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Local Chef Cookbooks

A foodie’s feasting is never done. When it’s after hours and you haven’t had enough, or when you’re feeling nosy for the behind-the-scenes of your favorite restaurant, tell-all cookbooks from a handful of local chefs save the day. Some have secrets, some have stories, and all have mesmerizing food-porn photos rivaling any Instagram. Make it a gift or a keepsake for your kitchen; Discover five cookbooks from local chefs.

Come Early, Stay Late from Brian Malarkey

While his vast-n-fast restaurant expansion has been the central focus over the past few years, Chef Brian Malarkey has found some time between the five San Diego fabric restaurants to compose a cookbook that fans can hold on to long after dinner ends. Come Early, Stay Late is hot off the press, a compilation of recipes broken down into sections by restaurant with accompanying glossy photos. Aside from the “social dining” recipes of Searsucker, Burlap, Gingham, Gabardine and Herringbone restaurants, you’ll find the step-by-steps to desserts from Executive Pastry Chef Rachel King and cocktails from Pick & Rocks.

Once you’ve hung up the apron for the night, Come Early, Stay Late also includes a look into Brian’s motivation behind each restaurant concept, from style to service. For a San Diegan living amongst the Malarkey empire, this book is a must-have. $29.95 at chefspress.com.

Join Chef Brian Malarkey for exclusive book signings, taking place on Monday, December 3 (5-6pm Gabardine; 7-8pm Searsucker), Wednesday, December 5 (5-6pm Burlap) and Thursday, December 6 (5-6pm Gingham; 7-8pm Herringbone).

From Terra's Table by Jeff Rossman

More than a decade ago, Chef Jeff Rossman of Terra American Bistro imagined a menu that closely tuned in to the seasons of Southern California. His cookbook, released in 2010, emulates this same principle, revealing the ways to cook seasonally with San Diego’s farms, climate and produce capabilities in mind. The 139 recipes go beyond the fork, too. Each includes wine and beer pairings, showcasing the local Karl Strauss Brewery, Fallbrook Winery, South Coast Winery, Orfila Vineyards and more.  

From Butternut Squash Gnocchi to Karl Strauss Amber Lager Braised Short Ribs or Terra’s Signature Chocolate Cigar, the cookbook makes a feast out of sustainable ingredients without compromising creativity and taste.

You’ll also find more information on regional farms such as Suzie’s and Sage Mountain, learn about the work Jeff does with food activism, and get inspired by his efforts in San Diego area school garden projects. $32.95 at chefspress.com.

Main Photo; Paul Body as seen in "From Terra's Table" (Chef Press, 2010)

Cal-a-Vie Living: Gourmet Spa Cuisine

Southern California destination health spa Cal-a-Vie welcomes guests to experience their fitness and wellness resort intended to lift spirits, energize the soul and rediscover the balance of mind and body. The cuisine of Cal-a-Vie has specifically garnered positive attention because of its health-forward flavors as prepared by Executive Chef Jason Graham. Chef Jason has been named one of the top healthy gourmet chefs in the nation, a title earned through his commitment to regional produce, unprocessed whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, essential fatty acids and lean proteins.

The Cal-a-Vie Living: Gourmet Spa Cuisine showcases over 100 of these flavorful, nourishing recipes along with clever cooking tips to make health cuisine a breeze. The hard-bound book also breaks down nutritional information for each how-to. Discover indulgent dishes such as Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet Sauce, Lobster Mashed Potatoes, Spa Pizza and Spicy Rock Shrimp Won Tons. $34.95 at cal-a-vie.com.

Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World by Chef Bernard Guillas and Chef Ron Oliver

When Chefs Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver weren’t helming the kitchen of the renowned Marine Room in La Jolla, the two chronicled their travels and chef-expertise in the cookbook Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World. This book isn’t just a guide to the San Diego dining scene. It travels across the globe, from Thailand to Brazil, taking a closer look at the connection between cuisine and culture. As avid travelers who have collectively followed food to over 40 countries, Guillas and Oliver combine personal travel stories, anecdotes and tasty discoveries to lead readers on a journey through over 100 recipes.

Written in a conversational, reader-friendly style, the two chefs communicate the art of food developing all over the world. A few sections to make cooking easy include the Kitchen Drawer exploring the chef’s top 20 favorite tools, Out Of A Bind with helpful ingredient substitutions, and Stock Options that teaches the foundation of sauce making. $25 at twochefsoneworld.com.

TRUE FOOD: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure

The True Food Kitchen that moved into San Diego earlier this year didn’t take long to round up an avid local fan base. This health-conscious restaurant with flair gives guests a treat when nutrition meets flavor, creating meals centered on the doctrines of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Food Pyramid. Now, the restaurant puts pen to paper to give True Food enthusiasts the recipes for some of the most beloved dishes.

Released in October, Dr. Andrew Weil, restaurateur Sam Fox and Executive Chef Michael Stebner combine more than 125 recipes emphasizing organic and locally grown produce. In the comfort of your home, you can whip up Curied Cauliflower Soup, Bison Umami Burgers, the Kale Salad or even a refreshing Pomegranate Martini. Once your appetite is satiated, cozy up with the cookbook’s accompanying essays covering everything from the farmer’s market to proper proportions for optimum health. $29.99 at amazon.com.

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