Everybody who enjoyed Jean-Pierre Moullé's cooking at Chez Panisse during his storied 30-year tenure as executive chef at the iconic Berkeley restaurant has been waiting for this book for years. Moullé and his wife, Denise, have written "French Roots: Two Cooks, Two Countries & the Beautiful Food Along the Way" that is both a cookbook and a beautiful love story too.
The French couple, who now divide their time between a farm in Sonoma County and their country house in Bordeaux (Denise is part of the prominent Lurton wine family there and founded the culinary travel company Two Bordelais), will be in Southern California next week for a series of book signings and dinners.
Sunday supper at Lucques on Sunday is hosted by chef/owner Suzanne Goin, who worked with Jean-Pierre at Chez Panisse earlier in her career. She has created a dinner inspired by the stories and recipes in the cookbook. The four-course menu includes grilled scallop skewers with pancetta and herb butter; winter squash soup with toasted sesame seeds and Comté croutons; stuffed pork loin with prunes and roasted apples; and ile flottante (floating island). It costs $55 with advance ticket only. Co-owner Caroline Styne will be pouring French wine selections she's chosen to match the dishes.
Lucques, 8474 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood (323) 655-6277. Reservations in advance only.
Monday the Moullés will be at Cliff's Edge in Silver Lake where chef Vartan Abgaryan and his staff will be preparing four recipes from the book—sardines preserved with lemon; leeks in mustard vinaigrette with egg; braised pork shoulder with Savoy cabbage; and ile flottante--which will be served alongside the same dish as reinterpreted by Abgaryan. The restaurant will also be serving wines from Denise Lurton Moullé's family. The four-course prix fixe dinner is $50 per person. Wine pairings are $35 per person.
Wednesday Cooks County will be holding their dinner for the couple. Chefs Dan Maltern and Roxana Jullapat will be serving an a la carte menu inspired by the book, which includes dishes such as salt cod brandade, warm oysters in their shells with leeks and Champagne butter, grilled duck breast with black currants and cassis, or leg of veal with porcini mushrooms. In addition, there will be a prix fixe menu of pissaladiere, stuffed pork loin with prunes and roasted apples and floating island for dessert at $45. Signed copies of the Moullés' book will be available too.
Cooks County, 8009 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 653-8009. Reservations recommended. Entrées, $23 to $35; prix fixe menu, $45.
On Oct. 30, before heading back north, the Moullés will be in Santa Barbara for a book-signing event at Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant on Thursday afternoon from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Denise will be pouring some of her family's Château Bonnet wines. The event is open to the public.
Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant, 131 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara (805) 284-0380.