I'm excited to have the new cookbook "Lark: Cooking Against the Grain" (Community Supported Cookbooks, Seattle, Wash., $50) from chef/owner John Sundstrom in hand. Lark is one of my perennial Seattle favorites. Sundstrom's cooking is unfussy, yet sophisticated, with a deep sense of place. This is not one of those chef's vanity cookbooks that requires a forklift to move from bookshelf to kitchen counter. Reasonably sized, it's a very personal book from this beloved and much lauded Seattle restaurant.
It’s worth noting that the Lark cookbook was started as a Kickstarter project. Fifty-five backers put in a total of $54,437, which is $21,000 more than the goal of $33,000.
Some chefs whip out a cookbook before their restaurants have even been open a few months. Like Zuni Café's Judy Rodgers, Sundstrom has waited to write one until he had enough he wanted to say. He also hasn't overloaded it with recipes. He's included just 75 of his classic and truly seasonal recipes. I'm hankering to try most of them.
Want to hear some? Mussels with bacon, apple and shallot. Razor clam chowder with turnip, truffle and thyme. Rösti potatoes with clabber cream and paddlefish caviar. North Bay halibut with creamed nettles and morels. Lamb sweetbreads with artichoke hearts, white beans and green garlic.
Come strawberry season, I'm going to be making his strawberry float with buttermilk ice cream, strawberry sorbet and Champagne. And in summer, his ribollita with white beans, chard, tomatoes, squash and basil. Or how about black fig tarte tatin with goat cheese sorbet and grappa caramel? Or savarin cake with Beaumes de Venise, blackberries and plum?