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'Flying Pans': A Cookbook for All Seasons

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By Lynne Thrope  

Lynne Thrope

SAN DIEGO–Sitting on my kitchen counter are three cookbooks that have become my every day culinary bibles. The first, Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen shares convivial advice with the reader who is interested in living a greener, more health-conscious lifestyle. It’s full of easy recipes that use “living foods,” such as fruits, berries, dates, tahini, nuts, and spices and herbs that now inhabit my garden.  

The second book, Cooking Jewish with 532 Great Recipes from the Rabinowitz Family, makes me feel farklempt every time I open it. With each story that precedes a recipe, I spiritually connect with its author, Judy Bart Kancigor, as I mix, roll, slice, and stir her soulful ingredients that create the most delicious stuffed breast of veal, cucumber salad with minty yogurt sauce, challah rolls, and gefilte fish, to name a mere few. With every bite, I recite my mantra, “It’s good to be Jewish!”   

Flying Pans

Finally, the third, has been occupying much of my free time since it was published last year. Flying Pans: Two Chefs, One World, is testimony that San Diego IS a culinary destination. Written by the Marine Room’s sophisticated, funny, and endearing chefs, Bernard Guillas and Ron Oliver, this manual for cooking should be in everyone’s kitchen and NOT on the coffee table. While the photographs, by Gregory Bertolini, are the most exquisite I’ve seen in any cookbook (I like them better than those in The French Laundry), their single purpose is to demonstrate to us novice cooks how approachable each recipe is. And they are. Truly.  

At first glance, I admit, I was a bit skeptical that I could produce anything close to resembling a dish prepared by Guillas and Oliver. After all, they’re culinary artists! But, as I delved into Flying Pans, I realized that the organization of each recipe, including directions for presentation, was a novel experience. I could easily follow each step – from prepping to serving. Clearly, Flying Pans is a well-thought-out culinary masterpiece that invites any level of cook to share the joy of cooking with family and friends.

Apparently others in the literary world agree for Flying Pans was this year’s Award Finalist for Book of the Year presented by ForeWord Magazines. “When you cook without boundaries or the fear of failure, and are guided by your passion for food and sharing it with those you love, that passion is contagious. Your guests will feel the warmth and the care in the final product. No ingredient is as delectable and effective as your good intentions. This is one of the core values behind Flying Pans.” (p.11, Guillas and Oliver)  

I embarked on my maiden voyage with the Lemon Verbena Scented Matzoh Ball Soup because I found comfort in its familiarity and because Oliver’s grandfather, a Sephardic Jew, and his grandmother, an Ashkenazic, influenced the ingredients in this “versatile, not just for Passover soup.” Try it. You’ll like it.  
My next attempt was so sea worthy that I took a picture of the Inside-Out Portobello Burger and emailed it to the chefs. They were delighted by my enthusiasm and creativity though my veggie burger didn’t look exactly like theirs.  This dish has been repeated time and again in my kitchen since more and more people are becoming health conscious.  

Recently, I took a cooking class at The Marine Room taught by Chefs Guillas and Oliver. I recommend it to anyone who thinks they have no talent in the kitchen. These guys really make cooking look simple. And it is. A few days later, I replicated their menu and to my surprise, the salad course, the fish course, and dessert (crème brûlée) were utterly delicious! The next class is scheduled for October. Don’t miss it if you want to taste the craftsmanship of these two wizards. Call The Marine Room for details at (858) 459-7222 or email www.marineroom.com. Flying Pans will be available for purchase and signing after the class…B’Tayavon         

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Thrope is based in San Diego.  She may be contacted at  www.TheReadingRoom.net

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No Responses to “'Flying Pans': A Cookbook for All Seasons”

  1. ani phyo says:

    thanks Lynne for the mention and for enjoying my book!! :)

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