The Foreign Cinema Cookbook

Front cover of Conscious Capitalism.

For almost two decades the Foreign Cinema has been one of San Francisco's most sought after brunch and dinner destinations. Opening its doors in 1999 at a time when the first dotcom bubble was in full flight, the Foreign Cinema is seen as one of the pioneers in transforming the city's Mission District neighbourhood into a culinary destination.

The dramatic experience of dining in the sweeping atrium, where films screen nightly, still enchants visitors 18 years later. (Late November - December 2018 sees The Full Monty on display.) Chef - owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark, have published two previous books, but this is the very first time they have shared the best from their distinctive North African, California - Mediterranean menu.

Featuring 125 signature dishes, the book spans Pirie and Clark’s award-winning brunch favourites like champagne omelette and Persian bloody Mary, cocktail hour with lavender baked goat cheese in fig leaves, and dinner fare including a five-spice duck breast with cassis sauce and madras curry fried chicken with spiced honey, alongside instructions for how to blend spice staples like Ras el Hanout.

The photography is stunning – 100 photographs over the 304 pages to make you salivate – and the menus are approachable for even the most jittery of home chefs. Earthy recipes and nuanced flavours combine to make this a perfect gift for others or yourself.

With the Foreign Cinema having earned itself such a huge fan base over the years, it's no surprise that praise is being lavished on the book.

Academy Award -winning director, Steven Soderbergh, booms: “Clear your bookshelf for this epic epicurean masterpiece. The symbiotic relationship of food, drink, and the movies represents the world’s best chance for a happy ménage à trois, and The Foreign Cinema Cookbook is definitive in its breadth, scope, and creativity. You could live without it, but you won’t live well!”

This is one of those recipe books that not only looks stylish on the shelf but actually compels you to race to the grocery store, pick up organic produce from the market and race home get your apron on and to get cooking. Every page is a delight, the question is: lunch or dinner?