. Written as the companion cookbook to her new TV show, 
Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence, it will put the mojo back into your kitchen. Weir is the author of From Tapas to Meze, You Say
Tomato, and Recipes from the Wine Country

Price includes the meal, wine, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book. 
Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence: Dinner Made Simple Cover Image
ISBN: 9781600857133
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Taunton Press - November 13th, 2012

So many of us love the idea of whipping up a fabulous dinner during the week, but when it comes to putting the pan on the flame, we lose confidence. Do I have the skills to pull this off? Do I have the time? The answer is "yes" when you have "Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence "at your fingertips.

Left Bank
507 Magnolia Ave.
94939 Larkspur

Charles Phan - Cooks with Books: Vietnamese Home Cooking

Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 6:30pm

Admission $115 per person

Online registration is no longer available. Please call (415) 927-0960, ext. 1 to reserve a space!

Considered the inventor of modern Vietnamese cuisine in America, Charles Phan is a culinary wonder in his own right. The executive chef/owner of The Slanted Door was born in Vietnam, his family relocated just before the fall of Saigon and after two years in Guam, his family settled in SF. HIs first restaurant, The Slanted Door, opened in 1995 in San Francisco's Mission District and relocated to the historic Ferry Building in 2004. Phan has won the James Beard award Best Chef in California and many others. This event will not be a typical Cooks with Books sit down dinner but a book launch and reception for his eagerly awaited first cookbook Vietnamese Home Cooking.

Join us for a very exciting evening in the mesmerizing and beautiful Grand Hall in the Ferry Building.

Don't wait to sign up - space is limited. Price includes the meal, wine, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book. Reserve at Book Passage (415-927-0960) or at Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy.

S. F. Ferry Building
Grand Hall
94111 San Francisco

Cooks with Books: Carol Field - The Italian Baker EVENT SOLD OUT

Sunday, January 29, 2012 - 12:30pm

This event is now sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call the store at (415) 927-0960, ext. 1 to reserve.

Carol Field spent two years traversing Italy to capture the regional specialties and adapted them through rigorous testing in her own American kitchen. When Field first published The Italian Baker in 1986, it won the IACP Award and was named among the James Beard Baker’s Dozen list of 13 indispensable baking books. Field is an award-winning journalist, author of seven cookbooks, and has been a contributor to Bon Appetit, Travel+Leisure, and Food & Wine. The price includes the meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy

A16 Restaurant
2355 Chestnut Street
94123 San Francisco

Cooks with Books: Hugh Acheson - A New Turn in the South

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 12:30pm

Admission $115 per person/$190 per couple
A few seats still remain. Order now!!
Reserve by phone: (415) 927-0960, ext. 1

A New Turn in the South is the debut collection of French-influenced Southern food from Hugh Acheson, one of America’s most dynamic and innovative chefs. Known to those who watched Top Chef Masters, Acheson won “Best Chef” from Food and Wine 2002. Jardinière is a restaurant owned by Acheson’s pal and award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. A lunch not to be missed!
The price includes the meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy


300 Grove St.
94102 San Francisco

Frances Mayes - Cooks with Books Event: The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen

Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 6:30pm

Admission $110 per person/ $185 per couple 


In all of Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoirs about Tuscany, food plays a starring role. This cuisine transports, comforts, entices, and speaks to the friendly, genuine, and improvisational spirit of Tuscan life. Both cooking and eating in Tuscany are natural pleasures. In her first-ever cookbook, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen, Frances and her husband, Ed, share recipes that they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.
A toast to the experiences they’ve had over two decades at Bramasole, their home in Cortona, Italy, this cookbook evokes days spent roaming the countryside for chestnuts, green almonds, blackberries, and porcini; dinner parties stretching into the wee hours,  and garden baskets tumbling over with bright red tomatoes.
Lose yourself in the delectable food, the people, and the place, as Frances’ lyrical introductions and headnotes put you by her side in her Tuscan kitchen. Join us for dinner with Frances as we raise a glass at the table in celebration of the flavors of Tuscany!
The price includes the meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy

Left Bank Restaurant
507 Magnolia Ave.
94939 Larkspur

Sondra Bernstein with John Toulze - Cooks with Books: Plats du Jour: The Girl and the Fig's Journey Through the Seasons in Wine Country

Saturday, April 14, 2012 - 12:30pm

Admission $120 per person/ $195 per couple SOLD OUT!

Plats du Jour has been called a love letter to Sonoma County, a travelogue, and a celebration of the bounty of Northern California. Sondra Bernstein, proprietor of The Girl and the Fig and Estate restaurants along with her partner, Executive Chef John Toulze, share a passion for French-country cooking and feature over 100 recipes and wine pairings in this new, full color table cookbook. There are 28 three-course menus arranged by season, as well as pantry recipes and wine pairings. Sondra reveals intimate stories and tributes to the local farmers, artisans, and food purveyors, all who bring a tremendous amount to the table. Don’t miss this amazing luncheon in one of the prettiest restaurants in Sonoma, just off the historic square. The price includes the meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book. THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy - Email

400 West Spain Street
95476 Sonoma

Jacques Pépin - Cooks with Books: Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food

Monday, April 16, 2012 - 6:30pm
Admission $145 per person 

SOLD OUT - Thank you!

Join us as we welcome legendary chef Jacques Pépin. In Essential Pépin, a book that celebrates his 60 years in food, the world's most famous cooking teacher shares his most favorite recipes from the the thousands he has created throughout his career. They include Onion Soup Lyonnaise-Style (which Jacques enjoyed as a young chef while bar-crawling in Paris); Linguine with Clam Sauce and Vegetables (a frequent dinner chez Jacques); Grilled Chicken with Tarragon Butter (which he makes indoors in winter and outdoors in summer); Five-Peppercorn Steak (his spin on a bistro classic); Meme's Apple Tart (which his mother made every day in her Lyon restaurant); and Warm Chocolate Fondue Souffle (part cake, part pudding, part souffle, and pure bliss). Essential Pépin spans the many styles of Jacques's cooking: homey country French, haute cuisine, fast food Jacques-style, and fresh contemporary American dishes. The books also includes a searchable DVD demonstrating every cooking technique you'll ever need. Join us for a fabulous evening you won't forget as we raise a toast with this true culinary legend! The price includes the meal, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book. Dinner will include wines from Trione Winery.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy

Left Bank Restaurant
507 Magnolia Ave.
94939 Larkspur

Elizabeth Gilbert: Cooks with Books - At Home on the Range

Sunday, April 29, 2012 - 6:30pm

IMPORTANT: Registration closes at 5:00pm on Saturday, April 28. For reservations before then, please call (415) 927-0960 ext. 1 and request to speak with a manager. 


Admission $115 per person
Introduced by Dave Eggers

Join Elizabeth Gilbert, the bestselling author of  Eat, Pray, Love, for a tribute to our mothers and our mother's mothers. For decades, they cooked and celebrated life in the kitchen. That was true for Margaret Yardley Potter, Gilbert's great grandmother and a longtime cooking columnist in the early decades of the 20th century. An accomplished cook and an epicurean adventurer in her day, Potter encouraged interest in farmer's markets, ethnic foods, and other approaches far ahead of their time. Be it luck or fate, Gilbert recently stumbled upon her great grandmother's collection of recipes. She has now revived this heirloom collection and given it new life in a lovely new edition from McSweeney's, At Home on the Range. [ For more about this remarkable book, check out this just published Huffington Post interview with Elizabeth Gilbert.]

"This book is a beautiful time capsule that looks back to the roots of American gastronomy, when the values of gardening and fresh ingredients were the primary inspiration. Margaret Yardley Potter's warm, witty stories and recipes show us that our great-grandmothers instinctually understood that food is central to a life well-lived." - Alice Waters

Don't miss this very special event!
Elizabeth Gilbert will be introduced by McSweeney's publisher Dave Eggers, who will speak a bit about ScholarMatch, the organization to which a portion of the proceeds of this new book are being donated. Tickets are $115 per person. Price includes meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip, & a signed copy of the book. Proceeds benefit the educational nonprofits 826 National and ScholarMatch.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy

Left Bank Restaurant
507 Magnolia Ave
94939 Larkspur

Cindy Pawlcyn - Cooks with Books: Cindy’s Supper Club: Meals from Around the World to Share with Family and Friends

Thursday, May 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

Admission $115 per person/ $185 per couple

Register for One

Register for Two

Call (415) 927-0960, ext. 1 to reserve

Join Cindy Pawlcyn, one of America's leading chef's, for what we know will be a very special event! Twice nominated as the James Beard Best Chef in California, Pawlcyn is rocking the food world with her new cookbook, Cindy's Supper Club.

It's no secret that legions of fans flock to Pawlcyn's restaurants for her globally influenced signature dishes. What is not so well known is that Cindy has turned her passions for cooking and travel into a popular supper club, where she creates an adventurous menu celebrating a different international cuisine each week. Cindy's Supper Club has become a destination event, presenting a world tasting tour on a plate. Pawlcyn's new book, drawn from the weekly menus of her supper clubs, is a collection of 125 complete recipes and menus from around the globe - as well as a delicious delight.

Pawlcyn helped make the Napa Valley a destination for food and wine in Northern California. Today, her trio of restaurants - 
Mustard’s Grill, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, and Brassica - are as much loved among locals as they are popular with visitors. Besides owning three of region's popular restaurants, Pawlcyn is also the author of four award-winning cookbooks including Mustard's Grill Napa Valley Cookbook, Big Small Plates, and Cindy Pawlcyn's Appetizers. She received a James Beard award for Mustards Grill Napa Valley Cookbook and is the author of Fog City Diner Cookbook.

Don't miss this event! Tickets are $115 per person / or $185 per couple. Price includes meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip, & a signed copy of the book. 

Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen
1327 Railroad Ave.
94574 St. Helena

Cooks with Books: Alton Brown - Good Eats 3: The Later Years

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 6:30pm

Admission $140 per person
Reserve by phone: (415) 927-0960, ext. 239

There is simply nobody else like Alton Brown with his wildly inventive, science-based, food-loving spirit! For those of you who have been following the last 14 seasons on the Food Network for his show, Good Eats series, it has won a Peabody Award and the 2011 James Beard Award. If you missed his show but watch Iron Chef America, he is the popular show's commentator. Brown's new cookbook offers more than 200 recipes and accompanies them with hundreds of photos, drawings and some stills from his show. In typical Alton style, the cookbook tackles topics like homemade marshmallows in "Puff the Magic Marshmallow" or  how to make dill pickles called  "Dill-icious." Home chefs and fans won't be disappointed because he serves up plenty of "Altonisms" through cooking tips, trivia, and of course his science food facts. Don't miss this fun evening and rare appearance by the country's favorite foodie. The price includes the meal, wine, coffee, tax, tip & a signed copy of the author’s book.

Can't attend the event? Order a signed copy

Left Bank Brasserie
507 Magnolia Avenue
94939 Larkspur


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