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  1. Skortha advised me that, unexpectedly, the book "Gourmet Cooking for Dummies" is quite useful. It is co-authored by Charlie Trotter, and has some interesting recipes. (And, yes, it is one of those bright-yellow-colored books.) Note the book is not newly released. Do members have input on the book? Also, have members read the newer book applauding Trotter's employee management and restaurant running practices?
  2. I don't know about trends, but I've noticed that there's a cookbook review section now (in Chicago). I'd like to see more of that, cuz right now it runs a little hot and cold. Sometimes they review a new cookbook, other times they just don't have anything on cookbooks. There's always new cookbooks coming out and reading reviews helps me decide whether or not to even bother getting it. This section could also review food writing, anthologies, new books about travel and food, etc. How do you handle this?
  3. What cookbooks are of most use in your kitchen lately? My vote is for "Think like a chef" and "River Cafe Cook Book Green". Both have so many cooking ideas for spring!
  4. Coming to a crowded bookshelf near you, Mario Batali's Babbo: The Cookbook, May 2002. Mint love letters, anyone?
  5. Do you use any cookbooks, professional or others? What are your favorites? And what about food magazines? Thank you.
  6. Just wondering if anyone's got any opinions on the new Michel Bras book. Ran across an import copy at Books for Cooks in London but at sixty quid (thats UK sheets) thought I'd wait til it popped up on amazon.co.uk... pretty pictures but the translation looked a bit ropey cheerio J
  7. A very good friend of ours from India visited us last year for a week. She insisted to cook every day. Very happy to get authentic Indian food, especially since she even brought all necssary spices with her. We had a feast. As she left she gave me an Indian Cookbook (in English) to keep: "Mrs. Balbir Singh's Indian Cookery". What are your comments about this book?
  8. Can anyone name their top 10 choice of cooking / recipe books? If you can't name 10 that does not matter - jsut name however many you have. My current must have is Rick Stein's Seafood but, so soon after Christmas expenditure, at £25 will have to go on the wish list. It really is the business in terms of everything to do with seafood from buying through preparation to cooking and beautifully illustrated so you cannot fail to know what is going on. With this book one could become great!
  9. What has the French cookbook business come to? I picked up a copy of Regis Macon's "Ma Cuisine des Champignons" the other day. It is a semi-paperback book (come on Simon, what is the trade name for that?) I find it amazing that 3 star Michelin chefs aren't worthy of having their books published in a top quality way. In addition, many of them don't even have books. Is there a Passard book, Boyer book, Bras book? Every idiotic British, Australian or American chef has a cookbook printed on glorious stock and with terrific photgraphy to boot. But the French chefs often get relegated to second class status. I can recall publications of Troigros and Guy Savoy recipes in recent years that I would call "cheap" efforts. Occassionaly, a chef like Veyrat has a nice book published or the Pourcel twins had a top quality book publsihed as well. But most of them are horrible. What is it about French cookbooks. Don't enough French people buy them so that the quality of the books can be at a high standard? Just go into one of the large bookshops like Virgin on the Champs Elysee and their cookbook selection is pathetic. But down the road at Galignani the cookbook section is wonderful. But that's because they carry all the U.S. and British cookbooks too. Even in the way of topical books. The French do not seem to have food writers who are sourcing out new trends and alerting the world to them. The entire modern bistro revolution happened without a single French writer coming up with a cookbook based on the recipes of places like La Regalade, Eric Frechon, L'Epi Dupin etc. How can France maintain it's status as the culinary capital of the world without having a history of it's cuisine adequately reduced to print? (Edited by Steve Plotnicki at 11:21 am on Jan. 8, 2002) (Edited by Steve Plotnicki at 11:22 am on Jan. 8, 2002)
  10. Of late, Australian chefs have been producing some excellent cookbooks. Not sure if all of the below are available internationally but, even if they aren't, they're worth tracking down. A few of my favourite Australian cookbooks: Tetsuya by Tetsuya Wakada The most beautiful cookbook I've ever seen, by one of Australia's greatest - and most modest - chefs. He reveals the recipes for his famous signature dishes. Tetsuya's Japanese influences mean the recipes are relatively simple, so the book isn't purely gastro porn. You look at some of the recipes and think - "Wow! I could do that." The dishes are mostly light, with an emphasis on seafood, so the book is a real find for health-conscious food enthusiasts. Noodle by Terry Durack If you cook Asian-style noodles at home, you need this book. It has two sections: "Noodle iD" and recipes. In the noodle identification section, each of about 20 different varieties of Asian noodle, gets a double page spread. Big photo, and information about origin, cooking method, appropriate uses. The recipe section is divided by cuisine. There are terrific, authentic recipes from Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand and other south-east Asian nations. Author Terry Durack, an Aussie now living in London, is a tremendously entertaining writer. The guy can get a lengthy laugh-aloud column out of the "death" of his beloved kitchen timer. Sydney Food by Bill Granger The man behind Sydney cafes bills and bills 2 shares the simple but inspired recipes that have made him the city's breakfast king. While bills and bills 2 are most famous for their breakfasts, the book's lunch and dinner recipes are fabulous, too. Breakfast recipes include ricotta hotcakes with honeycomb butter; pan-toasted sanwiches with tomato and fontina; fresh bircher muesli with stone fruit; coconut bread; french toast stuffed with peaches; potato and feta pancakes; lemon souffle cakes; crumpets with blackberry butter; roast mushrooms with thyme and taleggio; and toasted coconut waffles with fresh mango and palm syrup. Lunch recipes include spring onion pancake with gravlax; spaghettini with crab, lime and chilli; chicken noodle soup with lemon; ricotto and tomato tart; Puy lentil soup with Parmesan toasts; smoked trout and potato salad; coconut and passionfruit slice; and ANZAC biscuits. Dinner recipes include skewered swordfish with crispy coleslaw; barbequed whole fish with fresh herb relish; prawn and chilli linguine; baked snapper with lemon roasted potatoes and chilli relish; poached salmon with green-bean salad and tomato and anchovy dressing; individual blackberry crumbles; Pavlova; and coconut rice pudding with papaya and lime. Most of the recipes are dead simple. Many are quite light and healthy, even if they do sound decadent and indulgent. I recently saw the author on TV, and he said that he'd tried to create a cookbook people could use every day. He succeeded. Sydney Food is as practical as it is exceptional. Another Aussie cookbook to look out for: A massive 700-page reference book by Stephanie Alexander, titled The Cook's Companion here (but perhaps something else internationally). It's the new Aussie classic. Chapters devoted to all manner of ingredients and how to prepare them. It's not the kind of book that you flick though and think - "Mmmm, I absolutely must make that for dinner." But when you're knocking about the kitchen and think "I rather fancy some (insert just about any dish here)", you'll find the recipe - or one for a similar dish - in Stephanie's book. The answer to just about any culinary question you may have is in there.
  11. I recently purchased "Hot Sour Salty Sweet" by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, after reading the review in either Cooks Illustrated or Saveur. It is a huge coffee-table book, but has great recipes and stories. The book is basically a travel diary of the couple's travel down the Mekong river with their children. The recipes are straightforward and usually simple, although the emphasis on making your own pastes and spice mixes sometimes makes the ingredient lists long. I also enjoyed the stories about the people they met and the places they stayed. In addition, there are lots of photographs, not just of the food, but of the land and its inhabitants. If you are into either travel books or cookbooks, are interested in Vietnamese and Thai cooking (and the surrounding cultures as well), and/or planning a trip to this region of the world, then I highly recommend this book. It is available on Amazon.com for ฯ.50 new, ฬ used, I paid ส for it (incl shipping) on half.com in June.
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