41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2004
This is a wonderful book. The author has cooked up a book of food and recipes from Norway that is very personal and beautiful. The recipes are a superb selection that vary from traditional fish recipes that are as old as Odin and the Norwegian Sea to recent introductions of culinary delights and the twists that trade has conjured in modern Norwegian kitchens. The book is not just a list of recipes, and this is what sets this book apart. The author has given background information about the recipes and includes quite a bit of history and personal stories that bring the reader right into Andreas Viestad's kitchen. The photography by Mette Randem is amazingly beautiful, giving the book an added experience to the reader/cook. To be short, this is the book you are looking for if you are reading this sentence.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2003
Kitchen Of Light is the official companion book to the public television series "New Scandinavian Cooking with Andreas Viestad". Excellent color photographs, mouth-watering recipes, and vignettes of the lives and culture that embrace these taste-tested dishes abound. From Salt-Baked Salmon; to Mussels with Aquavit; Wild Blueberry Parfait; and Juniper-Spiced Venison, each individual, mouth-watering dish is wonderfully presented with painstaking attention to detail combined with easy-to-follow instructions. Especially commended and recommended for aspiring chefs and kitchen cooks interested in delving into Scandinavian cuisine (particularly the seafood dishes), Kitchen Of Light is an invaluable addition to any personal or professional cookbook collection!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2008
I've been cooking through this book for the past two months, and have yet to find a recipe that disappoints. What I love is that it uses simple ingredients, but combines them in ways I hadn't thought of before. His broccoli dish with capers and anchovies is a new standard preparation for broccoli in our household now, and the seared fish with carmelized onions is spectacular, as is his roast chicken with leeks recipe.
What I particularly love is that almost all of his dishes can be thought of as week-day dinner meals, but their flavor and visual appeal make me feel like a much better cook than I really am!
Plus, the abundance of fish recipes has been terrific, since we've been trying to incorporate more of that into our daily meals of late. All around a terrific book!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2007
Friends of mine asked for this book, originally, and so I bought myself a copy out of curiosity, having also enjoyed the TV show the author hosted. I was definitely beyond pleasantly surprised, because he adds to his easygoing teaching style some history, personal memories and feelings, to really add flavor to the content. But you could get a lot from this book without reading a word, just from looking at the excellent presentation each dish is given, as well as glimpses of the environment that inspired them.
There are cookbooks that are just books of instructions. They can be complicated, even fussy, but that's what they are. Then there are books about cuisine, that give you example recipes, and the hunger to try them and create your own with the new flavors you have learned. This definitely is of the latter type. I not only want to cook these dishes, I want to visit the lands where they originated. It's a shame that this book has fallen out of print, because I have other friends I want to share it with. If you find a copy, treasure it.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2003
Highly recommended: "Kitchen of Light, New Scandinavian Cooking" by Andreas Viestad
I bought this book on a hunch and unseen from Amazon.com to use it as "housewarming gifts" while staying with friends in New England this August, mostly because I always enjoy his weekly column in a major Norwegian newspaper.
Two of my friends received the book prior to our arrival, and below is what they wrote me:
"Your wonderful book arrived and it is stunning. The only thing that could be better would be to be in those photographs enjoying all that food with you! I am going to show it to a friend as she loves fish too, and we will try some of the recipes together. Thank you, Thank you. Thank you!
I will let you know of my culinary adventures!
Thanks again for the spectacular book."
"Good morning, your gift arrived! You won't believe it, but I read an article about Andreas Viestad in the paper a couple of weeks ago, and told my husband I was going to order his book, so imagine my surprise when your gift arrived! I can't wait to try out some of the recipes. Thank you so much and we're looking forward to your visit."
Of course, I was more than a little curious as to what I had gotten myself into, so upon arrival in the US I checked out a major bookstore, found a copy there and bought it to see for myself. And I was really, really pleased about what he accomplished.
A couple of other friends received a copy also, and they enthusiastically called it "a book within a cookbook since it also offers a lot of information about the country of Norway and the landscape photos are great as well", and that describes it pretty accurately I think.
So, why don't you go ahead and see for yourselves!!!
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2005
Don't be mistaken, Kitchen of Light is much more than a cookbook. It is a collection of personal essays, beautiful photos and simple recipes. I indulged in the book cover to cover without stepping foot in the kitchen or having one bite to eat, though it certainly whetted my appetite.
Viestad's humorous and touching essays are about nature and simple pleasures in Norway, not cooking. They are humbly poetic and delightfully educational. He describes harvesting mussels with a rake, kissing a halibut, learning to walk in order to pick berries, sampling the roe from a live lobster, herding sheep and toasting with aquavit (skal!) while incorporating bits about Norwegian culture, history and Norse mythology.
You can't help but fall in love with Norway after reading Kitchen of Light.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2009
My wife and I enjoy Andreas Viestad whenever he is cooking on the pbs channel. We love the TV show and we are equally happy to have this book and it's recipies.
I bought a used paperback copy of Kitchen of Light. It is just like new, and a great bargain. It is perfect in every respect, but one. The printing of light text on a low contrasting background of light blue is difficult to read, especially with the glare of light on the glossy paper. I don't know if this is the case with the hard cover edition. Anyway, we are happy, but suggest that future books or printings are easier on the eye.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2015
I bought this because of Andreas's cooking show, played on PBS. The show is entertaining and inspiring. This book has so many dishes that add a modern take on traditional Nordic Cuisine.Thankfully, the author/chef's skill is such that these modern additions do not cover up or steal the show from the traditional dish, they just add a little accent that makes the experience, cooking and eating, that much more enjoyable. The historical tidbits throughout the book really makes you appreciate and connect with the dish you are making. My favorite dish is the Ginger Soy Salmon, one of the easiest and flavorful meals I've made.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2008
The pictures and descriptions are wonderful. In typical scandinavian fashion, many of the recipes are fish dishes and some wild game. If you like those items, it's a great book. We tried a baked cod on a bed of vanilla infused rudabaga. Very tasty!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2014
The book itself is beautiful - the pictures and background information are a joy to read. The food is simple yet elegant and I've enjoyed all of the recipes I've tried so far. Some of the ingredients are hard for me to come by (e.g. anything goose or duck related) but there is still plenty to make. I also like that the author has included suggestions on which recipes to serve together. I tend to prefer spicy food, but this has turned out to be a way to enliven dishes that are more subtly seasoned.