More Than a Cookbook
Chef Walter Staib is probably best known for his passionate re-mastery of eighteenth-century American cuisine, featured on the menu at Philadelphia's City Tavern.  In Black Forest Cuisine, this devoted student of history and cuisine takes us on a journey that looks back to his own childhood and formative culinary years in Germany's Black Forest.
Up until now, many of us might have held only a vague vision of the Black Forest - a region renowned for its dark, seemingly magical, woods; folk traditions; and, of course, rich namesake cake.  In Black Forest Cuisine, Chef Staib's stories and recipes broaden our view of his homeland as he shares with us the many colorful experiences and memories that shaped his youth.  His journey takes us to a variety of venues, each presenting traditional dishes in a manner unique to the region.  We visit kitchens and tables in the home, cafe, Gasthaus, and Hotel, and finish with menus representative of celebrity hoiday feasts.
The recipes Chef Staib shares with us convey the Black Forest's rich personality - one formed over the centuries as diverse peoples and influences left their flavorful marks on the culture.  From Russian Eggs to Gingerbread; Vol-au-Vent with Veal Ragout to Cream Puffs; Schlachtplatte to Spatzle; Herring a la Bonne Femme to Rice Pudding with Meringue; and Beignets to Wassail, Chef Staib shows us just how broad and varied Black Forest cuisine really is.  Each recipe has a special place in his memory and a personal story, reminding us that food shapes and defines who we are.  Black Forest Cuisine is, in fact, as much a memoir as it is a cookbook.  As we learn about the region's cuisine, we also learn as much about life in post-WWII Germany; about the importance community played in daily activities; and, in the midst of it all, about the making of a chef.
As a former chef-instructor and now president of the Culinary Institute of America, I have witnessed thousands of students journey toward their dreams of one day becoming successful chefs.  They train hard, acquire new skills, gain discipline, and learn to utilize their own talents