October 22, 2004
"Holiday Fare" serves a fresh approach to traditional Christmas flavors
Celebrated chef John Gonzales’ earliest memory of cooking is baking Christmas cookies with his grandmother in the kitchen of his childhood home, Colonial Williamsburg’s Blue Bell Tavern, a restored 18th-century house in the shadow of Virginia’s colonial Capitol.
Chef Gonzales has infused his newest cookbook, “Holiday Fare: Favorite Williamsburg Recipes,” with a delicious sense of history and an abundance of Tidewater Virginia flavors, and seasoned it with a generous dollop of Southern style and hospitality. “Holiday Fare” will be popular addition to any kitchen, allowing culinary exploration during the holiday season and year-round.
Delectable classics – traditional and comforting – whet the appetite for Gonzales’ daring new creations with roots in historical recipes. Old favorites – Peanut Soup, Roasted Brined Turkey and Black-Eyed Peas with Grilled Red Onion Pickle, for example – provide introductions to new epicurean experiences such as Cranberry Ice with Pineapple Shrubs, and Fennel Slaw with Apple Cider Cream Dressing.
Drawing on culinary sensibilities refined at some of Washington, D.C.’s finest restaurants, Chef Gonzales shares crowd-pleasing dishes in a warm, engaging style that ensures ease of preparation for even the most sophisticated meals. Stunning photography throughout the volume creates a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
“Holiday Fare: Favorite Williamsburg Recipes” is
Gonzales’ second culinary work for Colonial Williamsburg. He also developed recipes for “The Colonial Williamsburg Tavern Cookbook,” the best-selling cookbook published in 2001. Gonzales began his career as a culinary apprentice in Colonial Williamsburg’s restaurants. As he honed his talents, he made the dean’s list at New York’s Culinary Institute of America and served as executive chef at Washington’s prestigious Watergate Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Jockey Club Restaurant. He returned to Colonial Williamsburg in 1995 as executive chef of Colonial Williamsburg’s four historic colonial taverns. With an eye for innovative concepts, Gonzales debuted a new Williamsburg restaurant and cooking school, A Chef’s Kitchen, during August just two blocks from the Historic Area.
The hardbound, 144-page “Holiday Fare: Favorite Williamsburg Recipes” (ISBN: 0-87935-196-9) with 62 color illustrations is available for $19.95 in bookstores nationwide and in Colonial Williamsburg retail stores, from the WILLIAMSBURG® catalog at (800) 446-9240 and on the Internet at www.williamsburgmarketplace.com.