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A Conversation with Chef John Ash, The Godfather of Wine Country Cuisine, on His New Book

Welcome back to Pizza Quest! This episode features a conversation with Chef John Ash, who for the past 40 years has been known in Sonoma and Napa as the Godfather of Wine Country Cuisine. His restaurant, John Ash & Company, helped to define that regional aspect of what later became known as California Cuisine back in the 1980’s and 1990’s. He, along with chefs like Alice Waters, Jeremiah Tower, Joyce Goldstein, and Michael McCarty changed the way people cooked and ate across the entire country. Chef Ash has also written a number of award winning books, including the 1996 IACP Cookbook of the Year, From the Earth to the Table, and has just published a beautiful new book called, The Hog Island Book of Fish & Seafood, which I believe is destined for another major cookbook award. On a personal note, John was the first important chef to serve my bread in his famous restaurant, way back in 1988, which helped launch Brother Juniper’s Bakery’s successful run and paved the way for own writing career. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to him, not only for his early support and friendship, but for some of the most memorable meals my wife and I ever ate at John Ash & Company, dating back to when we were newlyweds. You’ll learn even more about this remarkable culinary influencer as he and I reconnect and reminisce in this  very enjoyable conversation, here on Pizza Quest.

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Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on