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I've just ordered Sat Bains' cookbook: "Too Many Chefs and Only One Indian."

Thanks to you, I went out and bought this book. What I like about it - every dish is approachable. It does not call for modernist ingredients (no Xanthan, or Carageenans, or transglutaminase) like The Fat Duck Cookbook or Alinea. It rarely calls for extremely local produce - which is why dishes like those in NOMA is impossible to reproduce outside the home country. The cooking methods suggested are available in most home kitchens - it does not call for a centrifuge (I am looking at you, Modernist Cuisine).
There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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I've just ordered Sat Bains' cookbook: "Too Many Chefs and Only One Indian."

Thanks to you, I went out and bought this book. What I like about it - every dish is approachable. It does not call for modernist ingredients (no Xanthan, or Carageenans, or transglutaminase) like The Fat Duck Cookbook or Alinea. It rarely calls for extremely local produce - which is why dishes like those in NOMA is impossible to reproduce outside the home country. The cooking methods suggested are available in most home kitchens - it does not call for a centrifuge (I am looking at you, Modernist Cuisine).

Sold. I was holding off as I expected another NOMA/Mugaritz.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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We'll have to have an Aussie cook off with the book. I'm making up one of his desserts in a few weeks time (Lemon Fennel Mousse, which is a frozen lemon mousse combined with Italian meringue served wedged between dried lemon meringue slices topped with a layer of pickled fennel and scattered with finely snipped fennel fronds). Will let you know how it goes.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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While I think the Sat Bain's cookbook is outstanding, I would point out that my review indicates that a large number of recipes call for specialized items such as a centrifuge, pacojet, modernist ingredients (although relatively approachable ones) and very localized produce that is not readily available in the U.S. I would definitely recommend it, but the recipes are not much different from the Alinea cookbook, or, for that matter, many in Modernist Cuisine.

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Yes, it is a reflection of a modern kitchen. Going through the recipes, there are a number of calls for sous vide, vacuum compression, liquid nitrogen, a pacojet, and a centrifuge. But for virtually all of these, substitutes can be made to give an adequate product without the high-tech labour-saving equipment. For example, the centrifuge is used for creating flavoured oils (eg. parsley oil) that are tasty and clear. You can make parsley oil by dehydrating parsley in your microwave, grinding it up into a powder, adding oil, and then filtering through fine filter paper. It won't be as clear as if it were centrifuged but it will do the job. The pacojet is used for sorbets and granitas, which can easily be done in the conventional manner. Use an ice-cream maker instead of a paco jet or the liquid nitrogen and you'll be able to do a good version of most of the recipe ingredients, albeit with a larger ice grain size. Perhaps with the exception of olive oil granita, which won't freeze well without the intense cold of liquid nitrogen.

Sat does use various thickeners such as agar agar and gelatine. The most exotic ingredients apart from these are maltodextrin and ultratex.

As for localised ingredients that are not easily available, I think we all have had to substitute in one way or another when we used recipes from the other side of the world. His use of ingredients is nothing like the locavores such as Redzepi or Nilsson.

If you are used to cooking modern restaurant style dishes, have flexibility in your use of substitutions, and can use appropriate alternatives for obvious restaurant-based gizmos, this is a very approachable book by a talented chef.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Nickrey I Agee 100 %. I just did not want anyone to be confused by previous posts that suggested that this was vastly different than other modernist books. I love it and think it is highly inspirational. I also don't want someone buying it with the wrong impression.

Edited by bobag87 (log)
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  • 1 month later...

Another couple not available on Amazon:

El Celler de Can Roca

This was released some weeks ago, hopefully I will receive it the next week

Fluidità

This is the new book by the Alajmo family (owners of Le Calandre), after their first "In.Gredienti". The particularity is that it has been put on pre-order today. The price will increase each day, starting from 90 euro to the final 150 euro at the release day. If you are interested to buy it then it's better to pre-order it as soon as possible.

Teo

Teo

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I went to the site to purchase El Cellar de Can Roca. 80€, not bad. Registered with the site then started checking out. Made it through to the postage stage. This was a jaw-dropping 120€. Needless to say I didn't complete the sale. Found it on pre-order in Australia for less than the postage cost. It's a pity the book will miss out on its first-class trip.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I picked up the El Cellar de Can Roca book from Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC. It was $120 plus shipping. Beautiful book. Photography is fantastic and the story of the Roca brothers and the history and philosophy of the restaurant is very interesting. The recipes are outstanding and approachable with some of my favorites included . My only complaint is that the production quality of the book is pretty cheap. It is sort of a paperback book that looks like it was self-published/produced. Doesn't look like it will last the test of time and for the cost it is quite disappointing.

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I picked up the El Cellar de Can Roca book from Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC. It was $120 plus shipping. Beautiful book. Photography is fantastic and the story of the Roca brothers and the history and philosophy of the restaurant is very interesting. The recipes are outstanding and approachable with some of my favorites included . My only complaint is that the production quality of the book is pretty cheap. It is sort of a paperback book that looks like it was self-published/produced. Doesn't look like it will last the test of time and for the cost it is quite disappointing.

Received it yesterday. I must say I'm disappointed after a first quick look. As you said the print quality is low: the cardboard cover is too cheap, the pages look like they are going to fall apart in a couple of years if you don't manage this book with silk gloves. I didn't like the photos neither the graphics. Now I need to read it, hoping the contents will be on par with the restaurant.

If it can be of any help this book is sold also by:

Grupo Vilbo (where I bought mine)

Montagud

Don't know about their shipping costs outside Europe, but hopefully they will be lower than Librooks.

Teo

Teo

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As for technique, here's a quote from "everyday stock" p318:
Clean the raw meats: the traditional method is to blanch them for a couple of minutes in boiling water
I'd first seen this idea in Tom Colicchio's Think Like a Chef. Later, Janet Fletcher of the SF Chron told me that this was classic Chinese technique, but I'd never noticed it in print before now. Even Thomas Keller waited a few books to come clean that this was protocol in his restaurants too. So why was he leaving this out before? I'm ok calling Every Grain of Rice a beginner book if we can agree that The French Laundry Cookbook is also a beginner book. There's simply worded advice that happens to be right. I know many good cooks who simply skim their stocks, with comparatively ghastly results that they're not even noticing.

When I read this, I had to immediately check out Think Like a Chef...because I had never noticed it before, either. I'm definitely going to,try this next time I'm making any stock!

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Read through the US release of Every Grain of Rice last night. This is an incredibly practical book. Not all ingredients have a metric equivalent, but most of the items you'd weigh do. There is an improvisational aspect to this kind of cooking that makes this acceptable. Time to start cooking!

Amazon has lots of five star ratings for this one...but they don't have a "look inside" feature.

http://www.amazon.com/Every-Grain-Rice-Chinese-Cooking/dp/0393089045/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370636462&sr=1-1&keywords=Every+grain+of+rice

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I just received an advertisement from amazon for a new book by Boulud, Daniel: My French Cuisine. Might be interesting. Anybody that has opinions to share on his other books?

Only the promo - due out Oct 15 - on this one

Other books: I like Café, Braise, and At Home...so I expect to like this one.

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  • 2 months later...

Just got "Le Livre Blanc" by Anne Sophie Pic today. First thing I noticed was the weird "case" the book came in, much like L'astrance and "too many chiefs only one indian", but this one is too small for the book so the spine sticks out an inch or so, just seems kind of weird


The first 160 pages of the book are STUNNING photos of plated dishes that rival just about any other book, and the last 60 pages are the recipes. Haven't had a great deal of time to look through them but they seem short, yet thorough enough to work from for an experienced cook. Not sure how much I will actually cook from the book as it's 3 star michelin food, but I will definitely try to take a flavor pairing/ presentation/ technique to apply to my own cooking here and there.

Happy with the purchase for the photography alone

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very excited about Summerland by Anne Quatrano

[amazon=0847841316][/amazon]

For those who aren't familiar with her, Quatrano and her husband Clifford Harrison are chef/owners of several amazing restaurants in Atlanta, including their flagship restaurant Bacchanalia. 20 years ago they moved to Anne's family farm in Georgia -- Summerland Farms -- and opened Bacchanalia serving refined, southern-american cuisine. I guess if they did this in New York 10 years later, they'd be famous like Dan Barber and appearing on Top Chef and giving TED talks and whatnot. Thankfully, they've stuck around Atlanta!

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I just purchased the Coi cookbook. For some reason we get some books in Australia before they're released in the US.

All I can say is wow. This is food at the bleeding edge with taste and texture combinations that make sense but that you wouldn't think of in a blue moon. Patterson writes very well and it is a good read as well as an excellent cook book.

It is a degustation dish type cookbook which uses restaurant equipment without apology.

Buy it for the gastro-porn photography or to cook from, but do buy it.

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Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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