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Menus and Music

There’s nothing quite like a good meal to go with some fine jazz, although some would reverse that statement. Regardless, Sharon O’Connor takes advantage of the aesthetic synergy in the 16th and latest volume of her “Menus and Music” series, Tasting the Wine Country.

This series combines cookbooks and compact discs; the cookbook features recipes from some of America’s finest inns and resorts, adapted by O’Connor for home cookers, while the accompanying disc features the Mike Marshall Quintet playing jazz, bluegrass, Latin and classical music. In addition, the cookbook features reverent writing about American winemaking and wines, suggesting the perfect complement to the food and music.

O’Connor was actually the first person to combine cookbooks and recordings. The idea seemed natural to her after studying at the Amsterdam Conservatory of Music and later developing into a bona fide Bay Area food queen. Her first “Menus and Music” package combined recipes from San Francisco-area restaurants with music by her San Francisco String Quartet. Fifteen volumes later, the independent company she set up to publish the books is flourishing.

For more information or to order Tasting the Wine Country, call (510) 658-1605 or visit

Originally Published