Food Lover’s Book Club is a bimonthly discussion of a cookbook or food-related book led by 5280‘s food editor Amanda M. Faison. The free gathering takes place at the Cherry Creek Library.

A Platter of Figs by David Tanis is one of my most cherished cookbooks. Here’s why: Although a celebrated chef (Tanis spent decades helming the kitchen at Alice Waters’ famed restaurant Chez Panisse), his favorite place to cook is at home. He believes in simplicity and that “the best meals mirror nature and celebrate the season.” Those sensibilities dovetail with those of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), direct-from-the-farm shares of fruits and vegetables. Sign up and unpack the weekly box, ogle the ingredients, and begin dreaming up ways to use each and every component. And not just that, supporting a CSA helps both ensure the success of local farms and connects you to your food in a way that no grocery store can.

Lyle Davis and Sylvia Tawse of Pastures of Plenty Farm in Longmont, join me on April 8 to discuss the concept of the CSA in depth, as well as provide tips on how to best utilize a week’s worth of vegetables. Both are cooks and food lovers in their own right: Davis founded Alfalfa’s and Tawse owned a restaurant and catering company before launching the Fresh Ideas Group. In 1993, the couple expanded on a dream. As detailed on the farm’s website, “The two cooks excitedly discussed the idea of a large family garden where one could grow a variety of vegetables and flowers, harvest one’s crops, prepare seasonal meals, and celebrate gathering around the table, adjacent to the fields where the ingredients were grown. They called it a “field-to-table” experience long before ‘locavore’ was coined or ‘farm-to-table’ was a phrase.” Davis and Tawse bought a neglected 35-acre farm and have since turned it into a bucolic setting. Along the way, they have learned about organic farming, forged many a friendship, and have—by necessity—become the very definition of instinctive cooks. I think David Tanis would approve.

Details: Whether you’ve read or cooked from A Platter of Figs or not, join Davis and Tawse and me for a lively discussion about CSAs and cooking on Wednesday, April 8, at the Cherry Creek Library.

Next up: On Wednesday, June 10, Kate Kavanagh and Josh Curtiss of LoHi’s Western Daughter’s Butcher Shoppe join me to explore the world of sustainable meat. The chosen book is The Third Plate by Dan Barber. Although we hope you devour every page (the book is an essential read for food lovers), we will specifically discuss chapters three and seven. As an accompaniment, please cook from chef Sean Brock’s gorgeous new cookbook Heritage (specifically “The Pasture” chapter). Both books are revered within the food industry and were recently nominated for James Beard Awards. Check them out at the library, buy them at the Tattered Cover, cook from them, and come ready to discuss.

Free, 6 p.m., Ross-Cherry Creek Branch Library, 305 Milwaukee St., 720-865-0120

Follow food editor Amanda M. Faison on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.