I am a fan of Denis Cotter. "The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook" and "Cafe Paradiso Seasons" have long been inspiring favorites. "Wild Garlic, etc." did not thrill me so much - it felt more like reference material.
"For the Love of Food", rekindles my affection for the man, his books, and vegetables in general. There are plenty of lovely photos (admit it - this is what we always hope for); but while the photos and recipes are enchanting, I am more entertained by the author's words. Denis is wise, talented, generous, and always just a little bit funny. How many cookbooks make you smile - from beginning to end? From the introduction: "The book took more time than should have been necessary to put together because I spent so long at the beginning writing bits and pieces of essays that would form the core themes of a serious food book. A few recipes would be added later to flesh out the concepts...For a while I thought I would get back to big themes, but the day came when I realised that perhaps a book of nice things to eat would be of more use than an addition to the growing list of serious food tomes." So thank you Denis, for coming to that right decision. This is what I wanted from you.
The book is LOADED with recipes with mouth-watering titles. In typical Denis fashion, there are many components (but that is how you bring flavor to a dish).... Wild Garlic Mash with Grilled Asparagus & Citrus Tarragon-Dressed Puy Lentils, Warm Salad of Roast Pumpkin, Brussels Sprout Tops & Borlotti Beans with a Maple-Sesame Dressing, Grilled Ravioli of Cavolo Nero & Almonds in Sweet Spiced Citrus Butter.... I've decided, if he can make this kind of food at home, on a weeknight - so can I! I'm determined to let this book live in my kitchen, not on a book shelf in the spare room.
Do not miss the poignant 2-page intro to a recipe for "Love Soup".
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