Best described as a culinary pioneer, Monique Jamet Hooker is a chef, teacher and author with a lifelong enthusiasm for food and travel. Trained in Europe, she moved to New York where she worked alongside of and made lasting friendships with chefs like Jacques Pepin, Pierre Franey, Andre Soltner and Madeleine Kamman. In the early 1970's, she moved to Chicago where she has operated a successful cooking school, catering company, and restaurant and written an Award-winning book, Cooking With The Seasons, A Year In My Kitchen, with Tracie Richardson. She also hosted a TV Show called "The Seasonal Kitchen." Currently, she lives in western Wisconsin. Monique has been guiding tours since 1978. She is a member of: Les Dames d'Escoffier, The Vatel Club, IACP, AIWF and The Chicago Culinary Historian, among other associations. She wants everyone to learn how to relax with food as well as experience the joy and satisfaction of preparing meals from fresh ingredients. She travels extensively, teaching and lecturing throughout the United States. This book would not have been possible without Tracie Richardson. Tracie joined my class as a student of professional cooking. We both realized her love for food was best served by choosing a pen over a whisk. She urged me to sit down and put this book together, and from this began a long relationship nurtured by tea on the front porch and hot cider in front of the fire. I am appreciative of her everlasting pushing and setting of deadlines, as it is because of her that this book is here for all to read and enjoy.
"Drawing on her Brittany tradition, Monique Hooker helps us discover that fascinating, little-known par of France and allows us to partake of great cooking from her youth> This book is based on the seasons, and all her recipes - from Country Soup with Dandelion and Watercress and her Braised Pork Roast with Carrots and plums to her Upside-Down Apple Cake - use seasonal ingredients for peak flavor. This is the best way to enjoy food in communion with nature." -Jacques Pepin, master chef, cookbook author, and host of "Jacques Pepin's Kitchen" on PBS-TV "This book is a compelling inspiration in accordance with seasonal foods, Organized by the month and guided by a harvest chart of when fresh produce is at its peak, over 200 well-written, appealing recipes elicit the best of the season. When such recipes as Fireside Cabbage Soup, Sea Scallops with oranges and Cracked Pepper, Chicken in Calvados, and Thumbprint Lemon Cookies brighten January, you can imagine the culinary temptations for the remaining eleven months. Drawing from her mother's cooking for a large family of twelve on their farm in Brittany, Monique Hooker has preserved the essence of her mother's seasonal taste while adapting the recipes to her own style and the realities of American kitchens. The seasonal comments, side notes, variations, and 'Monique's Touch' tips expand each recipe, evidence of the expertise that she has developed in her years of teaching cooking classes." -Abbey Mandel, author of "Celebrating the Midwest Table" and founder of the Green City Market in Chicago "If you wondered about what Frenchmen call 'la cuisine du coeur' (cooking from the heart), here is your chance to dicover it in Monique Hooker's splendid description of her mother's food offerings and how they molded her into a Breton cook. Do not miss this book; its recipes are as simple to execute as they are delicious and it is peerless in its evocation of the yearly cycle of life in Brittany." -Madeleine Kamman, Author of "When French Women Cook," Founder of the School for American Chefs, Beringer Wine Estates "Monique Hooker's philosophy of seasonal cooking is one we all need to heed, not only for the pleasure of serving the best-tasting, freshest meals, but for a greater awareness of nature and our place in it" -Carol Haddix, Food Editor, Chicago Tribune