From Publishers Weekly
If you live in the Napa Valley and have a habit of pairing hamburgers with domestic wines, then perhaps you are familiar with McNair and Starr, the head judge and culinary director, respectively, for the Build a Better Burger National Recipe Contest. They have collected several years' worth of winning entries from the competition and arranged them into 16 party menus. They have given each menu an unfortunate name, like Jamaican Me Hungry and Moroccan Mystique, and, since the contest is sponsored by Sutter Home Winery, they offer choices from that vineyard to accompany each meal. Indeed, Sutter's wine often turns up where it has no business. Notably, the classic New Orleans Hurricane cocktail is reimagined to contain white zinfandel. The contest clearly thrives on over-the-top ideas, as many of the entries are complex and suffer from ingredient overkill; for example, the bouillabaisse sliders requires red snapper and shrimp for the patties, saffron threads in the mayonnaise, and fennel, tomato, and garlic-flavored olive oil in the relish. Side dishes are overly thought out as well, as in a shrimp remoulade potato salad (with mayo, mustard, ketchup, horseradish, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce). Desserts include a simple flan, washed down, naturally, with a glass of Sutter's Moscato. (Apr.)
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"Burger Parties is exactly what the name promises: an extravaganza of grilled proteins nuzzled between two buns such as "Little Italy Sausage Burgers," "Sweet-Hot Thai Burgers," and "Bouillabaise Sliders," as well as killer side dishes, suggested beverage accompaniments and some treats for the sugar tooth too."
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"If you like to entertain, the beautifully photographed "Burger Parties" by James McNair and Jeffrey Starr offers new ideas for a backyard bash, with 16 all-inclusive, themed menus built around burgers."
--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/27/10
“Check out the cookbook for some burger ideas that are guaranteed to make the first official barbecue of the season a winning event.”
--The Detroit News, 5/27/10
"Everyone loves burgers, of course, but perhaps it's time to come up with some exciting burger options to shake up the usual spread. To do so, we turned to a new cookbook called Burger Parties. Inside the 192-page paperback, filled with festive food photos, are recipes that include winners from Sutter Home Winery's annual Build a Better Burger Recipe Contest and Cook-Off.
--Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/26/10
"This is the white table cloth burger book. . . . What you have in this book is not just a fab burger recipe per chapter, you have all of the antipasti, sides, and desserts to accompany them, around the theme, as well as the wine pairings! Of all the grilling books I brought in for a colleague to choose from for a gift to someone who regularly grills, she chose this one as the most well-rounded for a complete dining experience."
"You would expect some fabulous burger recipes here. There are. But this book also contains a wealth of ideas for foods that complement burgers."
--Dayton Daily News, 5/10/10
"This collection is fun and features burgers in new and exciting ways. A burger isn’t necessarily just a burger if you have the ability to use a little imagination and experiment."
--Tuscon Citizen, 4/9/10