I admire what Alice Waters has accomplished with Chez Panisse (although I feel it is now way overpriced for what you get), but all the talented chefs that have worked in that kitchen over the years have not gotten enough recognition for putting that place on the map and more or less kept it there for three decades.
David Tanis is one of those dudes. More than his cooking at Chez Panisse, his food writing for magazines and his cookbooks are what have drawn my attention to him. The "A platter of figs and other recipes" is such a wonderful cookbook with approachable techniques and recipes that yields delicious results.
Now he has said goodbye to Berkeley and moved to NY to become a regular contributor for the Times, and this week his first piece appeared. Turning white beans from a fall/winter staple into a nice spring salad was a pretty sweet idea, one that I had to try.
I am excited for what is to come and I hope he sticks around with the paper for a while as he did with that little restaurant in Berkeley.