When filmmaker and photographer Douglas Gayeton decided to write a book that would chronicle the 5 years he spent in rural Italy, he didn't dash off a guy's version of Under The Tuscan Sun. Fortunately for the rest of us. Instead Gayeton assembled a patchwork of sepia prints, singly and in montage, scribbled with handwritten notes and sayings and even recipes. The result, titled Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town, is a pictorial narrative of Pistoia and its inhabitants that seeks to explain the Slow Food movement in photographs and marginalia, playfully, even fancifully, like a modern illuminated manuscript. The book includes a preface by Carlo Petrini (the founder of the Slow Food Movement) and an introduction by Alice Waters (well, you know who she is). To commemorate the book and to celebrate slow food, 33 restaurants around the country will host a special prix fixe dinner on November 18. Each participating restaurant will have copies of Gayeton's book available.
"A Slow Taste of Tuscany" will come to 5 restaurants in California (Gayeton will be at Chez Panisse), including 2 in Los Angeles: Grace Restaurant and Josie. At Grace, chef-owner Neal Fraser will offer a 5-course menu ($55; wine pairing $35) including: slow-roasted Branzino with farro risotto, fall squash and sage; dry-rubbed rib eye of beef with black kale, white beans and parsley gremolata; and pumpkin doughnuts with graham cracker ice cream, vanilla rum zabaglione and roasted pepitas. At Josie, chef-owner Josie Le Balch will serve a 4-course menu ($65; wine pairing $25) including: fig and Gorgonzola salad; osso buco with polenta and pancetta-roasted baby carrots; and chocolate hazelnut gianduja cake. Eat slowly. Read slowly too.
Slow: Life in a Tuscan Town. Welcome Books; $50.
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