Cookbooks by chefs tend to be challenging, obscure, even inappropriate for most home cooks. By contrast, Alfred Portale's Gotham Bar and Grill
is articulate, revealing, vivid, and inviting. It is "the next best thing to a day in the kitchen" with Portale. This New York City chef is famous for his elaborate presentations and for creating complex dishes. For some of the recipes, progressive photos show how to duplicate the restaurant's spectacular plating of a dish. (Or you can follow the less ambitious "Everyday Presentation.") For others, you will have to go by the detailed text and a large color shot of the finished dish. This well-designed book uses colored boxes of text and easy-to-read type to help you follow the recipes, many of which are long. Cooks willing to spend money for quality ingredients and commit to serious time in the kitchen should enjoy rave results with dishes such as Squab Salad with Couscous, Currants, and Curry Vinaigrette; Salmon with Artichokes a la Grecque; and Warm Chocolate Cake with Toasted Almond Ice Cream.
From Library Journal
Here are three new cookbooks from popular restaurant chef-owners. Peel and Silverton are the husband-and-wife team behind Campanile, the popular Los Angeles restaurant, and its adjunct, the La Brea Bakery. Peel is the chef, Silverton is the baker, well known for her desserts and delicious breads (Breads from the La Brea Bakery, LJ 5/15/96). They've already written about the simple food they like to cook with their kids (Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton at Home, LJ 2/15/94); now they present their favorite dishes from the restaurant, including earthy, flavorful, often Mediterranean-inspired food that is more sophisticated but not pretentious: Roasted Chanterelle Salad, Crisp Flattened Chicken with Wilted Parsley Salad, Rustic Cherry Pie. Although some of the recipes take time, they are clearly written and thoroughly accessible to the home cook. Recommended for most collections. [BOMC Good Cook Selection.] New York City's three-star Gotham Bar & Grill is known for Portale's flavorful, often visually stunning food; his elaborate, tiered, stacked dishes are often described as "architectural food," and the color photographs in his cookbook show why. This is elegant food to be sure?Roast Lobster with Beet Couscous and Baby Bok Choy, Duck and Foie Gras?and some of it is probably better enjoyed at the restaurant, but not all the recipes are complicated or extravagant, and the instructions are clear and often include advance prep suggestions. The headnotes, however, are rather stiff and pedantic, sometimes sounding more like a publicity release than anything else. For area libraries and other collections where chefs' books are popular. Lagasse (Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, LJ 3/15/93) is the exuberant chef at Emeril's and two other New Orleans restaurants and one of the TV Food Network's most popular personalities. With Bienvenu, he presents four festive menus for the holidays, from Christmas Eve Dinner for Ten, featuring Truffle Risotto and Beef Tenderloin with Fresh Horseradish, to New Year's Day Supper Family Style, with Jiffy Pop Firecracker Shrimp, Roasted Skillet Duck, and Chocolate Bread Pudding. There is also a selection of his other favorite holiday dishes as well as Stocking Stuffers, gifts from the kitchen. Recommended for most collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.