Customer Review

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Broad range of recipes, beautiful book!, 3 Aug. 2013
This review is from: What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits and Bobs (Hardcover)
I pre-ordered this book based on the strength of the visuals and content on Katie's blog. I prefer cookbooks which are as visually pleasing as they are useful. I found Katie's book to be a continuation of excellence of both -- visuals and content.

I particularly appreciate the Irish/British/Australian characteristic of the recipes, with a little bit of American underpinning. This book will appeal mostly to those palates or those interested in exploring recipes which draw heavily on the dishes and ingredients most commonly found in those cuisines today: Irish brown bread with smoked salmon and wasabi cream, Katie's fish pie with crunchy bacon and leek topping, barramundi with pickled radish, green bean, and watercress salad, Vietnamese salad with crispy pork belly, mini beef and bacon Aussie meat pies, fresh crab cakes with hot-pink mayonnaise, pulled pork sandwich with apple cider slaw, beef and guinness pie. There are a lot of salads in the book as well, and many sides dishes which are quite simple and light but flavor rich. And of course there are the decadent desserts.

The photography illustrates the way in which the food is enjoyed-- abundantly, all in, nothing prissy, and no hospital corners.

I understand that Katie, previously a graphic designer, designed the book as well as shot the images, developed the recipes, and styled and wrote it all. That's a huge undertaking, and she has pulled it off seamlessly. Many creative professionals excel in photography or styling, but not both. While it is obvious that I am a fan of Katie's work, I think the other reviews which say that the text is hard to read because of the lack of contrast with the background have unfairly criticized. I've reviewed every recipe in the book to see where that happened, and it hasn't On dark backgrounds, white text has been used which clearly stands out, and on lighter backgrounds, black text has been used, again, a sharp contrast. Some people may have difficulty reading courier new, or whatever the font is, but that is quite subjective, as I am able to read the book print (and what's on this screen-- same size, similar font) without a problem.

There are tons of cookbooks out there, and the cream rises to the top. Katie's book is beautiful, the hard work shows, and the food in it is good. We all have different ovens, cook in different environments, so tinkering is inevitable (as with most cookbooks I own). What matters to me, is that these work without egregious error.

Katie deserves the highest marks, and if you have friends who like to cook, entertain, or just like beautiful books, this is the perfect gift.
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