Having helmed The Restaurant at Meadowood for the past six years, chef Christopher Kostow has certainly amassed enough recipes to fill a book. Thankfully, he decided to write one, and his first cookbook, A New Napa Cuisine, was published this October ($32, Ten Speed Press). Kostow’s recipes, coupled with the raw, artful photography of Peden + Munk, reflect his fluidity of style and influences, which range from the fairgrounds of Illinois to the kitchens of Provence.

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In time for the holidays, we’re excerpting a recipe for a young bird baked in sourdough bread. The final result looks incredibly impressive, yet involves just a few key ingredients and is very approachable. Writes Kostow of his inspiration:

“In preparation for a dinner with the chefs of San Francisco’s famed Bar Tartine, we attempted this dish of a bird baked in a nigella seed–studded sourdough. Unlike most new ideas, this one worked right away: the bird was moist and had a subtle yeasty flavor. We played with the garniture, eventually settling on melted onions, a puree of the onions and the bread, and spicy nasturtiums. At The Restaurant, we first show the bird to the table, serve some of the bread in which it is cooked, and then finally, we bring the plated dish. We use the “cake plate” as a canvas for the muted white of the bird and onion and the vibrant green of the nasturtium.” 

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Reprinted with permission from A New Napa Cuisine by Christopher Kostow, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Photography by Peden + Munk, © 2014

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