The Culture of Food and Drink

Home / Articles Posted by Deborah Madison (Page 2)
Deborah Madison's Image
Deborah Madison 25POSTS

Plants and produce have always been my passion.

I began my career with food in California, where I grew up, when I became the founding chef of Greens restaurant in San Francisco in l979. One of the first restaurants to make cooking from farm and garden the driving force behind its menu, Greens introduced its customers to many foods that were then new to Americans -- arugula, fingerling potatoes, herbs, colorful varieties of lettuces and other edible plants that are now a familiar part of the culinary landscape. Greens also rescued vegetarian food from its stodgy past and transformed it into food that was bright and delicious and appealing across the board. It was quite an adventure to take on!

After leaving Greens and cooking in Rome at the American Academy for a year, I returned to the Bay Area to write "The Greens Cookbook," then went on to write another 10 books on food and cooking, including "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone," "This Can't Be Tofu," "The Savory Way" and "Seasonal Fruit Desserts from Orchard, Farm and Market." My most recent book is "Vegetable Literacy."  In all of my books, (except for "What We Eat When We Eat Alone"), I have used recipes to link taste and satisfaction to local foods enjoyed in their season. Much of my writing has been involved with looking for, identifying and writing about superior regional foods and farmers markets.

For the past 20 years I have lived in New Mexico, where, upon arrival, I managed the Santa Fe Farmers Market, which became the impetus for "Local Flavors, Cooking and Eating From America's Farmers Markets" as well as countless articles on food and farming, especially in New Mexico and the West. I taught cooking all over the country for 20 years, have written for many magazines (including Gourmet, Saveur, Food and Wine, Kitchen Gardener, Fine Cooking, Orion, Organic Gardening) and have spoken at many conferences and colleges on the importance of local agriculture. I am on the boards of the Seed Savers Exchange and The Edible Kitchen Garden school project in Santa Fe.

My books have won awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the James Beard Society and Les Dames d'Escoffier.

Rainbow chard. Credit: Deborah Madison

At a reading a few weeks ago in Portland, Ore., I finally blurted it out for the first time: "I hate the word veggies!"

Deborah Madison holds an allium. Credit: Christopher Hirsheimer

A few carrots that didn't get pulled one summer made their beautiful lacy flowers the next year, and it was easy to see that


Last month, my husband and I went to Dublin, Ireland, to make up for an earlier visit that was ruined by a bad oyster.

A Mammoth Red Rock Cabbage at Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa. Credit: Deborah Madison

Recently, I was at Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa, getting some last images for my new book, "Vegetable Literacy." Although the late summer days

A taco cafe at Kramer Junction, at the intersection of Highway 395 and Highway 58.

Summer is the season when people get in their cars for vacation and when articles appear about what to eat while on the road.


When I travel I can't imagine just lounging around, which is one of the reasons agritourism has such appeal. You have your own agenda,


I know many who say that Thanksgiving is their absolute most favorite holiday ever. I, too, have a special fondness for a celebration that's


This summer I devoted a good part of my garden a large bed of huauzontle. Why huauzontle? Well, because I once spent 10 days