For the first time, on Nov. 20, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe will host a book signing to celebrate “The Mozza Cookbook.” Written by Nancy Silverton, owner of the phenomenally popular and critically- acclaimed Osteria Mozza in Los Angeles, and Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, along with San Diego native Carolynn Carreño, “The Mozza Cookbook” has received universal raves and was touted by Los Angeles Weekly as “freaking awesome!”
It is the first time that the farm has opened up to the public in such a way.
“Hosting this book signing,” says Nina MacConnel, who is married to Tom Chino, one of four siblings who run the farm, “offered the opportunity to honor three people we greatly respect and have had a symbiotic relation with over many years: Chef Nancy Silverton, writer Carolynn Carreño, and Milane Christiansen.” The founder of the now-shuttered Book Works in Del Mar, Christiansen will be selling the books at the event.
Likewise, the signing offered Silverton the opportunity to honor the Chino family and their extraordinary farm.
“I first discovered Chino’s produce in the 1980s,” says Silverton, who, as the founder of La Brea Bakery and owner of two of the most popular restaurants in the state, is one of a handful of the most influential chefs in the Southland. “I was at Spago, and Frank Chino made a delivery. I didn’t know who he was, or that Alice Waters was using their stuff. I just knew that what I was tasting was something very special, and I couldn’t wait to meet the people who had grown these things.”
In addition to the signing, there will be an informal reception serving prosecco, as well as cookies inspired by those baked by Fred Chino, and crostini made by Mozza chef Chad Colby, with Chino winter squash, sautéed bitter greens, and smoked bacon.
“Cooking with Chino vegetables,” Silverton says, “is almost like a guarantee. I just know that whatever I’m making is going to be as good as it can possibly be because I’ve started with a raw product that is as good as it can possibly be.”
For those home cooks who want such a guarantee, the stand will be open as usual that day for shopping. Among the many vegetables and fruits that have earned them nationwide acclaim, the Chinos grow Brussels sprouts, green beans, five varieties of sweet potatoes, and many varieties of winter squash, and other vegetables typical of a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Between those veggies, and such Thanksgiving-friendly recipes contained in The Mozza Cookbook as Brussels Sprouts with Prosciutto Breadcrumbs, Cauliflower Gratinata, and Date Pumpkin Tart with Bourbon Gelato, you are sure to kick your family feast up at least one notch.
Chino Farm is at 6123 Calzada del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.