(The Following is the foreward for acclaimed San Francisco chef Dominique Crenn's first cookbook, "Atelier Crenn Metamorphosis of Taste"
DOMINIQUE CRENN is like a Marvel Super Hero.
If you are familiar with Marvel Super-Heroes, you know they lead two lives. They have their superhero lives where they leap or fly or cling to buildings all over town fighting evil people and saving the world from doom.
And then they have their “regular” life where they look like normal folk and you wouldn’t even know they are anything special. The Incredible Hulk, for example, is Dr. Bruce Banner, a physicist. The Amazing Spiderman is Peter Parker, a student and photographer in his normal life. Thor, the Norse god of thunder and lightning, is Dr. Donald Blake, a respected surgeon.
And Dominque Crenn, the acclaimed super hero chef is, in her regular life, a cook.
I think in her heart, in that very artistic heart of hers, she might have fun being the superhero chef – who wouldn’t? – but, she is most in her element, most in her purest state of bliss when she is being a cook.
Still, like, all superheroes, it is fun to see the transformation. It’s exciting to see her magically transform from cook to superhero chef.
I have seen superhero Dominique single-handedly take a celebrity chef-studded food event that was heading toward doldrums and transform it into a joyous, free-spirited party with her super powers of unrestrained spontaneity, mischievousness, merrymaking and beauty.
And I have seen “regular” Dominique inconspicuously walked into my restaurant in Los Angeles, dressed casually and quietly take a seat at the Mozzarella Bar. I’ve seen her ask the server about the dishes like she didn’t know foie gras from chopped liver. I’ve seen her quietly study the plate when it arrived, sniff and slowly taste. A cook still learning. Or at least hoping to learn.
And, to me, that is the mark of the great ones. The chefs, the cooks, who after all the acclaim, all the stars and rave reviews, are still leaning, still searching for flavor. That’s Dominique Crenn.
I first met Dominique Crenn two years ago at a food event in downtown Los Angeles She was sitting at a table with a mutual friend, quietly sipping a glass of white wine. We quickly hit it off, talking about our worlds in the kitchen.
I learned she was, like me, deeply influenced by her father, who you will read about in this book’s opening pages. He was an artist, and I think Dominique is an artist, too. A poet, too.
When you go through this book, I think you will agree. Go to one of the opening chapters, Metamorphosis, and read perhaps the loveliest, most poetic menu ever called “Chef’s Grand Tasting Menu”. Poetic Culinary. Read and you will understand.
But, her food, isn’t about words. It isn’t about looks, though it is certainly fun to behold. Her food is about soul. It is about childhood. It is about passions. But, and this is a giant “but”, it is about deliciousness. Front and center, it is about how damn good her food tastes.
Hey, what did I say? Dominique Creen might be a super hero chef. But, really, Dominique Crenn is a cook.
- Nancy Silverton
"Metamorphosis of Taste" by Dominique Crenn goes on sale Tuesday, November 3, 2015. Get it at your local bookstore. Or get it here.