Cookbook Review: This Is Camino

Thursday, October 22, 2015



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I have to premise this review by telling you that I haven’t even heard of Camino prior to reading this book even though I’ve lived in the Bay Area for a number of years and visit frequently.  Camino is the locally beloved but nationally acclaimed restaurant in Oakland known and respected by foodies and chefs alike.  

At first glance, This Is Camino is a beautiful restaurant cookbook with many interesting recipes.  As I read further, I became disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to use much of this cookbook because most of the recipes require a kitchen with a giant wood fired hearth.  I certain don’t have that nor can I think of anyone I know with an open fire pit in their kitchen to try these recipes.  The chefs do offer campfire alternatives but what’s the point?  I definitely don’t want the neighbors calling the firemen if they see smoke billowing from my backyard.  While I won’t be able to cook from Camino, I was able to tease out a few recipes that I can try with my oven or grill like the apple calvados tart, buckwheat rhubarb tarts, cherry tarts, grilled fig leaf ice cream, yogurt sesame pudding, mashed beets with mustard seeds, baked oysters with breadcrumbs, and roasted petra sole with preserved lemons.  

I did enjoy reading about the restaurant’s operation with a breakdown of hourly schedule from the setup of the cooking stations to the cleaning of the restaurant at the end of the night .  While I appreciate the authors’ passion for open fire cooking and focus on the use of wholesome and fresh ingredients, This Is Camino is not written for a home cook like myself.   

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

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