…Please, No Ketchup.  It’s a free country, of course, but I have serious, no, critical reservations about the use of this ubiquitous condiment, those oopsy gushings and squirtings of superfluous red matter issuing from little glass lighthouses in themselves as beautifully designed as an Eames chair but containing a would-be elixir frequently applied with no more thought than that employed by a smoker tossing his butts into my front plot…”

Welcome!  You’ve made it to the online home of The Gastronomical Tourist, Arthur Bloomfield’s culinary chronicles. First published in 2002, The Gastronomical Tourist is the cookbook with a difference.  Arthur Bloomfield combines more than 250 easy-to-prepare bistro recipes with an elegant and witty remembrance of things past.  Along the way, tales of rich, rewarding and sometimes hilarious dining — and life — experiences carry the reader to gastronomic hot spots including France, Italy and California.

An Introduction by Arthur Bloomfield:

One point of this book is to provide you gt01_san_gimignano.jpgwith enough recipes to keep a home bistro bubbling along indefinitely with comforting stews, salads, pastas and the occasional timbale.  I like the idea that you PRESENT food to family and friends as a good restaurant would, the food you’ve found through reading, touring, experimenting in the kitchen, seizing on serendipitous gastronomic connections.

The book is also — in fact rather more — about the associations many of its recipes have for a veteran inn crawler and saucepan addict. Often for him the eating of a dish is inextricably bound with the memory of an acrobatic waiter, a heavenly view, a missed train, a near-escape from kitchen disaster, a moment of joy or longing. Spice, in short, in the life of a gastronomical tourist.

I doodled first drafts of this book onto more than my share of paper napkins at that inimitable think tank, the Royal Ground coffee house at the corner of Fillmore and California in San Francisco. It was there, an itinerant afternoon guitarist twanging nicely in the background, I realized a book-in-progress is like a haystack where the gaffes, and the inspirations, are buried – along, I suppose, with the proverbial needle.

NOTE:     Recipes in this book are for two generous or three light servings, unless otherwise noted.

For Cecily.

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