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What food-related books are you reading? (2016 -)

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5 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

Tonight I finished The Minimalist Kitchen by Melissa Coleman. 

I’ve taken this book and put it on my wish list. Then very shortly after removed it from my wish list. I have rinsed and repeated many times. 

 

 Let’s face it. I am delusional to ever think I could live with a minimalist kitchen.

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A while back, I bought Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, With Recipes,   based on @Toliver's alert that it was sale for $1.99. I read it this week. It's not on sale any more, but it's worth the $16.99 it's going for now.

 

I'm not from Appalachia, but all "my people" came to West Tennessee from there, albeit a century before I showed up. And they brought recipes with them. This book was like going home, for me. I've bookmarked recipes for a dozen dishes I remember from childhood, and could probably make from muscle memory alone, but the bookmarks will remind me to do it. It's also an interesting look at the resurgence of local food culture in the area, with its epicenter, of course, in Asheville, NC. It talks a lot about Early Girl restaurant there, and if you ever visit, do NOT miss breakfast there, and also mentions the Dancing Bear Appalachian Bistro in Townsend, TN, whose recipe for blueberry pie is not to be dismissed.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and was sad to see it end.

 

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Tommy Banks - "Roots"

This book has been a nice surprise. Banks is the chef of an English countryside pub with 1 michelin star. I would say his cooking style is influenced by the Nordic movement: big focus on local vegetables, similar plating style, modern techniques, while at the same time being close to his pub roots. The book is divided into 3 major seasons (intead of the usual 4). Each season has some pages dedicated on describing it, then a good amount of recipes. Dishes are grouped by the vegetable that stars in it, for example there are some dishes based on garlic, others on rhubarb and so on. The focus is on poor ingredients, not on the usual stars of fine dining.

My favourite dishes are the desserts, they are on the "not so sweet" side, full of inventive and using many unusual ingredients (like blackcurrant leaves).

Dishes (plateware) are wonderful too, there are some two colored dishes that have a great scenic impact.

Don't judge this book from the photos on Amazon, they are the worst ones.

@gfron1: this book is for you, there are acorns too!

 

 

 

Teo

 

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Jason Atherton - Social Sweets

Atherton is an English chef with a restaurant empire, a couple of his restaurants have a michelin star.

This dessert book is aimed to the home cook, but it's a bit different than the usual stuff. Most of the time chefs pick some of the stuff they make at their restaurants and simplify them to the extreme. In this case Atherton chose the desserts that can be made at home, without dumbing them down.

The book is divided in these sections: breads & muffins; biscuits; classics; restaurant desserts; ice cream & sorbets; cheese; basics.

Breads & muffins and biscuits are relative simple sections, any casual home cook can approach them without much troubles.

Classics is in the middle: some recipes are pretty straightforward, others require good skills.

Restaurant desserts is the longest section, this is aimed to the advanced home cook or even the professionals.Recipes call for solid skills and are time consuming, since each dessert is composed of a lot of different components. Desserts are creative and with unusual pairings, one example: basil sorbet, strawberries, yuzu yoghurt and black pepper meringue. As a professional I really liked this section, you could make these desserts at a michelin star restaurant and no one would complain.

I loved the cheese section too, since this subject is too often overlooked. This is less involved than the restaurant desserts, but there are a good amount of fine plates.

If you are an advanced home cook looking for some new adventures in pastry, then it's a great book.

If you are a casual home cook and want to stay there then you can find some good stuff, but it's the minority of the pages.

If you are a professional then you can find many great plated desserts and something more.

 

 

 

Teo

 

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