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First Look: Daniel Patterson's Coi Cookbook

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[Photos: Paula Forbes /]

Coi: Stories and Recipes is San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson's first cookbook, and it's also the first cookbook from an American chef out of Phaidon, the publishing house responsible for the cookbooks from international chefs like René Redzepi, Magnus Nilsson, and Alex Atala. The book is a documentation of Patterson's two-Michelin star restaurant, Coi, which repeatedly earns four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle since it opened in 2006. By pulling dishes from over the years of Coi's existence, the book shows the evolution of the restaurant.

Below, a look inside and the exclusive ticket information for Daniel Patterson's book tour around the US. Coi: Stories and Recipes is out from Phaidon October 14 (pre-order on Amazon).

Coi takes its mission of documentation very seriously. The recipes are not traditional recipes so much as necessary context for each dish. And they're not necessarily meant to be recreated: Patterson writes in the introduction, "I wanted them to be fun to read so I delved deeply into some aspects of the processes and not others." Ingredients are not listed at the beginning of each recipe, either.

Instead, recipes open with a brief essay on how the dish was created, or what it meant for the restaurant, or how Patterson views it within the larger restaurant community. For example, he has his own riff on Figs on a Plate, poking fun at David Chang's infamous dig at San Francisco restaurants (as does fellow Bay Area chef Chris Cosentino, in his own cookbook). He also writes about how sources (farmers, fishermen, ranchers) led to dish creation, and how the California surroundings influenced the food.

Whether you find a lack of actual utility off-putting or not, the narrative telling of recipes does serve a purpose: you are forced to read each in its entirety to understand what's going on. This is a cookbook designed to be read cover-to-cover, not one to be skimmed and dog-eared for recipes to come back and recreate. It's a narrative of the life of the restaurant in the same way Patterson says he aims to make his tasting menus into a narrative, with each dish leading into the next.

Maren Caruso does excellent work as the book's photographer, serving up light and lovely photos of both the food and the sun-soaked California countryside that produces it. Both Harold McGee and Peter Meehan provide forewords; Patterson himself handles the rest of the text. Below, take a peek inside.

Daniel Patterson North American Book Tour

San Francisco

Wednesday, October 9, 6:30pm
Talk and book signing
Omnivore Books
Free and open to the public.

Wednesday, October 30, 7:00pm
"Reinventing California Cuisine"
Daniel Patterson and David Kinch in conversation with Paolo Lucchesi
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco
Tickets: $25.

Monday, November 18, 4:30pm
Book Passage presents: "Cooks with Books: Daniel Patterson"
Coi Restaurant
For tickets, $115 per person (includes a copy of the book).

Thursday, Dec 5, 6:00pm
Union Square, San Francisco
Free and open to the public.

New York City

Saturday, October 12, 11:30am
James Beard Foundation Taste America
Demo and book signing
Sur La Table, Hells Kitchen
Free and open to the public.

Monday, October 14
Daniel Patterson at Momofuku Ko
Additional information on this guest chef dinner and ticket sales will be announced on Momofuku Long Play.

Thursday, October 17, 7:00pm
"Daniel Patterson with Gabrielle Hamilton: On Food and Writing"
Discussion and book signing
92nd Street Y
Tickets: $21.

Friday, October 18, 7:00pm
NYC Wine & Food Festival
"Cross Country Dinner with Daniel Patterson, Sean Brock, George Mendes"
The Core Club
Tickets: $250.


Tuesday, October 15, 7:00pm
Chefs Daniel Patterson and Alex Atala - discussion and book signing
George Ignatieff Theatre, U of Toronto
Tickets $60, includes copy of the book.


Wednesday, October 16, 5:00pm
Copley Place
Free and open to the public.


Saturday, October 26, 11:30am
Culinary Institute of America - Greystone
Demo with Daniel Patterson and lunch inspired by Coi: Stories and Recipes
Tickets available in September; $95, includes a copy of the book.


Tuesday, October 29.
An evening with Daniel Patterson to celebrate the release of his new book Coi: Stories and Recipes
Canlis Restaurant (with Book Larder)
Tickets $150, includes food, drink and signed copy of book.


Saturday, November 2
Book signing
Free and open to the public.


Monday, November 4, 6:30pm-9:30pm
An Evening with Daniel Patterson celebrating launch of his new book, Coi: Stories and Recipes, prepared by chef Quang Dang
West Restaurant
Tickets: $160, includes food, discussion and personalized copy of the book

Los Angeles

Wednesday, November 6
Daniel Patterson Guest Chef Dinner with Ludo Lefebvre and Coi LA book launch
Trois Mec
Tickets and details available closer to the event date.

· Coi: Stories and Recipes [Amazon]
· All Daniel Patterson Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Cookbook Coverage on Eater [-E-]