Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sharing A Few Cookbooks

Since I'm in the midst of writing an epic post about buying pricey chef's knives and that massive studio art sale, I figured I would take a moment away from all the seriousness and talk about cookbooks for a moment. Some of the posts I get the best responses, with good reason, are the ones simply sharing recipes and cookbooks I've found. There are more than a few cookbooks out right now that I'm really excited to get, but I need to be forcibly restrained from buying these five this instant:

"Eat With Your Hands" by Zak Pelaccio (of Fatty Crab fame) is destined to be a classic of full-on southeast asian flavors. Maybe it's because I live near a Malaysian market, but this food sounds amazingly bold. I've cooked a couple of his Malaysian grill recipes that have been featured in Bon Appetit, and they have been killer. I've not even looked inside so I don't know how complex finding the ingrediants will be. Living a major metro area now, nothing is too hard to find, but having come from a small town in the Mid-West I totally understand how certain things might require epic mail-order to track down.

Next up is "Plenty" by Yotam Ottolenghi. Even though he and his partner are not vegetarians, I've found that I more significantly enjoy veggie cookbooks by non-vegetarian chefs. I bought this as a gift for someone last Christmas and paging through it I was floored by the incredibly vibrant Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food that was featured within. I first heard about this volume on NPR's amazing food program "Good Food." But you know me, always late to the party because I've got a million project going on.

On the same note, but much more challenging to the home-cook, the inimitable chef Alain Passard, who made waves by removing meat from his restaurant's menu, has released a small new volume called "The Art of Cooking with Vegetables." Even if it sounds deeply challenging, and is devoid of friendly photographs (though the idea of schematic paper mock-ups sounds fascinating to me as an artist), I dearly want to see and cook through what goes on in the head of one of the world's best chefs.

Reading the recent issue of Lucky Peach (#3) was a fascinating and weird experience. Leaving that larger conversation for later,  the magazine focused on the future of restaurants and amidst the doom and gloom and haute cuisine rhetoric, these two gents from Canada fgave one of the most insightful, level-headed and frankly intimate interviews featured in the issue. They impressed me so much in that interview that I want their restaurant's book, "The Art Of Living According To Joe Beef," even though I know nothing about it or the cuisine they serve.

Finally, a cookbook from of all publishers, McSweeney's? Yes. The book "Mission Street Food" which is simultaneously a cookbook and a statement of purpose from the San Francisco restaurant of the eponymous title. I love funky Chinese food, especially the pungent Szechwan varieties, and again, it was Bon Appetit that turned me on to this book. I don't know why, since it's not a magic magazine or anything, but Bon Appetit always seems to have some feature or another on the kind of food I enjoy cooking most in the kitchen, which is highly flavored and a bit unfussy.

I hope you've all enjoyed this delicious interlude — back to working on art projects!

No comments:

Post a Comment