What’s Good?

A Memoir in Fourteen Ingredients


A culinary pioneer blends memoir with a joyful inquiry into the ingredients he uses and their origins


ISBN: 9781419747625 Category:

Peter Hoffman


What goes into the making of a chef, a restau­rant, a dish? And if good ingredients make a differ­ence on the plate, what makes them good in the first place? In his highly anticipated first book, influential chef Peter Hoffman offers thoughtful and delectable answers to these questions. “A locavore before the word existed” (New York Times), Hoffman tells the story of his upbringing, professional education, and evolution as a chef and restaurant owner through its components-everything from the importance of your relationship with your refrigerator repairman and an account of how a burger killed his restaurant, to his belief in peppers as a perfect food, one that is adaptable to a wide range of cultural tastes and geographic conditions and reminds us to be glad we are alive.

Along with these personal stories from a life in restaurants, Hoffman braids in passionately curious explorations into the cultural, historical, and botani­cal backstories of the foods we eat. Beginning with a spring maple sap run and ending with the late-season, frost-defying vegetables, he follows the progress of the seasons and their reflections in his greenmarket favorites, moving ingredient to ingredient through the bounty of the natural world. Hoffman meets with farmers and vendors and unravels the magic of what we eat, deepening every cook’s appreciation for what’s on their kitchen counter. What’s Good a layered, insightful, and utterly enjoyable meal.

Additional information

Weight 583 g
Dimensions 16.4 x 23.5 cm
Publisher name ABRAMS
Publication date 9 September 2021
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.4 x 23.5 cm
Weight 583 g


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Chef Peter Hoffman is the curious cook’s cook. As the former chef/owner of Savoy and Back Forty restaurants, he trailblazed farm-to-table cooking in New York City. His opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times, Edible Manhattan, and Food & Wine. Hoffman served on the boards of the Greenmar­ket and Chefs Collaborative and is a Slow Food NYC Snailblazer award recipient. On most market days he can be found on his bicycle, foraging Union Square Greenmarket for the best in seasonal ingredients and partaking in its “village green” community life.