James Oseland. Photo: Darrell Hucks
The famed fireplace at Camino restaurant will sizzle this Saturday, November 10 for a book luncheon featuring Saveur's James Oseland. He may be familiar for his recent judging appearances on Top Chef Masters but he brings serious journalistic food cred to the table as well. Under his watch, Saveur has raked in more than 25 awards, including eight James Beard awards. Oseland's newest culinary tome is heavy on food images that will make you ready to cook and, of course, eat: The Way We Cook: Portraits from Around the World. Yes, you can catch Wolfgang Puck smiling for the camera but the participants are mainly home cooks who are non-professional, and there’s a cozy warmth to their stories. Bay Area Bites interviewed Oseland recently to find out more.
Bay Area Bites: How did this book project come about?
Oseland: This book is a tribute to kitchens around the world and the people who make them hum. I'm fond of saying, cooking connects us, and I think what I love most about Saveur is its mission to tell human stories. Even if it's a story about a type of dish or technique, it's also a story about the person putting food on the table. I'm amazed every day that at the heart of it all, the desire to cook is fantastically similar whether we’re in a remote village or in the midst of a big city. Looking back through hundreds of stories and photographs we've collected over the past decade, I feel lucky to be part of such a wonderful community with a hearty appetite and respect for global cuisine and culture.
Bay Area Bites: What are you most passionate about food-wise?
Oseland: There is nothing that settles and satisfies me at the same time more than the act of cooking in my own kitchen. I also must admit, my husband is Brazilian and he has gotten me completely hooked on the country's pickled chilies. They have such depth and range of flavor -- it's like I've never had a chili before! They manage to sneak their way into the vast majority of my meals.