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The Supper of the Lamb

A Culinary Reflection

Written by Robert Farrar CaponAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Robert Farrar Capon
Introduction by Deborah MadisonAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Deborah Madison

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From a passionate and talented chef who also happens to be an Episcopalian priest comes this surprising and thought-provoking treatise on everything from prayer to poetry to puff pastry. In The Supper of the Lamb, Capon talks about festal and ferial cooking, emerging as an inspirational voice extolling the benefits and wonders of old-fashioned home cooking in a world of fast food and prepackaged cuisine. This edition includes the original recipes and a new Introduction by Deborah Madison, the founder of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and author of several cookbooks.


I read the first recipe, an appetizer made of lemon gelatin poured into a banana skin filled with little banana balls. “When opened, the banana looks like a mammoth yellow pea pod,” I concluded triumphantly. “Can you imagine a world in which that sounds like a good idea?” I could. I could put myself in the dining room with its fussy papered walls and hot air. I could see the maid carrying in this masterpiece, hear the exclamations of pleasure from the tightly corseted woman of the house.

But the magic didn’t work for Mom; to her this particular doorway to history was closed. So I tried again, choosing something more exotic. “Listen to this,” I said, and began reading.

“Wild strawberries were at their peak in the adjacent forests at this particular moment, and we bought baskets of them promiscuously from the picturesque old denizens of the woods who picked them in the early dawn and hawked them from door to door. The pastry was hot and crisp and the whole thing was permeated with a mysterious perfume. Accompanied by a cool Vouvray, these wild strawberry tarts brought an indescribable sense of well-being."

Anything?” I asked. She shook her head.
Deborah Madison

About Deborah Madison

Deborah Madison - The Supper of the Lamb

Photo © Lois Ellen Frank

DEBORAH MADISON, the founding chef of San Francisco's popular Greens restaurant, is the author of nine cookbooks, including The Greens Cookbook, her first, and most recently, Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen. The Savory Way, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and Local Flavors have all received James Beard Foundation Awards, and the first two were also named the Julia Child Cookbook of the Year by the IACP. A cooking teacher for two decades, a contributor to many magazines, and long involved in the local food and farming movement, Madison is the recipient of many other awards, including the MFK Fisher Mid-Career Award and the Flyaway Productions 10 Women Campaign Award. She lives in New Mexico with painter Patrick McFarlin.


“One of the funniest, wisest, and most unorthodox cookbooks ever written.”
—Craig Claiborne, The New York Times

“The Supper of the Lamb is a rare, distilling nectar, albeit fizzy with bubbles of humor and wit...it is fully capable of rescuing us from the dangers of mediocrity daily foisted upon us by the too-fast pace of our lives.”
—From the Introduction by Deborah Madison

“The Supper of the Lamb is as awesomely funny, wise, beautiful, moving, preposterous a book as this reviewer has come across for years....It is a love letter to a world that ‘will always be more delicious
than it is useful.’”
—The New York Times Book Review

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