one good dish. david tannis.

For years I used Heart of the Artichoke andA Platter Of Figs, religiously. They are amongst my very favorite cookbooks. So you can imagine how over the moon we were to collaborate with Chef David Tanis on his most recent book One Good Dish .We ploughed through almost two solid weeks of shooting, in the darkest hours of winter. We arrived each morning as the sun rose and finished each day long after dark It was a marathon of shooting and eating and eating some more... David patiently put up with us taking over his entire space.

 Thank you David. Thank you Artisan. Thank you Samin for the introduction! 

Below are a few favorites.

quail eggs with flavored salt

quail eggs with flavored salt



real garlic toast

real garlic toast

blood orange and persimmon

blood orange and persimmon

mussels on the half shell 

mussels on the half shell 

gorgonzola and walnut crostini 

gorgonzola and walnut crostini 

sweet and salty nut brittle

sweet and salty nut brittle

gunpowder and fresh mint tea

gunpowder and fresh mint tea

very green fish stew

very green fish stew

 well charred-endive with anchovy butter

 well charred-endive with anchovy butter

save your life garlic soup

save your life garlic soup

remnants of mussels on the half shell

remnants of mussels on the half shell



Save-Your-Life Garlic Soup


Recipe by David Tanis

From One Good Dish.

said to prevent and cure hangovers...

2 heads garlic, preferably new crop[

separated into cloves (about 16 medium cloves) and peeled

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12 sage leaves

salt and pepper

6 cups of water

4 eggs

4 slices of bread, lightly toasted

chopped parsley, scallions or chives.

slice or roughly chop the garlic cloves

warm the oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.

add the garlic and the sage and let siszzle a bit without browning ( about 2 minutes)

season with about 1 teaspoonsalt and a few grinds of pepper

add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to a brisk simmer.

Cook for 10 to 15 minutes

Taste and adjust the seasoning

Ladle about an inch of the soup into a skilliet and bring to a brisk simmer over medium heat

Carefully crack the eggs into the pan and poach for about three minutes.

To serve, place a slice of toast in each soup bowl and top with a poached egg. 

Ladle the soup over the eggs and sprinkle with a little parsley.

heirloom apple sauce spice cake.

Sometimes, it is necessary to dig into those old fashioned cookbooks. I like the ones with the simple covers and no photographs like Fanny Farmer or my grandmother's very worn and battered Joy Of Cooking. I was looking for a recipe for an applesauce cake, as these chilly spring mornings bring on the need for childhood comfort foods.

Strangely enough, as I opened the worn and battered blue Joy of Cooking an aged index card fell out. It was a recipe for an applesauce cake. It was in my writing and it was dated 1983. There many days when I sat down with my grandmother and attempted to record her recipes that were in her head, passed down from my Nonni, raised in Puglia and transplanted to the streets of Brooklyn and Long Island City. This index card did not represent one of those recipes; instead it most likely came from the pages of Ladies Home Journal or McCall’s Magazine. I looked in the index of the Joy Of Cooking and there was a recipe for an applesauce cake but it was different from the one on the card, so in an attempt to make my own mark, I have transformed it one step further. I omitted the allspice and the cinnamon and added ginger and heirloom applesauce as well as whole-wheat pastry flour. I finished it off by grating an apple and some fresh ginger on top.


Heirloom Applesauce Ginger Spice Cake





 Whole Wheat Pastry Flour


Baking soda

Baking powder


Ginger (both fresh and ground)



Cream one 1/2  cup butter with 1 cup of sugar

Add 1 egg and beat well

Add 1 cup of applesauce


Mix the dry ingredients in another bowl

2 cups of  whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg



Mix well and slowly add to wet mixture stirring until all combined


Grease a round cake tin

Add batter

Grate 1 small apple on top and a healthy dose of fresh ginger


Preheat oven to 350 degrees cook for 1 hr or until done.




twenty years no. 2

I have been in the midst of archiving my work shot with my 8x10 Deardorf,  a monstrosity and a relic by today's standards. These photographs are very dear to me. They represent the time line of my adult life. If there is anything that hits home most about these photographs to me, it is, to always shoot what is right in front of you. It could not be simpler.


a few more from over the years.