Culled recipes, collected memories honor missed chef
Cooking with Patrick Clark: A Tribute to the Man and His Cuisine,
June 28, 1999
By Wendy Wolfenbarger
(CNN) -- "Cooking with Patrick Clark" is an enduring cookbook of recipes and memories of a well-known and well-loved man whose life was as rich and delicious as his food.
Coordinated by friend and Chicago chef Charlie Trotter, the book is a tribute to the late chef who had wanted to write his own book but penned only two recipes before his death in February 1998.
"We said, 'We've got to write his book for him,'" Trotter says.
Clark was chef at New York City's famed Tavern on the Green when he died waiting for a heart transplant at age 42. He left behind a wife and five children, the oldest 17, the youngest 7. Royalties from the book sales benefit a trust for their education.
The book includes 60 recipes of Clark's, revived from notes and memory by family and co-workers. Vivid, detailed photos accompany many of the elegant dishes.
In between regal recipes for such filling food as Fried Oysters with Spinach and Basil Sauce to Persimmon Creme Caramel are family photos and notes from each of his children telling why they miss him so.
More than 50 chef friends and acquaintances donated recipes and inspiring stories to fill out the pages -- from legends like French chef Alain Ducasse to Michael Lomonaco, a former aspiring actor and taxi driver who pursued a career as a chef after talking to Clark, a passenger in his cab.
The book's recipes are often complex and challenging -- not simple for a home cook, just simply the best a top chef had to offer.
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