A while back, we had the pleasure of producing Chef Peter Davis’s cookbook Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table. Chef Davis, the lauded toque at The Charles Hotel’s beloved restaurant known for its sunny, homespun feel, knew long before it was de rigueur that sourcing farm-fresh ingredients for his New England-style fare created the most flavorful, wholesome dishes. From the restaurant’s inception in 1995, Henrietta’s Table championed sustainable, organic fare, and Davis forged close relationships with farmers, cheese makers, and fishermen peppered throughout New England. His patrons responded, returning regularly for a singular Sunday brunch, as well as for comfort food faves like Yankee Pot Roast, Maine Rock Crab Cakes, and Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Caramelized Bananas and Vanilla Ice Cream.
In Fresh & Honest, cowritten by Alexandra Hall, and with palette-whetting photography by Heath Robbins, Davis shares Henrietta’s Table’s most requested dishes with home chefs everywhere. With tantalizing recipes that run the gamut from breakfast to supper and dressings to drinks, the cookbook celebrates ultra fresh flavors, as well as the farmers and suppliers who produce them.
Clearly, Chef Davis was driven to share his message about the value of farm-to-table cooking with readers. But why did he choose to keep his hand in the project? We pulled the exceptionally busy chef out of his kitchen for a few minutes to share his thoughts on getting a book of your own published.
Three Bean Press: Why did you decide to custom publish your own cookbook?
Davis: I was looking to have control on the outcome and to allow for more of my personal touch and opinions in the book.
Three Bean Press: What was your favorite part of the process?
Davis: Getting together with the team, and working and brainstorming on what the best look and feel [for the cookbook] would be.
Three Bean Press: What tip would you give authors looking to self-publish?
Davis: Get help!
Three Bean Press: What is most gratifying about being a published cookbook author?
Davis: Having Fresh & Honest done. It took a lot of work, but the result is very rewarding. It’s something to be published.
“Something,” indeed. Fresh & Honest recently nabbed the New England Book Award for “Best Cookbook,” so we guess Davis isn’t the only one who thinks so.
Tagged: chef peter davis, Chocolate Bread Pudding, Farm to Table, farm-to-table cooking, Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table, Heath Robbins, Henrietta's Table, Maine Rock Crab Cakes, Rum Caramelized Bananas and Vanilla Ice Cream, Yankee Pot Roast