Laura: Cookbook Review of The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook

The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook is a tome of sustainable, seasonal recipes from a collective that includes chefs Alice Waters, Rick Bayless and Susan Feniger.

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The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook
By: the Chefs Collaborative and Ellen Jackson
Photography by: Gentl & Hyers

Sustainable. Local. Seasonal. GMO. Organic. Antibiotic- and hormone-free.
Though these terms are now commonplace on restaurant menus and food labels, the notion of eating sustainably and ethically was just beginning to enter the public dialogue when the Chefs Collaborative was founded in 1993. Founders included such innovative chefs as Alice Waters, Rick Bayless, Susan Feniger and Michael Romano – and in celebration of their 20 years of food activism, the Collaborative has released The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook. In the introduction written by Chef Michael Leviton, he notes that sustainability isn’t just about “statistics and dire predictions for the future” but that it’s also about “an approach to sourcing and cooking predicated on flavor, quality and sharing our passion and knowledge.” At Clean Eating, we couldn’t agree more. As the Chefs Collaborative and CE share a very similar approach to food and healthy eating, the recipes and mission of this book instantly captured our attention – and our taste buds. Full of crowd-pleasing appetizers, mains and desserts, the lovingly produced collection features elegant gourmet recipes built around sustainable, local and seasonal farm-fresh ingredients. Chapters are divided into recipe categories that include “meat and poultry” and “vegetables, fruits and other edible plants.” Although sugar and heavy cream pop up in some of the dessert recipes, the mouthwatering mains and appetizers contain plenty of clean ingredients, making it easy to pick out recipes to try. And while some of the restaurant-quality recipes tend to be on the higher side in terms of their fat and sodium counts – even with healthy ingredients – you can always use less kosher salt or butter if you prefer. I also found the kitchen tips and chefs’ advice to be really useful, from tidbits on how they like to prepare their favorite foods to guides on selecting meats, whole grains, seafood and more. With so many clean, delicious recipes by renowned chefs enlivening the pages of this sustainably minded cookbook, The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook is a must-have for your kitchen. For more information on the Collaborative, visit