Made in Italy: Food & Stories

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Giorgio Locatelli
The Observer, Sunday 24 September 2006

It took Giorgio Locatelli five years to put together his definitive, 600-page Italian recipe book and memoir, Made in Italy. Full of mouth-watering dishes from his home country, it’s got everything from delicious pasta and fish, to amazing risottos and meat.

My first feelings for cooking came from my grandmother, Vincenzina. But my first understanding of the relationship between food, sex, wine and the excitement of life came together for me very early on. I grew up in the village of Corgeno on the shores of Lake Comabbio in the north of Italy. My uncle and auntie, with the help of my granddad, built our hotel and restaurant, La Cinzianella, in the village in 1963. I helped out in the restaurant from the age of five until I got my first proper job in a kitchen when I turned 16. In Corgeno, there were eight founding families. The Caletti family, on my mother’s side, was one of them; and on my grandmother’s side, the Tamborini family, along with my cousins, the Gnocchi family, who have a pastry shop in Gallarate, near Milan – the speciality is gorgeous soft amaretti biscuits. It was in this shop that I got my first taste of an industrial kitchen – the ovens were so big that you could walk into them. I loved it. Continue reading ‘Made in Italy: Food & Stories’

Mexican Food Made Simple

If you love having friends and family round for dinner or simply rustling up fresh, fast food, Mexican cooking is fun, fantastic and full of flavour. One of its brightest stars, Wahaca chef and food writer Thomasina Miers shares the recipes she has gathered since she first fell in love with the country aged 18, reinventing the classics with accessible ingredients to demonstrate how exciting and delicious traditional Mexican food can be.

Whether you’re looking for street snacks full of punch, rich, hearty stews, or sensational, spicy wraps, Thomasina’s Mexican Food Made Simple is bursting with recipes you’ll want to eat and share: soft corn tacos and tostados; little cheesy things (Quesadillas); a great Mexican chille con carne; Grilled Seabass or succulent Lamb Chops with homemade salsas and tortilla chips; and to finish churros with chocolate sauce.

The book features vibrant food photography throughout, and step-by-step guides to folding the perfect burrito, eating a taco (no knives and forks allowed), making a sizzling table salsa, and much more. And with Thomasina’s guide to the world’s hottest Chillis, ingenious cheats, and helpful menu planner, Mexican Food Made Simple has everything you need to put together a fantastic Mexican feast at home.

Reviews:

‘Mexican food is one of the world’s great cuisines and there is no one I’d rather read on the subject than Tommi. I love her writing and the recipes in this book are wonderful too’

(Tom Parker Bowles, Market Kitchen )

‘When I read this book I wanted to cook from it immediately … then jump on a plane to Oaxhaca. Colourful and inviting, full of scrummy-looking and achievable recipes, it’s for anyone who likes their food vibrant, healthy and ballsy…just like the author!’

(Allegra McEvedy )

‘A world away from Tex-Mex sizzling fajitas with cheesy nachos, Thomasina Miers, former MasterChef champ and Wahaca restaurant founder, is bringing a large slice of genuine Mexico to the mainstream’

(Delicious )

‘Perfect for summer, this book from the MasterChef 2005 winner is full of easy flavourful recipes.’ (BBC Good Food Magazine )

‘A great introduction to the breadth of real Mexican cooking, which goes way beyond the Tex-Mex cliches.’ (Delicious )

The Good Cook

Simon Hopkinson loves food and he knows how to cook it. The Good Cook is the result of over 40 years’ experience and is based on Simon’s belief that a good cook loves eating as much as cooking.

How the ingredients you choose and the way you cook them will turn a good recipe into a great dish. That a cheap cut of meat cooked with care can taste as nice as a choice cut prepared by indifferent hands.

Structured around Simon’s passion for good ingredients (Anchovy and Aubergine, Cheese and Wine, Smoked and Salted Fish, Ham, Bacon and A Little Pig) and written with Simon’s trademark perfectionism and precision, this is the book that you will cherish for life.

Rick Stein’s Spain

Driving his chum’s rather clapped out camper van, which he describes as his Rocinante, Rick Stein embarks on a culinary journey laced with history, literature and stunning photography through Spain.

I’ve wanted to make a series in Spain for a long time. I love Spanish food, I’ve been going there since I was a young boy – but until quite recently I don’t think people really took the food seriously. French and Italian cooking was felt to have more finesse. Thanks to a handful of really dedicated Spanish chefs and a growing enthusiasm for its rugged flavours, that has all begun to change. No one cooks fish with more respect or grills meat better.

To me the underlying point of journeying to Spain would be to discover the ‘duende’ in the cooking. By that I mean a sense of soul, of authenticity. The word is normally used for the soul of flamenco but I think it could be equally applied to the art of Spanish cooking because to my mind, in really good food, there is a communication between the cook and diner that amounts to art.” Rick Stein

Programme 1 – Galicia, Andalusia, Asturias, Gijon and Basque
Programme 2 – Rioja, Navarra, Catalonia, the Mediterranean and Lleida
Programme 3 – Catalonia, Valencia, Sueca and La Mancha
Programme 4 – Extremadura, Guadalupe, Seville and Granada

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Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean


Silvena Rowe invites you on a journey through Oriental Mediterranean history, sampling some of the best-kept secrets of the culinary world along the way. The olive, rosemary and basil of the west are here combined with the exotic spices of the east, for a contemporary cuisine of surprising lightness and variety – proof, if proof were needed, that there is more to the Mediterranean than just Italy and France. It’s food for sharing, food for healthy living, food for celebrating – and above all it’s delicious! Silvena Rowe gives her own modern twist to the classic recipes of a rich tradition, following in the footsteps of the great Ottoman chefs who combined the sweet and the sour, the fresh and the dried, the honey and cinnamon, saffron and sumac, scented rose and orange flower waters. Presenting mouth-watering recipes alongside stunning photography, “Purple Citrus & Sweet Perfume” brings to life the natural beauty and irresistible flavours of the Eastern Mediterranean.  

For photos and links to further reviews click on link below

Continue reading ‘Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean’

I KNOW HOW TO COOK

From the NYT, 06.12.09

This season, the 1,000-plus recipe category also includes books of French and Italian cuisine. I KNOW HOW TO COOK (Je Sais Cuisiner) (Phaidon, $45) was written in the early 1930s by the Sorbonne home-economics teacher Ginette Mathiot, who was tapped to compile a comprehensive collection of recipes for young brides. The resulting 1,400 recettes tick through the French repertoire, from abricots à l’anglaise to zephyr veal scallops, and are written in a brisk, authoritative manner that assumes the reader does indeed know how to cook. As Mathiot wrote in the original introduction, “A good cookbook must only offer useful information.”

With up to six recipes per page, this translation by Imogen Forster is more “Joy of Cooking” than “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Like “Joy,” Mathiot’s book has been updated through the years. Considerable visual charm aside, it earns its chunk of shelf space with unfamiliar vintage dishes like potage à l’aurore, sauce bâtarde and sheep’s foot rémoulade. You’ll have to make them on faith, like the chocolate cake that requires grating rather than melting chocolate. It wasn’t the chocolate cake I had envisioned (i.e., a brown one), but given the mystery factor and brisk instructions, it was a pleasant surprise nonetheless. Under Mathiot’s guidance, the vanilla soufflé did exactly as told, which is really all you can ask.

GOURMET TODAY: More Than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen

From NYT, 06.12.09

Molecular gastronomy didn’t kill Gourmet magazine. The dump-and-stirrers did. Still, the timing of GOURMET TODAY: More Than 1,000 All-New Recipes for the Contemporary Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40), compiled by the magazine’s editor, the former New York Times food critic Ruth Reichl, is tragicomic: the book was published two weeks before the magazine was shuttered, its staffers given 48 hours to clean out their desks; a sticker on the cover offers a free subscription with purchase. But what a great final act. “Gourmet Today” offers a thoughtful, thorough portrait of the way Americans are eating, documenting a cuisine that seamlessly incorporates ethnic ingredients, farmers’ market produce, vegetarian entrées and quick-cook staples — plus plenty of cocktails. This big green book isn’t the big yellow one you bought your mom for Christmas ’04. Not with recipes like Korean bulgogi, farro risotto with cauliflower or Afghani dumplings. Your mother might not make the recipe for David Chang’s Momofuku pork belly buns, but chances are she’d try the pork chops with fennel-pomegranate salsa, and you should, too. Like many of the dishes in the book, it’s simple, satisfying and pretty au courant. Thank you, Ruth Reichl. Come back soon.

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Fat Duck Cookbook

From the NYT, 06.12.09

Heston Blumenthal, the chef of the three-Michelin-starred Fat Duck in Bray, England, is a brilliant obsessive of another school. Not afraid to geek out, he’s just as curious about how sound affects taste (diners who order a dish called Sound of the Sea listen to an iPod playing waves) as he is about 17th-century English cuisine. Last year, he oversaw the publication of “The Big Fat Duck Cookbook,” written with Pascal Cariss — 11.6 pounds and $250 worth of engagingly written personal history, scientific research and recipes from his lab. . . . I mean kitchen. Republished as the somewhat more portable and accessible FAT DUCK COOKBOOK (Bloomsbury, $50), it now weighs in at just under six pounds. A lavish extravaganza larded with cartoons and Ralph Steadman-esque illustrations by Dave McKean, the book downloads everything in Blumenthal’s head (which is a lot), including recipes for already legendary dishes like snail porridge as well as ­nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream. If your dream cuisine involves liquid nitrogen and a rotary evaporator, Blumenthal’s your bloke.

[SOURCE]

David Chang’s Momofuku

From New York Times, December 6, 2009

One of the most talked-about restaurant books of the season is David Chang’s MOMOFUKU (Clarkson Potter, $40). In five years, this 32-year-old New York chef has built an empire on inspired, porky excess. Chang’s Virginia upbringing, upscale restaurant experience and love of certain Korean and Japanese flavors result in the kind of dishes that will jam your eyeballs into the back of your head, like brussels sprouts with bacon and kimchi puree. This fawningly produced book, written with the former New York Times “$25 and Under” reviewer Peter Meehan (who contributes the Grass Fed column to the blog of T: The New York Times Style Magazine), is fueled by Chang’s hard-core attitude and punctuated with a “Hell’s Kitchen” season’s worth of unprintable words. The dude’s intense, and he wants you to know it. The food is intense, too, especially as the recipes increase in difficulty as the chapters move up the Momofuku restaurant scale, from Noodle Bar to Ssam Bar to Ko.

It’s exciting to think that thousands of American kitchens will soon be stocked with dashi, kochukaru and fish sauce. It’s even more exciting to think that some people will confit chicken wings in five cups of pork fat and attempt the cassoulet-level marathon that is Momofuku ramen. For those just in it for the coolness (or without access to an Asian market), you don’t need to make tare or ramen broth: the easy ginger-scallion sauce and ­miso butter are keepers. In both food and tone, “Momofuku” encapsulates an exciting moment in New York dining. In 20 years, when we’re all eating McKimchi burgers and drinking cereal milk, we’ll look back fondly on the time when neurotic indie stoners and their love of Benton’s bacon changed the culinary landscape.

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Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends

From New York Times, December 6, 2009

Gordon Ramsay has also set out to prove he can cook like the little people, via a book of homey recipes that can actually be cooked at home. By you. Because when he’s not humiliating the BLEEP out of the BLEEPing contestants of “Hell’s Kitchen” before eight million viewers, he’s apparently eating “posh kedgeree” and fish curry with his friends and BLEEPing family. Seeing Ramsay’s jack-o’-lantern maw and reading the words Gordon Ramsay and COOKING FOR FRIENDS (Morrow/HarperCollins, $35) elicits a nervous titter. Gordon, you’ve built a career out of being a first-class . . . chef. Now you want us to believe you still have friends? To judge by the (lovely) pictures inside, he has six: they appear throughout in almost identical shots, as does Ramsay, who apparently didn’t have more than an afternoon to pose for the camera.

But the food! It’s nice! Stuff you’d like to make — and actually can in a reasonable amount of time — from an international menu of comfort foods and slightly more ambitious fare: Thai-style fish cakes with sweet chili sauce, wild mushroom tarts in a walnut-Parmesan crust, lamb shank cassoulet. The recipes, written with Mark Sargeant and Emily Quah, are clear and not scary in the least. Chef Ramsay, I stand corrected. You may step back in line.

[Source]

From Holiday Books/Cooking
NYT, December 6, 2009
By CHRISTINE MUHLKE

Let’s start with the biggest American chef with the biggest book. Thomas Keller is a pro at translating his restaurant menus into lavish cookbooks for the advanced home cook. His latest, AD HOC AT HOME: Family-Style Recipes (Artisan, $50), written with Dave Cruz, Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman and Amy Vogler, serves up cozy dishes from his “casual” restaurant, Ad Hoc, a set-menu, elbows-on-the-table spot in Yountville, Calif., where the meatballs and fried chicken are inarguably better than your mother’s. Keller loosens up accordingly — or at least as much as the country’s most obsessive chef can — with hand-holding tips (how to extract more meat from a lobster, snip the ends of green beans with scissors or use a No. 12 Parisienne melon baller to prettily pit cherries — naturellement!) and pictures of him looking sheepishly “ad hoc” in front of kooky chalkboard illustrations. Keep in mind that in Keller-ese, “casual” doesn’t mean “effortless.” The idea for Ad Hoc may have been born from staff meals, but let’s consider the staff.

There are straightforward dishes like tomatoes with mozzarella — homemade mozzarella. And you will truly aspire to make them. Do you have a day? Chicken soup with dumplings, “a simple, satisfying” dish, requires seven pots for what is ostensibly a one-pot meal. The celery is cooked differently from the carrots. The pâte-à-choux dumplings are trimmed with scissors. The result was satisfying and elegant, but what isn’t when a soup course calls for a stick and a half of butter and you have a staff of dishwashers? Ditto the mozzarella-stuffed meatballs. I tracked down, then ground, the four required cuts of meat; made the breadcrumbs and slow-roasted the tomato sauce while my husband hand-cut pappardelle. The result? How do you say “Meh!” in Italian? But I will persevere: chocolate chip cookies and blowtorch prime rib roast beckon. And jars of Keller’s “Lifesavers,” like fennel mustard and tangerine-kumquat marmalade, will make great gifts. Hey T. K., when are you opening that burger joint? I need to start polishing sesame seeds.

[Source]

Great, Grand & Famous Chefs…

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Lifestyle food.com

The history of cooking describes the development of culture as much as art and architecture, yet it is a story that is not often told. Fitz Gubler is doing his part to change that with this beautiful book.

Starting with Fernand Point, the godfather of French cooking, Gubler follows the trail of 20 brilliant chefs across the 20th century. Their stories are peppered with personal anecdotes about the influences, mentors, philosophies and experiments behind their fame.

Each chef’s story is accompanied with beautiful images of their dishes and their restaurants, as well as one recipe illustrating the style of food that made them famous. The chefs’ stories are interspersed with essays on different aspects that have affected cuisine over the decades, from the role of the critic to fusion and molecular cooking.

Despite the rich material and intricate cooking styles this book remains approachable and enjoyable. Surprisingly the recipes are not complicated and are written in a way that allows you to interpret as well as replicate. Tetsuya’s confit of ocean trout is explained, Alain Ducasse shares the secrets of his Baba au Rhum and Thomas Keller’s Oysters and Pearls , an elegant and sensual dish that plays on words and flavours, is documented.

This is a truly indulgent look at 20 of the best restaurants and chefs around the world. A culinary tour of some of the greatest influences on cookery and cuisine, that can be enjoyed in your lounge room and recreated in your kitchen.

You can try some of the beautiful recipes from this book below –
Tetsuya’s Signature Dish of Confit of Ocean Trout
Alain Ducasse’s Signature Dish of Baba au Rhum
Thomas Keller’s Signature Dish of Oysters and Pearls

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Jamie’s America

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Jamie talks about his new book, Jamie’s America – Jamie will try real American food and meet the most interesting cooks and producers that this vast country has to offer. His epic journey will take him to the heart of America: its people, culture, music and, most importantly, its food. Along the way Jamie will be getting his hands dirty – meeting hunters, cowboys, fishermen and local producers – as he finds out about the best (and strangest) ingredients on offer. He won’t just be sampling, he’ll be getting involved: entering a gumbo ‘throw-down’ in Louisiana, fishing in California and sampling bison in Montana as he joins life on a ranch. As well as being a visually stunning journey, “Jamie’s America” is a practical cookbook, with each chapter focusing on the food and recipes of a different state. And the food will be as varied as the landscapes – from spicy Mexican in the desert to freshly caught Alaskan salmon. With 120 brand new recipes, and Jamie’s diary narrative running alongside, this will be a celebratory cookbook of a country with a wide food heritage.

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey (Hardcover)

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Product Description

“Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey” is an ambitious journey, avoiding the beaten track and tourist hot-spots, in search of the authentic food of Southeast Asia. In this accompanying book to the major BBC series, Rick shares his favourite recipes and some well-known classic dishes inspired by the fragrant ingredients and recipes he sampled from local chefs, family-run restaurants, street vendors and market stalls. In Cambodia, Rick learns how to make a national dish Samlor kako, a stir-fried pork and vegetable soup flavoured with an array of spices; in Vietnam he is shown the best recipe for Pho Bo, a Vietnamese beef noodle soup; and, in Thailand, Rick tries Geng Leuong Sai Gung Lai Sai Bua, a yellow curry made with prawns and lotus shoots that you won’t find outside the country. “Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey” includes over 150 new recipes from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bali each complemented by Rick’s colourful anecdotes from the trip and beautiful on-location photography. This is a visually-stunning culinary tribute to Southeast Asian cooking that evokes the magic of bustling markets, the sizzle of oil and the aromatic steam from a Far Eastern kitchen.

About the Author

Rick Stein is a well-loved and respected chef, TV presenter and author who has produced an array of award-winning books and television series, including Rick Stein’s Seafood, Seafood Lover’s Guide, Taste of the Sea, Food Heroes, French Odyssey, Mediterranean Escapes and most recently Coast to Coast. All of his books and programmes show a commitment to good-quality produce, sustainable fishing and good husbandry. Rick owns four restaurants, a delicatessen, a patisserie, a seafood cookery school and forty guest bedrooms in the small fishing port of Padstow, Cornwall. In 2003, Rick was awarded an OBE for services to West Country Tourism. He divides his time between Padstow and Australia, which he regards as his second home.

Rick Stein talks about his Far Eastern Odyssey

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9781846077166

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A taste of the east

Contrasting textures, fresh flavours and hot and sour sacues … In this extract from Rick Stein’s latest book, Far Eastern Odyssey, the intrepid chef recreates some of the tantalising dishes he encountered in Vietnam

Rick Stein | The Observer | Sunday 19 July 2009

What an introduction to Vietnam: to board a riverboat in Phnom Penh and meander down the Mekong. As we crossed the border from Cambodia the personality of the Vietnamese was immediately apparent. Everywhere on the banks was industriousness: boats being mended, cooking on junks, intense cultivation of vegetables and fruit. Fish farms on either bank: floating pontoons with a couple of wooden huts, each with a barking guard dog or two.

On board we enjoyed some of the classic dishes of the country: at one stage Vietnamese spring rolls, the fresh ones with limpid rice-paper pancakes wrapped round prawns and pork with mint, Thai sweet basil, bean sprouts, garlic chives and shredded lettuce; on another occasion a pile of crunchy yellow fritters made with shredded potatoes and prawns perfumed with turmeric. This use of leafy herbs and crunchy items is very common.

Here, a bowl of chicken broth and rice noodles is eaten with crunchy vegetables and salad leaves together with chargrilled minced pork flavoured with garlic and fish sauce. Continue reading ‘A taste of the east’

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey – BBC2/BBC HD 8pm

Jane Simon | Mirror.co.uk | 23/07/2009

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Tonight, in Vietnam, seeing the fish farms under the floating houses along the Mekong River, his first guilty thought is of the Russian roulette scene from The Deer Hunter. And although he’s got a translator, there are some communication problems even when he’s speaking English.

In the market, shopping for ingredients for the local soup called Pho, he actually says at one point: “We need four for four phos.” (I think). And he also picks up a new recipe of which he says: “If you cook just one dish from this series – make it this one.”

Stock up on fish sauce now.

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey – Cambodia

Cambodia, Part 1

Cambodia, Part 1

In summer 2005 I travelled to South-East Asia on holiday, visiting Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. Much as I enjoyed my experiences in the former two countries, it was Cambodia that really touched me most. I really liked the Khmer people and I was knocked out by their cuisine, which I’d never experienced before. Khmer food is the topic of the first episode of Rick Stein’s latest series, Far Eastern Odyssey. In this edited clip I show just a little of what appeared in that broadcast, to give you a flavour of this remarkable country. I’ve focused on the food and edited out a lot of material discussing the period of the Khmer Rouge not because I don’t think the country’s political history is important, but because I’m restricted to a 10-minute clip and this was uploaded for my food blog. Enjoy the food!

Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey – BBC2/BBC HD, 8pm

Jane Simon | Mirror.co.uk | 16/07/2009

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Become a chef – see the world. That could be Rick Stein’s motto as he nibbles his way around Cambodia tonight and then slips down the Mekong River to Vietnam on his latest exotic jolly.

Food-mad to a fault, the introduction to this new series sounds suspiciously like a Mitchell and Webb sketch. “I’m here to discover not just the food,” Stein promises, “but what makes places like Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam tick. What’s so special about Bali, Sri Lanka, Malaysia or Bangladesh? Well – the food of course. But beyond that it’s the people. People talking about food…”

With this suitably one-track mind, Stein enthuses tonight about mini mangoes, curry paste, fresh crabs and peppercorns and discovers that Cambodia’s French colonial past lives on in the shape of the baguette.

Every week he’ll also be finding recipes you can create in your own kitchen – but be warned, tonight’s taste sensation is a raw beef salad.

A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Oyster Eating

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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Jacobsen, managing editor of the magazine The Art of Eating, presents the ultimate macropedia for oysters, covering not just geography, but also philosophy, consumerism, epicurean splendor and the proper way to grow a pearl. The first of the guide’s three sections, Mastering Oysters, covers such cocktail party talking points as A Dozen Oysters You Should Know and The Aphrodisiac Angle, and presents a primer on how and why oysters taste as they do. Chapter two accounts for half the book’s page count and is a travelogue across the Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, a movable feast up and down the east and west coasts of North America. Jacobsen ends his research with Everything You Wanted to Know About Oysters but Were Afraid to Ask. (The title exemplifies one of the very few times that his writing goes stale). Here he lists the best ways to ship, store and shuck, and explains why it is perfectly all right to eat oysters in months that do not have an r in them. He also serves up 20 or so recipes, including Coconut Oyster Stew with ginger and lemongrass and Baked Oysters in Tarragon Butter, simple to make but complex in flavor. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review
“A wide-ranging, thorough, breezily written guide to oysters as cuisine…Jacobsen leads with his fearless palate every time- he’s a down-to-earth companion you listen to, even if you don’t always agree with him.”-Boston Globe “The most remarkable single-subject books to come along in a while…Jacobsen covers oysters in exhaustive detail, but with writing so engaging and sprightly that reading about the briny darlings is almost as compulsive as eating them…this book will improve your oyster eating immeasurably…There may be no more pleasurable food than a raw oyster, there almost certainly is no better guide.”—Los Angeles Times, Russ Parsons “the ultimate macropedia for oysters”—Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond

olivesoranges

Product Description
By the time she was a teenager, Sara Jenkins had lived all over the Mediterranean, from Italy and France to Spain, Lebanon, and Cyprus, in cosmopolitan cities and in rural hamlets. The family eventually put down roots in a ramshackle farmhouse in a small Tuscan village, where she learned how to make ragu and handmade pasta at the elbow of her Italian “grandmother” on the nearby farm. Meals came from the garden and the surrounding pastures, not the supermarket, and Jenkins grew up schooled in the tradition of cooking from what was on hand.

In Olives & Oranges, Jenkins shares the simple, striking dishes she learned at the source. Many, like Peppery Braised Short Ribs and Classic Tuscan Eggplant Parmesan, are favorites from childhood. Others, like Short Pasta with Mushrooms and Mint and Spicy Lemon–Chocolate Ganache Tart, have a contemporary sensibility. Jenkins shows how understanding the Mediterranean “language of flavor” can help you follow your instincts and make your own great meals based on what you have, too. You’ll see how salt and lemon juice bring out the natural sugar in Carrot Salad with Lemon, Sea Salt, Parsley, and Olive Oil, and how to use the same technique with lime, salt, and a Moroccan condiment called harissa for a completely different effect in Tunisian Raw Turnip Salad. Continue reading ‘Olives and Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Beyond’

On the Line

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Product Description
Take one top New York restaurant, add danger, drama, and dialogue, toss in their best recipes, and you have a cooking classic.

How does a 4-star restaurant stay on top for more than two decades? In On the Line, chef Eric Ripert takes readers behind the scenes at Le Bernardin, one of just three New York City restaurants to earn three Michelin stars. Any fan of gourmet dining who ever stole a peek behind a restaurant kitchen’s swinging doors will love this unique insider’s account, with its interviews, inventory checklists, and fly-on-the-wall dialogue that bring the business of haute cuisine to life.

From the sudden death of Le Bernardin’s founding chef, Gilbert Le Coze, to Ripert’s stressful but triumphant takeover of the kitchen at age 29, the story has plenty of drama. But as Chef Ripert and writer Christine Muhlke reveal, every day is an adventure in a perfectionistic restaurant kitchen. Foodies will love reading about the inner workings of a top restaurant, from how a kitchen is organized to the real cost of the food and the fierce discipline and organization it takes to achieve culinary perfection on the plate almost 150,000 times a year.

Meanwhile, Le Bernardin’s modern French cuisine, with its emphasis on seafood, comes to life in sophisticated recipes, including Striped Bass with Sweet Corn Puree, Grilled Shishito Peppers, Shaved Smoked Bonito, and Mole Sauce, and Pan-Roasted Cod with Chorizo, Snow Peas, Piquillo Peppers, and Soy-Lime Butter Sauce.

Continue reading ‘On the Line’

At the Crillon and at Home: Recipes by Jean-Francois Piege

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Product Description
The Hotel Crillon is one of the most exceptional palace hotels in Paris, and its two-Michelin star restaurant Les Ambassadeurs is one of the best in France. Jean-François Piège is the dynamic young chef at the helm, serving up an elaborate cuisine—driven by products that are in season and at their best—that has forged his reputation worldwide. In this original book, Piège takes us behind closed doors to reveal the secrets of the Crillon’s kitchen, then invites us into his home where he shares his informal recipes that he dishes up to friends and family. This book contains over eighty recipes for both special occasions and simpler dishes for every day. This beautiful volume offers a wealth of ideas for both the amateur and seasoned chef.

Review
“I’m drawn to this book for its fresh presentation.” ~Southern Accents

“…featuring 80-plus stunningly photographed dishes.” ~France Magazine

“Jean-Francois Piege…takes us home with him to share in the more casual fare he dishes up to friends and family in his debut cookbook, At the Crillon and at Home. More than 80 recipes and 334 color illustrations may get you into the kitchen or just enhance your epicurean reveries.” ~BookPage

Alinea

Amazon.com Review
The dishes at Grant Achatz’s award-winning Chicago restaurant Alinea are entirely new, yet what diners taste often resurrects their most cherished food memories. Achatz has said that flavor is memory, and of all the ways in which Alinea appeals to the senses, it’s flavor that he has harnessed and reinvented in a kitchen that never rests on its laurels. (Although, Achatz has employed everything from smoking oak leaves to cinnamon torches to impart flavor, so who’s to say that laurel branches are out of the question?) For a menu as ambitious as Alinea’s, its cookbook incarnation is as clear a window into a chef’s creative process as you could hope for, buttressed by stunning photography and thoughtful essays from Achatz and food literati Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, among others. This doesn’t mean necessarily that you’ll cook from Alinea often, or perhaps ever: the 600 recipes are composed precisely to show that any motivated cook can recreate Alinea’s dishes at home, but to do so may be missing the point. What makes Alinea remarkable–and unlike any other cookbook on the shelf–is its passionate insistence that there isn’t just one recipe for being a cook. —Anne Bartholomew
Continue reading ‘Alinea’

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook

By  Curious Cook

This book is an accomplishment worthy of telling Blumenthal’s tale of discovery and evolution. It is in fact exactly what I had been looking for every time I had previously purchased an overgrown coffe-table cook book… usually to be let down by the quality, format or content.

Those three aspects: quality, format and content drive the perfect rating I served up. The book is weighty, with high quality paper so thick you will swear that two pages are between your fingers, not one. I seemingly always have trouble with book bindings that fall apart… not this time: the Fat Duck is quite well bound with marker-ribbons for placekeeping.

The art inside is a blistering barrage of jazz-era, inked sketches of Blumenthal at various stages of discovery superimposed upon vividly colored, intriguingly compelling and sometimes darkly disturbing swaths of imagery. If asked prior to reading the Fat Duck, art in a cookbook would have been the component I consider least important to it’s overall success. In contrast, here the art is an essential component, almost like theme music that drives audience emotional investment in a theater performance. The photographs are also of exquisite quality and sharpness, even when comprising the entire page. Continue reading ‘The Big Fat Duck Cookbook’

A Day at El Bulli

Book Description
A Day at elBulli: An Insight into the Ideas, Methods and Creativity of Ferran Adria reveals for the first time the creative process, innovative philosophy and extraordinary techniques of the multi-award-winning restaurant, elBulli, and its legendary head chef, Ferran Adria. Situated on a remote beach on the northeast coast of Spain, elBulli is famous for being the ultimate pilgrimage site for foodies, and a reservation that is nearly impossible to obtain. Each year elBulli is open for just six months, and receives more than 2 million requests for only 8,000 seats. Renowned for his spectacular ever-changing 30-course tasting menu, Adria’s pioneering culinary techniques have been applauded – and imitated – by top chefs around the globe for the past decade, and he was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of our time.

If you weren’t one of the lucky few to get in this year (2008 reservations were booked a year in advance), you can now experience the restaurant like never before. This generously-illustrated 600-page ”day in the life” features over 800 photographs, menus, recipes and diagrams, and presents a guided tour through a full working day at elBulli. The book documents the activities of each hour of the day, from dawn at 6.15 am to switching off the lights at 2.00 am.

The book highlights 30 dishes which represent a full elBulli menu, and Adria shows you how he creates the restaurant’s innovative cuisines. Sample recipes include Samphire Tempura with Saffron and Oyster Cream, Steamed Brioche with Rose-Scented Mozzarella, and Coulant/Souffle of Granadilla with Cardamom Toffee.

In April 2008, elBulli won the #1 Best Restaurant in the World, for the third year in a row at the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards.

Cigala con quinoa (Langoustine with quinoa)

Cigala con quinoa (Langoustine with quinoa)

From Publishers Weekly
An enormous undertaking, this monumental tome, complete with more than 1,000 photographs, chronicles one day at revolutionary eatery elBulli in northern Spain, arguably one of today’s most influential restaurants. Adria, the culinary genius behind this success, along with restaurant manager Soler and brother and fellow chef Albert give the reader a firsthand look at day-to-day activities and the innovation for which elBulli is known. Lavish photographs are the main attraction in this work; text is sparse and offers only glimpses into activities. While there is an examination of the team’s creative methods, most topics are only touched upon briefly, such as creative sessions, testing and utilizing a mental palate. Given the highly technical nature of the dishes served at elBulli, recipes (Pine Nut Marshmallows; Steamed Brioche with Rose-scented Mozzarella) are rare. A glance behind the scenes at a pivotal time and place in culinary evolution, this book will delight serious foodies, and its stunning package guarantees it will grace many a coffee table. (Oct.) —Publishers Weekly

Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Combining “a distaste for fancy cooking combined with a respect for haute cuisine,” New York restaurant Chanterelle is a study in contrasts. When the restaurant first opened in the late 1970s, chef Waltuck and his wife Karen were pioneers of a new kind of fine dining, from their decision to waive dress codes to the dishes’ unique flavor combinations. In this lush, compulsively readable portrait of this premier dining establishment, the Waltucks are warm and welcoming, sharing the chef’s earliest cooking experiences and recipe development as well as scenes from their romance. The stars, of course, are the recipes, and they dazzle. Organized by course, Waltuck patiently and expertly guides readers through the creation of appetizers like Crispy Bacon-Wrapped Oysters with Rémoulade and decadent Roulade of Prosciutto, Foie Gras and Figs, before moving on to signature dishes such as Grilled Seafood Sausage with Beurre Blanc Sauce and Lobster with Sauternes and Curry. Carnivores will delight in Waltuck’s take on surf and turf-beef filets with sautéed mushrooms and oysters-and a belt-loosening feast of bone-in beef ribs served with a rich sauce of red wine, shallots and marrow. Complementary sides are straightforward and easy to prepare. Desserts, though daunting, reward in spades: Cherry Vanilla Brioche Pudding with Maple-Star Anise Ice Cream, Fig and Goat Cheese Tart with Huckleberry Ice Cream, and the restaurant’s signature Petit Fours all make a sweet impression. Liberally peppered with tips and tricks, Waltuck’s peculiar style eschews needless formality, admirably deflating hesitation or intimidation in home cooks tackling his one-of-a-kind dishes. 138 color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Continue reading ‘Chanterelle: The Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic’

Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. North Carolina barbecue may be the most complex of a decidedly complicated American tradition, with perennial battles over sauce, meat, wood and countless other factors. Married collaborators the Reeds (1001 Things Everyone Should Know About the South), along with Carolina BBQ Society founder McKinney, help ‘cue fans navigate the smoky waters of North Carolina cuisine-its history, practice and players-in this expert guide, tempered with a smart sense of humor and true love for the food (Carolina transplants, the Reeds don’t take the region’s legacy lightly). The Reeds trace the evolution of the cooking style from its first appearance in the late 1600s, revealing the 19th century origins of the vinegar-based sauce synonymous with the state. Though the focus in on pork, the Reeds delve deep into all facets of the cuisine, including its social and political significance, and offer tips on picking one’s restaurants wisely, a blueprint for building your own pit, and recipes. Would-be Carolinian pit-masters will learn all they need about smoking butts as well as whole hogs, whipping up crucial sauces and sides, and preparing dessert (from homemade Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding to Moon Pies and wine jelly). Even if readers never attempt to recreate the region’s trademark delicacies, they’ll certainly gain a deeper appreciation and understanding for this remarkably complex regional style and the characters who keep it alive. 260 illus.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Continue reading ‘Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue’

Bon Appetit, Y’All: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking

From Publishers Weekly
The playful title of this Southern-French cookbook belies its studious attitude to cookery. Willis, a chef who has cooked for the White House and stars like Aretha Franklin and Jane Fonda, grew up in Georgia and Louisiana, absorbing her mother’s and grandmother’s repertoire of grits, casseroles and gumbos before developing her professional skills at French cooking academies. The result is a hybrid cuisine she calls refined Southern, which applies traditional French technique and lighter ingredients to produce new versions of Southern staples. Her collard greens are cooked up with smoked salt instead of hog jowl; her cornbread is dressed with panko. Sprinkled liberally throughout are the Southern ingredients that Willis was raised on: Vidalia onions, okra, Georgia pecans and peaches. Willis’s approach is faithful, yet she’s unafraid to reinvent culinary clichés when necessary—like making pimiento cheese from scratch. Some of her creations—like a tipsy salad, riffing on the frat boy combo of watermelon and vodka; Yukon Gold and Edamame Mash; and Coca-Cola Glazed Baby Back Ribs—elevate mundane flavors with sheer ingenuity. Magnificent color photos; detailed, helpful tips; and Willis’s cheerful, trustworthy guidance make this an original and welcome newcomer to a classic cookbook library. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review
“Bourbon Sweet Potatoes, Mama’s Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens, and Brown-Sugar Shortcakes are only a few of the appealing dishes to make you swoon.” — Ladies’ Home Journal “Cookbooks We Love” Feature

“Simple, great ingredients are the hallmark of this book, whose recipes display a great flair for techniques that are Southern and European. The food becomes timeless and borderless. . . . It’s Southern, sure, but with a refreshing twist.” — Raleigh News & Observer

“Gorgeously photographed and filled with warm notes about recipes learned from her mother, grandparents, and friends, it seems designed as an ideal Mother’s Day gift.” — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“The author of this wonderful book Virginia Willis has put together the food of her native Georgia and her classical French techniques to create this really pretty book. I love it. I love the photographs. I love the writing in it. It’s really, really nice.” — Martha Stewart, The Martha Stewart Show, May 7, 2008

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Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking: Yiddish Recipes Revisited

From Publishers Weekly
Schwartz (Arthur Schwartz’s New York City Food) breathes life into Yiddish cooking traditions now missing from most cities’ main streets as well as many Jewish tables. His colorful stories are so distinctive and charming that even someone who has never heard Schwartz’s radio show or seen him on TV will feel his warm personality and love for food radiating from the page. Oddly, even the shorter anecdotes often run longer than the actual recipes; anyone intending to cook from the book should have some kitchen experience or risk frustration at the often brief instructions. Dishes run the gamut from beloved appetizers like gefilte fish to classic meat and dairy main items (cholent, blintzes), plus less familiar items like onion cookies and Hungarian shlishkas (light potato dumplings). Schwartz intersperses engaging commentary on everything from farfel and matzo to Romanian steakhouses and why Jews like Chinese food. Those with Westernized palates may recoil at the thought of gelled calf’s feet, but Schwartz shows how stereotypically heavy Ashkenazi food can be improved and made at least somewhat lighter when prepared properly. Cooks and readers from Schwartz’s generation and earlier, who know firsthand what he’s talking about, will appreciate this delightful new book for the world it evokes as much as for the recipes. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description
Arthur Schwartz knows how Jewish food warms the heart and delights the soul, whether it’s talking about it, shopping for it, cooking it, or, above all, eating it. JEWISH HOME COOKING presents authentic yet contemporary versions of traditional Ashkenazi foods–rugulach, matzoh brei, challah, brisket, and even challenging classics like kreplach (dumplings) and gefilte fish–that are approachable to make and revelatory to eat. Chapters on appetizers, soups, dairy (meatless) and meat entrees, Passover meals, breads, and desserts are filled with lore about individual dishes and the people who nurtured them in America. Light-filled food and location photographs of delis, butcher shops, and specialty grocery stores paint a vibrant picture of America’s touchstone Jewish food culture.

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Coast to Coast

9781846076145

A must-have, evocative new cookbook containing over 130 of Rick\’s best-loved recipes.

Rick Stein\’s passion for fresh, well-sourced food has taken him from continent to continent, across magnificent shorelines and to the very best produce the coast has to offer. From Fresh grilled cod with shellfish in garlic butter at the tip of St Ives, to Cured red duck breasts with melon, soy and pickled ginger in Sydney Harbour, this collection of over 130 recipes evokes all the pleasure and flavour associated with the coast.

Chapters are organised by region: healthy salads inspired by the Californian ocean, sumptuous starters fit for French cuisine, modern light lunches such as Japanese sashimi and Moroccan tagines, and main courses using fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, poultry and game from the most fertile coastal regions in the world.

There are classic treats such as Toad-in-the-hole with porcini mushrooms and onion gravy, staple fish masterpieces such as Poached sea trout with sorrel hollandaise, and tasty favourites from your treasured holiday destinations: Seafood Paella, Goan Curry, Welsh Cawl and Clam Chowder. All this, plus a delicious range of puddings including Hot bread pudding with armagnac sauce, Lemon Possett and Poached pears with mulberries and mascarpone ice cream.

With brand-new recipes and a fresh design, Coast to Coast contains Rick Stein\’s most popular dishes drawn from many years of travelling the culinary globe. Easy to follow and quick to inspire, this cookbook will bring all the flavour of the coast into the comfort of your own home.

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