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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 9, 2001
Chef Trotter and photographer Tim Turner have plated another winner in their fine series for serious home cooks. This, to me, is the most practical of Trotter's works since the classic first book. The format will be familiar to fans: detailed recipe on the left, beautiful and helpful full-page color photo on the right. Some recipes are fairly simple (as far as it goes with Trotter), some are moderately difficult and some, of course, are ridiculously complex. But as always he urges users to vamp and adapt, and that is good advice since Trotter tends to cook in layers that can often stand alone. Two notes: There are more minor errors in the text than I have ever spotted in this series. And the artistic shots of animals that begin the chapters might be a bit unsettling for some, given that the beasts' cousins are on the plate in the pages to follow. I would recommend the first book or the much simpler Kitchen Sessions for those looking to see what the fuss is about. But for those who know what they're getting into, this cookbook is a cause for celebration.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2009
This was my first experience with a Charlie Trotter professional series book. Despite the topic being near and dear to my cookin' heart, I gave the book 3 stars; here's why:

The biggest weighing factor for me in a cookbook, gourmet or not, is what I like to call cookability. Simply put, this book can give you ideas, but the number of real "cookable" recipes for the hobby gourmand that makes up one of the book's audiences is smaller than I like to see in a book of this price level. Tracking down every ingredient will be a significant chore in the majority of them (though Trotter does encourage the use of substitutions- and even if he'd didn't, you'd do it anyways lol). Not making this task any easier is the glaring lack of a source list, which makes me wonder how many people he genuinely intends to cook from it. This doesn't take away from winners like Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras, but there's a reason you continually see that one mentioned- it's one of the easiest recipes in the book to source and prepare.

Despite the somewhat tepid review so far, I'm no hater. Those who are Trotter groupies will find plenty to love here. There's nothing wrong with wanting a cookbook to read for inspiration, relaxation, or just plain pimping out your coffee table, and this book will certainly accomplish that. It sports intricate, inspired recipes, beautiful oversized photography, and a classy layout. It almost does this job too well- quite frankly, it's too pretty of a book to keep in the kitchen to get messy while you check and re-check the recipe you're preparing on the fly. This isn't like a beat-up, broken in Paul Prudhomme book you dogear the pages on when you find something you like; in fact, if someone dog ears your copy, you'll genuinely want to smack them.

Overall, this review likely won't give you anything new you probably didn't already assume about it, but just know what it is you're getting into before you invest the significant chunk of change it'll set you back.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2004
If you live in Chicago and love to cook... this is an amazing book. A lot of the ingredients may seem hard to find but it seems that Treasure Island has all of the items.....
Even if you don't follow the exact recipes you will be inspired....
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
More of Trotter's high output of creative, skilled dishes with exotic ingredients, sauces and minimalist-Asian accent. Continues the 10-Speed Press tradition of well done cookbooks, with superior photos, text and in Trotter's case, two photographers scenic photos lining the pages.
These recipes are certainly difficult if not impossible for the average home chef, or even the sophisticated amateur gourmet as well. The ingredients are exotic and difficult to obtain (no source help is provided at all) and the techniques and difficulty of steps for each entree are staggering.
Not to despair however, for the interested gourmet. As Trotter himself suggests: "think of the recipes as interpretations found to be particularly pleasing. Look at these pages for inspiration and fresh ideas, then make the dishes your own, either by substitutions we have offered or through the endless possibilities evoked by the foodstuffs themselves." Further, nearly all recipes include suggested substitutes, e.g. for the Asian=Glazed Wild Boar Chop he suggests pork, lamb or chicken.
Especially attractive to this reviewer is the enormous collection of game: from grouse to partidge to quail to antelope, buffalo, venison, et al. Excitement from such as: "Roasted Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras, Cipolline Onions and Ginger," "Grilled Pheasant Breast with Wild Strawberries, Pistachios, and Apricot-Curry Sauce," Smoked Squab Breast with Israeli Couscous-Stuffed Tinker Bell Peppeers,Ennis Hazelnuts, and Savory Chocolate Vinagerette," "Asian Glazed Wild Boar Chop with Kimchi, Burgundy Carrots, and Their Puree."
True to his inspiration of fusion, he combines Western European technique without sauce, and in their place consistently and creatively replaces with Vinaigrette or Emulsion.
Suggest interested also check out Mark Miller's "Red Sage," Trotter's "CT Cooks at Home," and "How To Cook Meat" by Schlesinger.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2002
Have you ever traveled cross-country to Chicago just to dine at Charlie Trotter's? I have, and it was one of the best meals of my life. This book and the others in the series are great at giving you a feel of what the real thing is like. The pictures are outstanding and the combinations just wow you. But if you think for a moment that any cookbook would allow you to duplicate what Charlie does, you are mistaken. Some cookbooks are for those who want to follow a recipe and duplicate it. This is not one of those. This is for people who want to understand the Chef's unique cuisine and appreciate it for the art that it is.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2003
He/she won't be able to pull off the recipes by him/herself, but you can put them onto some small task .... say, making a plum sauce to dribble over the final product ... to keep them out of your hair while you do the heavy work. In fact, think of these recipes as team projects ... that's probably the only way to get everything to the table at serving temperatures. Your hunter will beam with pleasure. You will be a god/dess in his/her eyes.
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on December 17, 2013
This book is well-written and photographed.
The recipes are straight-forward and cleanly presented.
You will not be disappointed with Charlie's wealth of knowledge as presented here.
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on April 27, 2014
This book is great. I love trotter's style and I have recreated some of these dishes, highly recommended. The index of recipes in the back is especially helpful.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2001
i absolutly loved this book by Charlie Trotter. The food is absolutly stunning and the recipies are amazing. i think this one is the best because of the great foundation recipies and so many different forms of foods presented. the best of all the books. 10 stars++++
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