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Words to Eat By

Nine years after it opened, The Publican releases a cookbook. It was worth the wait.

 

First things first: Yes, The Publican’s signature chicken is included in Cheers to The Publican, Repast and Present ($40, Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press) coming out this fall. As are 149 other recipes from the One Off Hospitality restaurant, a modern American beer hall of sorts that’s been packing them in since it opened in 2008—and continues to do so. This isn’t the first time chef and partner Paul Kahan has attempted to put the story of this trendsetting spot on paper. “I tried twice before to write a book,” he says, “but I didn’t think I had something important to say.” With some persistence and help from Cosmo Goss, The Publican’s executive chef, and the addition of writer Rachel Holtzman, that changed. Plus, the opportunity to tell the rich tales behind the restaurant’s many vendors was too good for Kahan to pass up. “We do a lot more hunting and gathering than your average restaurant,” he says. “Our menu changes daily, and it all starts with them.”

To further drive home that point, Kahan, Goss and Holtzman, along with photographers Taylor Peden and Jen Munkvold (Peden+Munk), visited some of the restaurant’s purveyors around the country. In the eight chapters of the book—ranging from “To the Mighty Vegetable” to “To Noble Creatures of the Sea and the Much Maligned”—you’ll discover what makes these people and their products so special as well as The Publican recipes that showcase them best. “It hopefully will be more than a cookbook to people,” says Kahan. We have no doubt.