The A.O.C. Cookbook

Since her James Beard Award-winning first book, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, Suzanne Goin and her Los Angeles empire of restaurants have blossomed and she has been lauded as one of the best chefs in the country. Now, she is bringing us the recipes from her sophomore restaurant, A.O.C., turning the small-plate, shared-style dishes that she made so famous into main courses for the home chef. Among her many recipes, you can expect her addictive Bacon-Wrapped Dates with Parmesan; Duck Sausage with Candied Kumquats; Dandelion and Roasted Carrot Salad with Black Olives and Ricotta Salata; California Sea Bass with Tomato Rice, Fried Egg, and Sopressata; Lamb Meatballs with Spiced Tomato Sauce, Mint, and Feta; Crème Fraîche Cake with Santa Rosa Plums and Pistachios in Olive Oil; and S’Mores with Caramel Popcorn and Chocolate Sorbet.   

But The A.O.C. Cookbook is much more than just a collection of recipes. Because Goin is a born teacher with a gift for pairing seasonal flavors, this book is full of wonderful, eye-opening information about the ingredients that she holds dear. She takes the time to talk you through each one of her culinary decisions, explaining her palate and how she gets the deeply developed flavor profiles, which make even the simplest dishes sing. More than anything, Goin wants you to understand her techniques so you enjoy yourself in the kitchen and have no problem achieving restaurant-quality results right at home.

And because wine and cheese are at the heart of A.O.C., there are two exciting additions. Caroline Styne, Goin’s business partner and the wine director for her restaurants, presents a specific wine pairing for each dish. Styne explains why each varietal works well with the ingredients and which flavors she’s trying to highlight, and she gives you room to experiment as well—showing how to shape the wine to your own palate. Whether you’re just grabbing a glass to go with dinner or planning an entire menu, her expert notes are a real education in wine. At the back of the book, you’ll find Goin’s amazing glossary of cheeses—all featured at A.O.C.—along with the notes that are given to the waitstaff, explaining the sources, flavor profiles, and pairings.   
With more than 125 full-color photographs, The A.O.C. Cookbook brings Suzanne Goin’s dishes to life as she continues to invite us into her kitchen and divulge the secrets about what makes her food so irresistibly delicious.   


  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030795823X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307958235
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
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8 thoughts on “The A.O.C. Cookbook”

  1. I hesitated writing this review because there is truly no bigger fan of Suzanne Goin than I. Sunday Suppers is probably the most used cookbook on my shelf, and while challenging, I found that the recipes made me a better chef. They were time consuming for sure, but at the end of the day, they were almost foolproof. That has not been my experience with A.O.C. so far. I have made 4 recipes in the book – bacon-wrapped dates with parmesan (straightforward and delicious), coq au vin (errors), potato puree (flawed) and long-cooked cavolo negro (errors). These recipes do not seem to have been edited. Specifically, the coq au vin calls for cipollini onions as well as diced onions. It is clear that the cipollinis are to be roasted, but then the rest of the recipe never differentiates the diced onions from the roasted cipollinis. Eventually, you can figure it out, but honestly, it takes a lot of deciphering. Then, the long-cooked cavolo negro calls for “2 chilis de arbol, crumbled”, but in the body of the recipe you are only told to add 1 chili. Plus, at the end of the recipe it says “remove the rosemary and chile before serving” – that makes no sense with crumbled chiles. Am I supposed to pick out little pieces of chile from the kale? These errors certainly do not ruin the recipes, but they do make the recipes unnecessarily complicated. I will continue cooking out of this cookbook, but *so far* it does not hold a candle to it’s predecessor.

  2. What a splendid book this is. I’ve been cooking for more than 50 years, have taken classes in Paris and have worked my way through some excellent cookbooks but I still learn something whenever I delve into Suzanne Goin’s recipes. Her first book, “Sunday Suppers at Lucques,” is one of my favorite cookbooks (in a just world I would own a helicopter so I could visit Lucques more than a couple times a year) and this new work is just as wonderful.
    Goin’s use of ingredients is imaginative without being silly and her explanations of techniques are impeccable. Her partner’s wine pairing advice is equally clear and enticing.
    I bought this book both in hardcover and for my Kindle so I’ll have the recipes wherever I may end up cooking and plan to buy a half dozen more to give as Christmas gifts. I can’t imagine anyone who loves to cook not adoring this book,

  3. i wish i’d written this book. but only suzanne goin could have written it. it’s so personal and lush–there are recipe headnotes that run two pages long! worth the long wait between books. i will be cooking from this one for such a long time. i gave up on the “sticky flag” method i usually employ, marking recipes in a new cookbook. there was a flag on nearly every page. goin doesn’t take shortcuts here–she lavishes attention on beans and slow cooks meats to coax the flavor and texture to their highest possibilities. this book will inspire many meals with family and friends.

  4. A welcomed reprieve to cookbooks from blogsites and regurgitated photos of friands. Suzanne’s combinations and flavours continue to surprise and please the palate. Citrus fruit with a sticky toffee pudding – thank you! I owned all of the French Laundry cookbooks and sold them. But with Suzanne’s cookbooks – I use them – and it exudes the same demand for high quality but approachable. The dessert section is worth the price of the cookbook and reminds me of Claudia Fleming’s The Last Course. And the wood-burning oven recipes and cheese glossary are much appreciated. If there is a downside, the wine comments were forgettable. This cookbook is an excellent gift for fresh inspiration. For 2013, this cookbook is the one I recommend to people who are serious about good food.

  5. I am a big fan of Suzanne’s and have cooked my way through much of Sunday at Lucques. I haven’t done that much with this one yet but the recipes might perhaps be a bit easier to execute. there is a lovely roasted cauliflower that is really straightforward.

    Living in Los Angeles, her emphasis is on fresh local ingredients.

    Excellent design and photos as you would expect.

    Bon apetit

  6. I’ve made only 3 recipes thus far from this cookbook but all have turned out very well. The flavor combinations are very good. The instructions surprised me. With ambitious recipes it’s strange to have each step so minutely described – but better be over instructed than under. I would get the book again.

  7. This is a cookbook for aspiring chefs or home foodies. The recipes are extremely complex and multi-staged. If you only make one thing, check out the recipe for Chicken Liver Pate with Pancetta – it’s out of this world!

  8. I have made just a few of her sauces, and she is right. You may want to do a double batch and spoon them over everything. I rubbed green harrisa on shrimp and grilled them. They were spectacular. Also all the stories behind the dish, help you understand the recipe.

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