An Onion in My Pocket by Deborah Madison

From the writer of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (“The Queen of Greens,” The Washington Post)–a warm, bracingly sincere memoir that also offers us an insider’s have a look at the vegetarian movement.Thanks to her liked cookbooks and groundbreaking work as the chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Deborah Madison, although no longer a vegetarian herself, has long been revered as this country’s leading authority on vegetables. She profoundly modified the manner generations of Americans think about cooking with vegetables, supporting to transform “vegetarian” from a grimy phrase into a mainstream way of eating. But earlier than she have become a household name, Madison spent nearly twenty years as an ordained Buddhist priest, coming of age in the midst of counterculture San Francisco. In this charmingly intimate and refreshingly frank memoir, she tells her story–and with it the story of the vegetarian movement–for the first actual time. From her childhood in Big Ag Northern California to working within the kitchen of the then-new Chez Panisse, and from the start of food TV to the age of inexperienced markets everywhere, An Onion in My Pocket is as lots the story of the evolution of American foodways as it’s far the memoir of the girl at the forefront. It is a deeply personal study the upward thrust of vegetable-forward cooking, and a manifesto for a way to consume well.


“Recovering” Buddhist priest and “vegetable whisperer” Deborah Madison reveals the heart and thoughts of the chef in the back of an iconic San Francisco restaurant and severa vegetarian cookbooks in her honest, beguiling memoir, An Onion in My Pocket. The identify is derived from an opening anecdote: After spending the day making pizza along with her ex, Madison attended a Spanish class and, looking her pockets for pen and paper, pulled out an onion leftover from pizza-making and plunked it on her desk. “People began to laugh. To me, it was absolutely normal,” she writes.

Madison relays her lifestyles in a swingy style, moving from her adolescence in Davis, California, to her university days, to her post-college migration to the San Francisco Zen Center amid that city’s counterculture heyday. She lived within the Zen network for 20 years and started her culinary course as their head cook. Later, she did a stint at Alice Waters’ famed Chez Panisse and subsequently helped found (then helm) the acclaimed vegetarian eating place Greens. An Onion in My Pocket gives a layered, intimate observe Zen life, the making of a soulful, clever chef and the genesis and increase of a writer. It’s also an ode to nourishment, sustenance and gratitude for the earth’s bounty, vegetal and otherwise.


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