Lush Life: Portraits from the Bar
Mud Puddle Books, New York
Steeped soundly in the culture of the American cocktail scene—now entering the 21st century with a mixed roster of talented, wisecracking, colorful cocktailians—Lush Life is a veritable labor of love, nor simply for being a byproduct of husband and wife Dale and Jill DeGroff’s LA-born romance. The love here is for the people of the cocktail world, and it’s sketched, brushed, and suffused into each of Jill DeGroff’s pictures. And while the book is laid out generationally, Lush Life essentially unites its subjects under the proud patchwork banner of the bartender. A pictorial tour of the beating heart of the American cocktail scene, Lush Life recalls the old school cool of Al Hirschfeld’s “Speakeasies of 1932,” updated with its tech-savvy cast of mixologist up-and-comers and standby old-timers—all of it colored by DeGroff’s inimitable aesthetic eye. DeGroff’s portraits are the beating heart of the book, and they capture the spirit and nuance of this cast of cocktail-slinging characters with visual grace and spry, poetic wit. But lest she leave her reader thirsty, DeGroff includes recipes for favorite and famous drinks, as well as tales from behind the bar and occasional odd remembrances. In the end the whole experience is akin to an evening spent among friends, leaning up against the polished wood of a favorite local bar.
Cuisines of India:The Art of Regional Indian Cooking
This lush volume is destined to become the gold standard in Indian cookbooks. Recipes feature authentic, often unusual dishes and are accompanied by lyrical descriptions of locales, legends, and history. Sure to please any connoisseur, this delightful cookbook celebrates a great world cuisine, one that is inseparable from its people and its past.
Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide
One small step for Thomas Keller…one great leap for sous vide. With Under Pressure, Keller has made a compelling—and very pretty!—case for the technique which continues to be misunderstood by chefs and diners across the country. A joint effort by Keller and acclaimed chefs Jonathan Benno, Corey Lee, and Sebastien Rouxel, Under Pressure details the whys and hows of sous vide (one of the preferred cooking methods at The French Laundry, Bouchon and Per Se) and charts a detailed list of foods that will and will not benefit from the technique. Not to mention Deborah Jones’ lush, high-contrast photographs of vacuum-packed foods, raw ingredient shots, and exquisitely plated dishes are high-art visions that stand alone. Keller’s thorough examination of sous vide cooking coupled with his status as an icon of American cuisine legitimizes this modern technique and makes this the definitive treatise on the subject.
Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel and Charlotte March
John Wiley & Sons
Fresh from the Market might be an elegant cookbook geared towards the home chef, but it contains valuable insights for professionals looking to marry a farm-fresh perspective with refined cuisine. Because it’s from master chef Laurent Tourondel, progenitor of the BLT restaurant empire, the recipes combine the lush product of local country farms with a cosmopolitan culinary finesse. And because it’s Tourondel, the dishes balance decadence with subtlety, refinement with rusticity. Photographs from Quentin Bacon complement Tourdondel’s culinary narrative; Bacon’s evocative pictures beautifully tell every dish’s story from farm to table. The book is portioned into chapters by season, with a comprehensive list of seasonal ingredients and recipes progressing from the cocktail and amuse bouche all the way to entrees and desserts. Touchingly familiar and yet sophisticated menus for the season’s holidays round out the generous offerings. Pigs in a Blanket “Ritz Carlton” opens a Thanksgiving Menu complete with duck confit and Turkey with chestnut-sausage stuffing. With juxtapositions like this Tourendel succeeds in making gourmet cuisine seem as comfortably familiar as it is in his many restaurants.
Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey: The Mediterranean Flavors of Sardinia
Random House Inc.
Sardinia is exquisitely depicted in this cookbook, through the recipes and lush photographs of its cuisine, people, and landscape. The anecdotes about the island’s history and foods, and the author’s family culinary history add depth to an already varied selection of recipes. Reading chef Farris’s book, you are welcomed into his kitchen and inspired to cook.
Bite Size: Elegant Recipes for Entertaining
With Bite Size
, legendary Pastry Chef François Payard
shows home cooks how to prepare simple, sensational appetizers that will leave guests impressed and hosts with energy to spare. It’s no surprise—Payard knows how to throw a good party. In addition to his late, but renowned, New York restaurant Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro
(still very much alive in Vegas) Payard ran upscale catering company, Tastings. And now Payard presents a collection of his favorite recipes made easy for everyday cooks. Along with chapters on meat, fish, vegetable, and cheese hors d'oeuvres, Payard includes a wealth of helpful hosting tips, hints, and serving suggestions—try serving soup in shot glasses, for example. The innovative recipes use simple, easy-to-find ingredients for spectacular results such as Prosciutto-Wrapped Gnocchi, Sweet Corn Madeleines with Caviar and Crème Fraîche, and Crab and Mango Salad in Apple Cups. Each recipe is accompanied by a lush, full-color photograph to whet the appetite.