DEAN’S LIST 2017 PART IV: CHEF COOKBOOKS
TORONTO EATS (Figure 1 Publishing, 2017, 238 pages, $37.95 CAD hardbound) is by Amy Rosen, author of Toronto Cooks (2014) in the Figure 1 series. That work sold pretty well, and as she says “now we’re back for seconds”. Here are 100 signature recipes from 50 chefs (some of whom were in the first one). Restaurants here include Boralia, Byblos, Honest Weight, Lena, Nota Bene, Pizzeria Libretto, Zucca Trattoria. There are stories from the restaurants (who hold the copyrights to the recipes) and photos, plus pix of plated dishes. A great addition to the Toronto scene, and a must-read for the Holidays.
DAVID TANIS MARKET COOKING (Artisan , 2017, 480 pages, $58 CAD hardbound) is by, well, Chef David Tanis. You know the chef has arrived when the publisher puts the name as part of the actual title. He’s worked as a chef for three decades, notably at Chez Panisse and Cafe Escalera. He’s also the author of several cookbooks, and is currently writing a weekly food column for the New York Times. Here is a collection of 200 recipes and thoughts, ingredient by ingredient, on food likely to be found at farmers’ markets, or, as the French say “la cuisine du marche”. As he says, it means: I go to the market, see what looks best, and then decide what will go in the meal. Fresh ingredients provide the inspiration, and the majority of the preps are veggie-based and global in scope. Indeed, the arrangement is by vegetable, with alliums (garlic, onions, leeks, shallot, scallions) having a chapter all to themselves. There is also material on seasoning and kitchen essentials (eggs, dairy, rice, pasta, noodles, et al). [More on this here – Ed.]
RIVER COTTAGE A TO Z: our favourite ingredients and how to cook them (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2017, 708 pages, $86 CAD hardcovers) is by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall plus contributions from eight others on the River Cottage team. They go to work with short notes and cross-referenced recipes for each ingredient (with writer attribution). It is this year’s monster gift at this price and weight of just under six pounds (2.6 kilos). Not for the slight. It is a fine reference tool as well since there is a lot here that you may never see or use, such as puffballs, woodcock, winkles, purslane, or snipe. But the common are also covered, such as eggs, bacon, cheese, salt, and allspice. Each mini-essay details the origins, propagation, and culinary uses of vegetables, herbs, seafood, and meats. Beware, though, of the distinct British orientation (eg, aubergines).
LURE (Figure 1, 2017, 240 pages, $38.95 CAD hardbound) is by Ned Bell, once executive chef of Four seasons Hotel Vancouver and other places but now heavily involved with seafood sustainability groups such as “Chefs for Oceans” which he founded in 2014. He’s writing with Valerie Howes, food editor of Reader’s Digest Canada and currently writing a work on edible landscapes and seascapes of Fogo Island, Newfoundland. These are sustainable seafood recipes from the West Coast of Canada. The recipe section is arranged by type: white fish, fatty fish, shellfish, and sea greens. It is headed by a recipe list by course, so you can always find a sandwich or soup or app. There is a 50-page chapter on specie profiles, so you can get the lowdown on what to look for when buying and how to prep. There’s one dessert here (seaweed brownies), and one drink (seaweed vodka caesar) plus salads, mains, snacks, appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. He’s identified all the healthy fish and shellfish species on the West coast, so it is a useful tome to assuage any feelings of irresponsibility.
THE DESSERTS OF NEW YORK: and how to eat them all (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 242 pages, $34.99 CAD softbound) is by travel cookbook author Yasmin Newman. It is a detailed survey guide to the various places one can find desserts in NYC, with info on places, people and areas. She’s got the recipes for the “best” NYC cheesecake, NYC cupcakes, and NYC banana cream mille crepes – among others. For your NYC friends and visitors.