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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Find, 16 May 2013
I. Darren (Fi) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Smoke and Pickles (Hardcover)
Food from the American South with a bit of a twist is what this book promised, which hopefully won't scare ultra-conservative traditionalists away.

The author has adopted Southern food as his own style, but elements of his Korean roots and classical French culinary training seep through. Through this book it is hoped that the reader will be able to "do it for themselves" without any problem, with over 100 foolproof recipes on offer. In between the recipes is a bit of a diary-style look at the author's life to date to provide additional context and a bit of an interesting read to boot.

You can sense this is a bit of an "unconventional" book from the start. No other cookbook would feature a full page picture of a partially-eaten meal, with just a few french fries and pickles remaining to be eaten, smeared liberally with tomato sauce. This really DID grab this reviewer's attention. This book is a lot more than just a collection of recipes and a bit of binding text. It is a total culinary journey. Sure you could skip past the various life portraits and background text and just grab the (very good) recipes, but you would be losing out. In some ways the recipes are less important, as strange as this may sound, yet they are also important. Think of it as a hot dog, you can have use the sausage in many ways without the roll and, of course, the roll can be used with other fillings. But when put together (with mustard and onion) they are truly something different and unique.

The book is split into key categories based on the main ingredient (lamb, beef, vegetables and so on) but sadly there is a faux cute labelling which just irritated this reviewer and felt truly out of place with the book. "Birds and Bluegrass", "Buttermilk and Karaoke" or "Veggies and Charity" are some of the less annoying titles, but to be truthful they all just grated. This is a book to sit down with when you have the time to explore, to dream and to think. The cooking can wait, even though you might be inspired to hit the kitchen running. You can sense the author's love and enthusiasm oozing out from within the pages. The photography is excellent and acts as a good companion to the book as a whole. No afterthought at all. The only gripes are quite common ones. The measures are only given in US imperial units. No estimation of preparation and total cooking times. So many books tend to forget these small, but often important, little basics. Everything else is just perfect. Clear instructions, engaging text, surprising twists here and there. A book to be seen, purchased and treasured.

One hopes that this book has a good, comprehensive index to allow you to navigate and exploit it to the full. Unfortunately this pre-publication review copy was missing the index so, if that sort of thing is important to you, you better check it out before purchase. That said, this is one of those books that would still be good without an index, yet why have a good steak if you can have a VERY good steak instead? This book was a good find, perhaps you will agree?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Smoke and Pickles (Hardcover)
Just what he wanted.
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Smoke and Pickles
Smoke and Pickles by Edward Lee (Hardcover - 17 April 2013)
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