Sunday, October 02, 2005


There are book parties, and then there are book parties.

Boy, did I go to a great book party Sunday.

It was a celebration of the release of Boulevard, a cookbook written by the chefs of the acclaimed San Francisco restaurant. I am fortunate to be friends with Pamela Mazzola, the chef de cuisine at the restaurant. She wrote the book with Boulevard’s owner, Nancy Oakes.

Most book parties have decent wine, a nice platter of cheese, maybe some chicken sate if it’s really a special affair.

This one had tuna tartare, little scallops, buttermilk fried chicken, prawns in saffron rice, … and much much more. Did I mention the champagne?

No wonder 600 people showed up.

Boulevard is one of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants. Its patrons constantly vote it one of the city’s greatest places to have a meal. More than 1.9 million people have eaten lunch or dinner there since it opened a decade ago.

The cookbook, Boulevard, published by Ten Speed Press, is a work of art itself. It has beautiful glossy pictures that make the reader salivate. Pamela and Nancy write about their partnership, why they like particular recipes, what they strive to create at the restaurant, and tips on how to recreate some of their delicacies at home.

There were stacks and stacks of the book at the party. I saw one woman buy five copies. And at $50 each, that is a testimonial to the quality of the book.

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