Friday, February 11, 2011

Discovering Vintage—the Restaurant and the Cookbook

Posted By on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 1:49 PM

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I recently had the chance to chat with chef Jeff Keys, owner of Vintage Restaurant in Ketchum, while doing some research for the upcoming Boise Weekly Restaurant Guide. While just talking to him about his take on food was enough to make me hungry, it was nothing compared to the moment I opened a package containing his cookbook based on what he does at the restaurant.

Keys sent me the book, Vintage Restaurant, as a way to further explain the philosophy of Vintage—which has just seven tables and a menu that depends on what's fresh, local and fabulous each day—but the book just made me want to jump in my car and head for the Wood River Valley.

The cookbook is visually stunning and offers a bit of Keys' philosophy behind his work, as well as a broad assortment of some of his favorite creations—and you've got to respect any cookbook that features as many desserts as it does entrees.

But beyond the bachelor's berries and brandy berry sauce, the New Orleans coffee-toasted pecan ice cream, the whiskey sabayon and the Mexican vanilla demitasse creme brulee or even the apple wood-smoked pork loin chip with gorgonzola polenta, carmelized yams and black mission fig, ginger and port sauce, there are a lot of good basics. That category includes a wide array of homemade salad dressings, tips on all-around sauces and even the "tomato manifesto."

If you're into salad dressings, Keys is releasing his new cookbook, Well Dressed, on Tuesday, March 1. The book is dedicated to salad dressings and is available for pre-order at Amazon.

If you can't make it to Sun Valley to check out a copy for yourself, you can order the hardcover book through Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise or online at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Now I've just got to wipe the drool off the pages of my copy and let them dry before I try closing the book.

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