Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

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Put this on a list of things to look forward to in 2009.

I returned from my big fat Texas family Christmas to find some promo excerpts from this sitting on my desk:

The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year In the Life of a Restaurant

The Big Sur Bakery is on my shortlist of favorite places to eat in the world. Granted, I only make it up there once every year so, but when I go to the “happy place” in my head, nine times out of ten it is on the porch of this old craftsman house with a breakfast pizza and a cup of tea. Hot damn. The book isn’t out until next summer, but I couldn’t wait to spread the word.

Owners Michelle Rizzolo, Philip Wojtowicz, and Michael Gilson are L.A. restaurant vets: Among the three of them, you’ll find time done at Campanile, Joe’s, Mélisse, and the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. They left L.A. to open the Big Sur Bakery in 2001, and I discovered the spot on a road trip in 2004. I fell in love with wool scarves and lardo all in the same meal, and while I don’t think there’s any hope of entirely recreating the Big Sur vibe—part mountain-man bohemia, part Beach Boys, part Alice Waters—this cookbook is a start.

The book is divided by month, and each section contains several recipes as well as a profile of a local farmer, beekeeper, or other food purveyor. My little preview copy only has a couple of pictures, but it’s enough to make me want to scrap my New Year’s plans and head up the coast.

Oh yeah, Happy New Year everybody.