To paraphrase this book's title, if you only will buy "One Good Book" in the coming months...
Here is a rich indulgence of simplicity, authenticity and enjoyment. A basic concept: 100 different, enjoyable "utopian" recipes that can either stand alone or be combined into a larger meal. Attempting to make an ultimate dish whilst not necessarily requiring the skills of a Michelin-starred chef with a budget to match, this is something that anybody who loves good food cannot fail to enjoy.
Some of the recipes sound simple, such as "Real Garlic Toast" whilst others are perhaps a lot more esoteric like "Speckled Sushi Rice With Nori" and a few have you doing a double-take with a name like "Cheese in a Jar". If you like great, quality food photography this is certainly a book for you too with the photographer carefully letting the food be the star rather than some artistic interpretation. That said, many of these pictures could be framed and hung on a wall!
The recipes themselves are fairly well written, clear to understand and draw you in, aided by a brief introduction and dispersal of a hint, tip or pearl of wisdom. Sadly our "usual niggles" about the lack of an estimated preparation and cooking time along with the sole use of U.S. imperial measures are relevant here, slightly taking off the gloss for this book but in no way is this a deal-breaker. One hopes that the promised index for this book is comprehensive and navigable as this is essential yet this was missing in this pre-release review copy so no opinion can be given over this often critical, yet under-appreciated feature.
This is by no means your usual run-of-the-mill recipe book and this adds to the charm. It is neither egocentric, hyped up or jarring - it is just a pleasurable culinary experience that has many great recipes and has the ability of giving you quite a few wonderful surprises along the way. If you are in doubt, visit a bookstore, hold it in your hand and notice its glue-like tendencies and your reluctance to return it back to the shelf...
on 19 January 2014
David Tanis is one those chefs who emerged from the stables of Alice Water's Chez Panisse. He splits his time between Paris and the USA and in Paris he cooks in a small kitchen for limited guests. What is so good about this and his other books are the way in which Tanis both shares excellent recipes without talking down. He is pragmatic, thoughtful but enjoys showing you the way. This is a cookbook that anyone can use if you can read.
And why is he a God simply because Tanis loves cooking, loves sharing and loves other people ti share his passion. Wonderful