While there are a number of Northwest cookbooks on the market, one Seattle chef saw a hole. He wanted a book that really focused on the seasons in the Northwest, which he understands a little differently than most.
Chef Johnathan Sundstrom, owner of Lark in Seattle, catalogues three seasons of cooking in his new book, “Lark: Cooking Against the Grain.” He’s not actually skipping one of the four conventional seasons. He’s actually abandoned the traditional ones altogether.
Sundstrom identifies the seasons as “mist,” the period we’re in now, November through March. The next season is “evergreen,” which covers the spring months. Then there’s “bounty,” which he says is full of ripe crops.
“Bounty is a great season because you’re sprinting to use all the great things we have available that time of year,” Sundstrom tells KIRO Radio’s Let’s Eat. “It’s almost like everyday you’re trying to catch up with all the awesome things that are out there in the markets.”
The new book shares a number of recipes from the James Beard award-winning chef’s restaurant Lark. When asked if he worries about sharing his secrets, he says he’s always pleased to get his food in peoples’ mouths.
“There’s no secrets in cooking, we’ve all been inspired by great chefs and restaurants for years and years, and I’m happy to share,” says Sundstrom. “I think people will be more interested in the restaurant if they’re able to try a few things.”
Sundstrom of course is an expert chef, but he says he didn’t dumb down his recipes. You’ll get the recipes for the kind of tastes you’re used to expecting from the restaurant. While the pork cheeks recipe is a two-day process, he’s says there are dishes even a novice can make.
“We wanted to stay true to the restaurant, so there are some dishes like that, that have a little warning sticker on it, ‘Try this when you have the whole weekend,'” says Sundstrom, “but then there’s others that are really approachable.”
He recommends some of the cheese dishes for those looking to start off easy.
The new book is available in book form and as an ebook. Find more information at Lark’s website.