State Bird Provisions, Review, Recipe and Giveaway

2017 is the year of the cookbook.

So many titles this year, more than any other, deserve a well-earned spot on “the best cookbooks of 2017” list. Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski’s State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook is another such title. The couple’s Michelin-starred restaurant by the same name is located in San Francisco and was named Best New Restaurant in 2013 by James Beard. Two years later, both chefs took the Best Chef West category. The power couple manage to remain married despite working together in the stress-filled restaurant business all while creating amazing food. They need to share their secrets for this seemingly Herculean, yet harmonious, union. When my husband works from home (on a different floor than myself) it throws off my whole game.

The couple’s debut cookbook, State Bird, captures the spirit of the restaurant where guests start to eat even before an order is placed. Carts roam the restaurant with tiny bites for guests to sample. As I page through the book, I find myself dreaming about the flavors and textures of each dish based on the photographs alone. For instance, the first recipe State bird with provisions (fried quail – the state bird of California is quail)- the super crunchy breading (a mixture of flours, pumpkin seeds and bread crumbs) jumps off the page, the generous shards of parmesan along with the rainstorm of chives and black pepper promises to be the perfect bite. I am excited to experiment with this recipe. 

The entire book has the same feel. These folks love food – good food.  With dishes such as Everything pancakes with smoked mackerel, cream cheese, and sweet-and-sour beets; Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs, and long pepper; and Dutch crunch “bao” with carrot halwa, all levels of cooks will find excitement and inspiration here. The measurements are in weight and volume and the recipe instructions are detailed with components outlined clearly and separately. For example, the quail is set out over four pages, one page devoted to the finished dish photo. Breaking these recipes down for us, makes them less intimidating: marinate the quail, bread the quail, make the onions, and then finish the dish. 

Special thanks to Ten Speed Press for sharing the following recipe today and for providing three copies of this beautiful book for our contest below. 

Black butter-balsamic figs with basil and fontina fondue 
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Serves 4 

Make the fondue 

  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ⅔ cup shredded Fontina Val d’Aosta or Cowgirl Creamery Wagon Wheel cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 turns freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp crème fraîche 


Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Immediately turn the heat to very low to keep warm. 

Pour an inch or so of water in a second small saucepan and bring to a boil. Put the cheese in a heatproof mixing bowl that will fit in the saucepan without touching the water. Set the bowl in the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. When the cheese begins to melt, about 30 seconds, pour in the warm cream. Continue to cook the cheese mixture, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the cheese has fully melted, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Stir the egg yolk, salt, pepper, and Tabasco into the cheese until well combined. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl, and stir in the crème fraîche until well combined. Cover and keep warm for up to 1 hour. 

Finish the dish 

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 8 large ripe fresh figs (preferably Black Mission or Kadota), halved lengthwise
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • Micro basil leaves or torn basil leaves for garnish

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Let it bubble and crackle, swirling the pan occasionally, until it stops crackling and turns golden brown, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, swirling constantly, until the butter smokes and turns a blackish color, about 30 seconds more. 

Put the figs, cut side down, in the pan, turn the heat to medium, and cook without stirring until golden brown, about 1 minute. Add the thyme and sprinkle on the salt and pepper. Toss well and continue to cook, tossing occasionally and making sure to brown the round sides, until the figs are deep golden brown and soft but not falling apart, about 2 minutes. 

Add the vinegar to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook, swirling and tossing constantly, just until it reduces slightly to glaze the figs, about 30 seconds. 

Drizzle about ½ cup of the fondue on a large plate, top with the figs and glaze, and sprinkle on the scallion and basil. Serve right away. 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on January 18th, 2018.

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  • articshark  on  December 11, 2017

    Lemon curd ice cream

  • ravensfan  on  December 11, 2017

    Sweet corn tres leches cake with cloud cream and blueberry compote

  • ejsimpson  on  December 11, 2017

    Fried pork belly with plum sauce, fish sauce and long peppers.

  • LizyB  on  December 11, 2017

    Corn & cheese pancakes

  • Lesliehauser  on  December 11, 2017

    Pickled okra

  • lauriesk  on  December 11, 2017

    I would try the cocoa custard.

  • kmn4  on  December 11, 2017

    Rose petal-Meyer lemonade

  • heyjude  on  December 11, 2017

    Lamb Sesame Sprinkle. I don't even care what it is, I just love the name.

  • lgroom  on  December 11, 2017

    Sweet corn and Mt. Tam cheesecakes

  • tcjanes  on  December 11, 2017

    Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs, and long pepper.

  • Dannausc  on  December 11, 2017

    State bird with provisions!

  • contest718  on  December 12, 2017

    Clarified butter

  • Angryyew  on  December 12, 2017

    The corn and cheese pancakes sound good.

  • monique.potel  on  December 12, 2017

    Eggplant tonkatsu with miso-yuzu aioli, pickled ginger, and pickled okra

    this looks very tempting

  • Senkimekia  on  December 12, 2017

    Fermented turnips, in a ferment phase

  • ktwalla  on  December 12, 2017

    Blue Cheese Aioli.

  • lpatterson412  on  December 12, 2017

    I would love to try their toffee!!

  • DarcyVaughn  on  December 12, 2017

    Garlic bread with burrata

  • dbielick  on  December 13, 2017

    White sesame-cream cheese ice cream sandwiches with roasted strawberries

  • tmcginty  on  December 13, 2017

    You had me at the figs!

  • sarahawker  on  December 13, 2017

    Buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese and garlic chips

  • Katiefayhutson  on  December 13, 2017

    Sweet corn tres leeches cake with cloud cream and blueberry compote

  • sipa  on  December 13, 2017

    The recipe you showcased in this article. I love figs.

  • djoh437938  on  December 13, 2017

    pickled okra

  • Wende  on  December 13, 2017

    Fermented plum-strawberry soda

  • JuneHawk  on  December 13, 2017

    Black pepper macaron

  • bethbaye  on  December 13, 2017

    State Bird Sourdough Starter.

  • AnnaZed  on  December 14, 2017

    State Bird dashi

  • MelMM  on  December 14, 2017

    Yuba “all’Amatriciana” with fresh tomatoes and chanterelle mushrooms

  • lselke  on  December 14, 2017

    Eggplant tonkatsu!

  • kitchenclimbers  on  December 15, 2017

    fried pork belly

  • rchesser  on  December 15, 2017

    Duck liver mousse with warm duck-fat financiers.

  • t.t  on  December 16, 2017

    Grilled beef and Brussels sprouts salad with shiso and umeboshi

  • PeavineBlues  on  December 16, 2017

    Carrot Mochi with Brown Butter and Pistachio Dukkah

  • tarae1204  on  December 16, 2017

    I would love to know what Cumin lamb with squid, dates, shishito peppers, and Thai basil tastes like!

  • sgump  on  December 16, 2017

    The persimmons with kinako dressing and black sesame salt sound delightful!

  • RSW  on  December 17, 2017

    State Bird sourdough starter

  • tennyogirl  on  December 17, 2017

    Corn and Cheese Pancakes

  • infotrop  on  December 18, 2017

    Buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese and garlic chips sounds delicious…I'll have to hunt down "rice bran oil" ??

  • Siegal  on  December 18, 2017

    I want to make giardianara

  • LaurenE  on  December 18, 2017

    Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs, and long pepper

  • skipeterson  on  December 18, 2017

    Horseradish Béchamel sauce

  • stargirl  on  December 18, 2017

    Garlic bread with burrata

  • wjsisung  on  December 19, 2017


  • bstewart  on  December 19, 2017

    Nectarines with whipped crescenza cheese, basil oil, and pink pepper

  • Lesliehauser  on  December 19, 2017

    Sourdough starter

  • eboos  on  December 20, 2017

    Garlic bread with burrata!

  • jim.windle  on  December 23, 2017

    Porcini fried rice with balsamic spring onions, ramps and porcini aioli.

  • PeavineBlues  on  December 23, 2017


  • Shelley.b  on  December 23, 2017

    Garlic bread with burrata

  • stephanieyee  on  December 24, 2017


  • Dmartin997  on  December 24, 2017

    Poppy seed macaron

  • monasli  on  December 24, 2017

    Eggplant tonkatsu

  • RickPearson54  on  December 24, 2017


  • drjeff  on  December 24, 2017

    grilled beef and Brussels sprouts salad

  • annieski  on  December 26, 2017

    Porcini aioli

  • tararr  on  December 27, 2017

    Garlic bread with burrata

  • KarenDel  on  December 27, 2017

    Fermented turnips

  •  on  December 27, 2017

    Sweet corn and Mt. Tam cheese pancakes

  • NaomiH  on  December 28, 2017

    Buffalo cauliflower with blue cheese and garlic chips

  • cambridgecook  on  December 28, 2017

    bone marrow with chanterelles

  • verorenee  on  December 28, 2017

    sweet garlic puree

  • JulesLP  on  December 29, 2017

    Black butter-balsamic figs with basil and Fontina fondue

  • robynsanyal  on  December 29, 2017

    State Bird garum

  • PennyG  on  December 29, 2017

    Cumin lamb with squid, dates, shishito peppers, and Thai basil sounds interesting!

  • Sandiegolemons  on  December 29, 2017

    Ginger scallion pancakes with sea urchins

  • lhudson  on  December 30, 2017

    Pork ribs glazed in their own juices

  • EmilyR  on  January 1, 2018

    Dungeness crab salsa with serrano crema and corn tortilla chips

  • hirsheys  on  January 1, 2018

    The eggplant tonkatsu sounds amazing!

  • jkmfrog  on  January 1, 2018

    Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs and long pepper. We are always seeking out good pork belly recipes and I *have* long pepper in my cabinet – would love to find new uses for it.

  • gloriole  on  January 1, 2018

    Rice-crusted trout with garum, brown butter, hazelnuts, and mandarin

  • sequoia55  on  January 1, 2018

    Corn and Cheese Pancakes

  • auntietina  on  January 1, 2018

    Kimchi style pickled wax beans. I'm thinking those would be an awesome garnish for bloody marys.

  • Karla123  on  January 2, 2018

    State Bird sourdough starter! I'd like to start making sourdough bread.

  • Sfgordon  on  January 2, 2018

    persimmons with kinako dressing and sesame salt sounds amazing.

  • milgwimper  on  January 2, 2018

    lemon curd icecream

  • Execchef1225  on  January 3, 2018

    Fried pork belly with plum sauce, fish sauce and long peppers.

  • Aproporpoise  on  January 3, 2018

    The carrot mochi!

  • brigitm  on  January 5, 2018

    Lemon curd ice cream.

  • Lumps  on  January 6, 2018

    State bird for me

  • Scotsman61  on  January 6, 2018

    Fried pork belly with plum, fish sauce, herbs, and long pepper

  • VeryVigario  on  January 7, 2018

    Fermented turnips

  • motherofpearl81  on  January 9, 2018

    Porcini fried rice with balsamic spring onions, ramps, and porcini aioli

  • orchidlady01  on  January 11, 2018

    Lemon verbena ice cream

  • rglo820  on  January 12, 2018

    Cumin lamb with squid, dates, shishito peppers, and Thai basil! I had the pleasure of eating there once a few years ago and this is the dish I remember most vividly, even though I'm not usually a big lamb person.

  • SnarkyLarane  on  January 14, 2018

    If I could find fresh figs I would try the Black butter-balsamic figs with basil and Fontina fondue but since I can't this time of year I'd try the kimchi.

  • laffersk  on  January 17, 2018

    State Bird sourdough starter yummmm

  • jmay42066  on  January 17, 2018

    State Bird sourdough starter

  •  on  January 18, 2018

    Coffee ice cream sounds good.

  • ladybrooke  on  January 18, 2018

    I'd like to try making the strawberry granita first.

  • bettinab  on  January 18, 2018

    Smoked trout

  • Terrill  on  January 18, 2018

    Preserved lemons for sure

  • Kerreydp  on  January 18, 2018

    I’d have to try the title recipe: State Bird with Provisions.

  • Littlebirdchoc  on  January 18, 2018

    Black butter-balsamic figs with basil and fontina fondue!

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