Restaurants focusing on farm-to-table fare may be a dime a dozen these days, but as Paul Virant notes in the introduction to his Preservation Kitchen cookbook, the idea was much more radical when he opened Vie in Western Springs eight years ago. There weren’t as many farmers supplying Chicago-area restaurants as there are now, he says, and the area’s relatively short growing season presented some challenges. He turned to preserving summer fruits and vegetables in order to have something besides beets to serve during the winter, with mixed success: a baby leek and carrot aigre-doux, for example, wasn’t a winner. Plenty of other experiments were, though, and became staples at Vie—and now many are recorded for posterity in Virant’s first cookbook.