Pence, Caprial A. 1963-

views updated

PENCE, Caprial A. 1963-

PERSONAL: Born July 4, 1963, in Pasco, WA; daughter of Patrick (a studio potter) and Artheen Hopper (self-employed) Horsley; married John Pence (a chef) September 8, 1985; children: Alexander Savannah. Education: Culinary Institute of America, A.O.S., 1984.

ADDRESSES: Office—Caprial and John's Kitchen, 1608 South East Bybee, Portland, OR 97202. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Chef, cookbook author, and television chef. Fuller's Restaurant, chef, Seattle, WA, 1987-92; Caprial's Bistro, Portland, OR, co-owner, 1992—; Caprial and John's Kitchen, Portland, OR, co-owner, 2002—; Host, Caprial's Café, The Learning Channel, and Cooking with Caprial and John, Public Broadcasting Service.

MEMBER: International Association of Culinary Professionals, Oregon Women's Forum, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

AWARDS, HONORS: James Beard Foundation award, 1990, for best chef, Pacific Northwest.

WRITINGS:

Caprial's Seasonal Kitchen, Graphic Arts Publishing Center (Portland, OR), 1988.

Caprial's Café, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1994.

Cooking with Caprial, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1996.

Caprial's Bistro Style Cuisine, photographs by Edward Gowans, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1997.

(With Mark Dowers) Caprial's Soup and Sandwiches, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1998.

Caprial's Bistro, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 1999.

Caprial Cooks for Friends, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 2000.

(With Melissa Carey) Caprial's Desserts, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 2001.

Caprial and John's Kitchen, Ten Speed Press (Berkeley, CA), 2002.

SIDELIGHTS: Chef Caprial A. Pence demonstrates her command of her craft both by cooking for patrons at her own restaurants, Caprial's Bistro and Caprial and John's Kitchen, in Portland, Oregon, her many cookbooks and through her television shows, Caprial's Café and Cooking with Caprial and John, the latter co-hosted with her husband, John. "Pence . . . has a friendly, down-to-earth style that comes across in her books . . . as well as in her popular PBS television series," Library Journal reviewer Judith C. Sutton said.

Caprial's Desserts, which Pence wrote with her pastry chef, Melissa Carey, shows how to make sixty-seven standard recipes, such as angel food cake, berry pie, and flourless chocolate cake, and then offers variations on those themes. The book illustrates completed desserts, and how to perform such basics as layering and frosting cakes, making puff pastry, and rolling pie dough; Pence also includes eight pages of advice on kitchen tools and ingredients. Michael Hastings wrote in the Winston-Salem Journal, "Caprial's Desserts well represents the recent trend of American restaurant desserts toward the homey and simple sweets that everyone's grandmother used to make. But we would recommend it only to experienced bakers or those who don't mind making a recipe a couple of times to perfect it."

In Caprial Cooks for Friends, would-be chefs can attempt a range of dishes: wild mushroom tarte tatinas appetizers, John's barbecued ribs with secret cure and mange barbecue sauce, coconut-shrimp stew—even corn dogs and chocolate birthday cake. Sutton wrote, "With casual entertaining in mind, she includes make-ahead tips for most of the recipes, as well as boxes on such subjects as cocktails, centerpieces, and 'When to Call for Help: Times a Caterer Can Lend a Hand.'" Mark Knoblauch wrote in Booklist, "Most of the recipes will delight the cook looking for new ideas for simple, easily prepared dishes that will nevertheless intrigue even the most sophisticated guest."

Said a Publishers Weekly reviewer of Caprial's Soups and Sandwiches, a joint venture between Pence and Mark Dower, one of her restaurant chefs, "[They] have accomplished the seemingly impossible: they've taken a familiar topic like soups and sandwiches and managed to come up with surprises. The caveat is that these are not soups or sandwiches that can be slapped together using what's on hand—they require special ingredients and forethought—but the process yields culinary rewards." These are favorites served at her restaurant and include red seafood chowder, salmon club sandwich, roasted chicken tortilla wrap, lamb stew with wild mushrooms and figs, and tomato and tomatillo soup with chilies and chicken meatballs. It also includes recipes for breads, stocks, and spreads.

Caprial's Bistro-Style Cuisine offers recipes for main dishes such as pepper-crusted salmon with green sauce and five-spice roasted duck and delicious desserts.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2000, Mark Knoblauch, review of Caprial Cooks for Friends, p. 1828.

Library Journal, February 15, 1996, Judith C. Sutton, review of Cooking with Caprial: American Bistro Favorites, p. 170; June 15, 1998, Judith C. Sutton, review of Caprial's Bistro-Style Cuisine, p. 102; February 15, 1999, Judith C. Sutton, review of Caprial's Soups and Sandwiches, p. 178; May 15, 2000, Judith C. Sutton, review of Caprial Cooks for Friends, p. 121; November 15, 2001, Judith C. Sutton, review of Caprial's Desserts, p. 94.

Publishers Weekly, December 21, 1998, review of Caprial's Soups and Sandwiches, p. 60; May 15, 2000, review of Caprial Cooks for Friends, p. 113.

Travel & Leisure, April 1997.

Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), March 6, 2002, Michael Hastings, "Dessert Basics: Standards Less Easy to Embellish than Chef-Writer Predicts," p. E2.