One doesn’t have to be a fan of Vivaldi or Frankie Valli to admire Pascale Beale’s release of the beautifully presented box set of all four A Menu for All Seasons cookbooks. Beale finished the cycle with the rerelease of Spring: Actually, all but three recipes in the collection are different from the now out-of-print 2004 edition that she co-wrote with Ann Marie Martorano-Powers, and even those are revised. But don’t ask her if that feels odd, for she explained, “People go, ‘Oh, you’re done,’ and I say, ‘What do you mean I’m done? I haven’t finished writing.’”
What’s harder to imagine is how she finds the time to write with everything she has cooking under her business, Pascale’s Kitchen. She’s still teaching classes and will be showing how to make asparagus salad, roasted duck with cherries, and strawberry salad with citrus salt shortbread at Santa Barbara Winery this Saturday. Then on May 26, she’ll be cooking at Zaca Mesa Winery, with the picnic being served mid-vineyard. “The wineries have been really selling a lot of the books and doing more events with them,” she explained. “People like to know how food can go with the wines.”
Then there’s the Web site PascalesKitchen.com, which soon will sell everything from a line of sea salts to teapots. “It’s getting completely redone and will be up in a few months,” explained Pascale. “There will be more photos and video clips of me cooking, too.” The site also hosts her blog The Market Table, a fascinating way to see how a chef thinks her way around all the fine produce available at our farmers’ markets. It’s possible one of her next books could evolve from that process, for as she blogged recently, “Sometimes I’ll pop down to the market with one idea and come home with something completely different because I came across a new vegetable or something that has just come into season.”
But now is the season to celebrate the release of the gorgeous box set, published by M27 Editions. “They’re fantastic designers and publishers, and I can’t say enough about them,” she enthused. “They’re wonderful people.” They certainly help Beale put out books that can get one salivating in a hurry. Even better, Beale thinks like someone who has taught many classes, so each menu explains methods clearly and helps layout a timeline that leads to kitchen success. “I don’t try to make things complicated,” she said. “The goal is to help people create really tasty food that doesn’t take hours and hours to prepare.”
Pascale Beale will run a cooking demo at Santa Barbara Winery this Saturday, April 28, noon-2 p.m. Call (805) 963-3633 for required reservations. The cookbook Spring and the entire box set can be bought at many wineries and food purveyors, from C’est Cheese to Lazy Acres. See pascaleskitchen.com.