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Kitchen Conservatory’s bookclub, which meets once a month, met today for a lively discussion on “The United States of Arugula.” Half the class liked the book; half did not, so the commentary was very interesting.

The participants did disprove one theory of the book: that interest in “gourmet” food filters from the top chefs down to the population at large. On the contrary, everyone in class became a “foodie” because someone in their family cooked or they had a memorable travel experience early in life.

The diverse class included people who used to live in California (and dine at Chez Panisse) to two who currently live in California. The discussion included comparing restaurant and home food trends. Most of the class cooks regularly at home. We ate a menu from the book: arugula salad with warm goat cheese, homemade pasta with mushroom sauce, poblano-cilantro quail, potato-celery root gratin, and kiwi tart (chosen because the book makes fun of kiwis).

The next session of the bookclub meets on Sunday, March 4 from 1 to 3:30 pm when we will discuss “The Big Oyster,” a history of New York City as seen through its oyster beds. Please join us. The bookclub has regulars, but anyone can sign up for the class and participate in the discussion. The cooking part of the class is inspired by the book, so oysters (both raw and cooked) will be on this menu.