Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Additions to "The Collection"

Picked up a few new cookbooks as mementos of our trip in November, The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market Cook Book by Christopher Hirsheimerand and Peggy Knickerbocker and Goat Cheese by Maggie Foard. Unfortunately due to luggage limitations, they came home in a friend's luggage and are still with same friend so I haven't had a chance to taste.

From Gma Gerry, Sevy received Eric Ripert's new book, On The Line; The Stations, The Heat, The Cooks, The Chaos and The Triumphs Inside The World of Le Berdardin (with Christine Muhlke). Lots of pictures, I especially like the ones in the Fish section, which includes a statement on each about usage or flavor. They also have a sketch of Le Bernardin's kitchen layout and many, many staff pictures. The back half of the book is mostly menus with some sketches of how a dish would be plated. In the far back there's a list of "sources for other hard-to-find items", like squid ink, smoked salt, dried rosebuds, tamarind concentrate.

For Christmas, I gave hubby three food books, The New Food Lover's Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst (4th ed.), replacing a dog-earned 2nd edition we've had for 13 years. The latest version has 2,700 more entries than our old copy, obviously a significant upgrade to this indispensible dictionary of food and ingredients.

The Culinary Institute of America Cookbook was a trip down memory lane, we lived in Poughkeepsie while Sevy was a student at the CIA, 22 years ago. Poorer than church mice, we made it through a very cold winter living on homemade pasta in a 100+ year old house that had been converted to apartments. But it was worth everything, their level of excellence in education and food in unparalleled, and it led to a job back in Dallas post-graduation. The cookbook has some technique pictures, but is mainly just recipes - I love that it includes a ribbon book mark in case you lose your page.

Alinea, by Grant Achatz was an exercise in weight lifting just to get it to the check out. 395 pages of glossy, luxurious paper in a double-wide binding, it's as much about the beautiful pictures as the beautiful food. Chef Achatz is reknown for his devotion to food as art, both visually and flavorfully at his restaurant, Alinea, in Chicago. Contributors to the book include Michael Ruhlman, Jeffrey Steingarten, Mark McClusky, Nick Kokonas, Michael Nagrant and photos by Lara Kastner.

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