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Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook Hardcover – October 8, 2013


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Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook + Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work + Manresa: An Edible Reflection
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770433219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770433215
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.9 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Review

"Alex and Aki's fantastic new cookbook expands the realm of what you can accomplish in a home kitchen."
--Nathan Myhrvold

“Aki and Alex have packed this cookbook full of ingenious ideas. Your food will look professional but will actually be simple to make because they’ve already done the heavy mental lifting for you.”
--David Chang

“It’s been a long time since I have read a book full of so many new tips and techniques. From fermentation 101 to brilliant new uses for the pressure cooker, Maximum Flavor is guaranteed to make cooking more fun and rewarding.”
--Sean Brock

“In today’s cluttered and often confusing food world, Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot are bright lights I always look to for guidance. Their intelligence and, critically, their curiosity lead them down paths I have never traveled or even thought to. I welcome every new word, recipe, and technique from this talented couple and am thrilled to have Maximum Flavor in my kitchen.”
--Michael Ruhlman

“Who ever says the sequel is the tour de force? It turns out that Maximum Flavor, the follow up to Ideas in Food, is a clever and eloquent fusion of food science tips and techniques that lead you to even better versions of many familiar and appetizing dishes. From a perfected recipe for French fries to caramel sauce with fresh ginger, this book is filled with simple ways to make some of our most beloved foods taste better than ever before.”
--Alex Guarnaschelli

“I have been using Aki and Alex’s blog, Ideas in Food, for years as a source of inspiration. I was excited to see that they bound all of their thoughtfulness, passion, and delicious recipes into a book, so even more people can maximize flavor in their home kitchens.”
--Grant Achatz

“This book is a joy to read, with Alex and Aki at their most approachable and engaging. A must for anyone who loves to cook.”
--Daniel Patterson

“It’s simple: Aki and Alex are some of the smartest cooks around. Their sensible modern approach to making food better is inspiring.”
--Richard Blais

Maximum Flavor is a book that reminds me why I cook: to make things that simply taste good. This is a book for everyone to cook from—not just to look at the stunning pictures.”
--Michael Voltaggio

“Aki and Alex redefine the pursuit for incredible flavor through their original ideas and techniques. Maximum Flavor will change the way we cook and will inspire curiosity and new possibilities in professional and home kitchens alike.”
--Bryan Voltaggio

"Their new cookbook, Maximum Flavor, is filled with specific recipes for steaks, cakes, breads, pickles, and soups, but the book is exciting if each recipe is used as a jumping-off point for experimentation. There's a technical trick embedded in just about every dish in the book that not only helps improve the recipe itself, but it also can be read as an idea on its own…Whichever path you take, there is still plenty to learn."
--Serious Eats

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Customer Reviews

Great for the professional kitchen, as well as at home.
christine
Not only are the recipes wonderful, the book itself is beautiful, with gorgeous photos and a lovely layout.
NOLACail
Also some nice lessons on food science without being geeky.
Dafisk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Sorlien on October 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Alex and Aki. I follow their blog, Ideas in Food, and follow them on Twitter @ideasinfood. I have taken a one day class with Alex where my friend and I were the only ones in the class who had never been to culinary school. We followed along just fine, though, as we have a science background.

Alex and Aki play with their food, but with a truly adventurous and scientific approach. I love the way they think, and the content goes way beyond the recipes just as it did with their first cookbook, Ideas in Food.

Alex writes the way he thinks. It might have been easier to follow a list of instructions than the longish narrative explanations. (For example, I did need to reread the instructions for preparing the pouches for grilling the leeks a few times.). Overall, though, this is the way I like to cook. Not by protocol, but by process.

So I made a few adaptations (like serving the caramel apple pie with a ginger infused whipped cream) but overall cooked an entire dinner party with recipes from the book this weekend. Everything was easy and delicious. I have a sous vide set up, so the sous vide porterhouse was a natural choice. We all agreed it was perfection.

One incredibly simple thing that was a huge hit was the method of roasting nuts. It was a lovely aside in the book that will now be my regular routine for serving/ using nuts.

All in all I made 6 recipes from the book and all were delicious. I learned how to handle foods in new ways that will be permanent addition to my culinary repertoire. This cookbook was worth twice the price for this alone.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dafisk on October 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you buy this for only for the recipes, you are missing the point. I find this book pretty inspiring if you like to be creative in the kitchen and already have some level of acumen with basic techniques. I like how the rational and logic behind each dish is explained in an intro, so you can take the "why" and apply to preparations beyond the recipe. There are also deeper explanations of general techniques between chapters. Also some nice lessons on food science without being geeky. If you want an idea if the authors' style, check out their blog that has tons of great content as well as pictures. IMO, it is better than any single book could be, but like the fact I can flip thought this for some inspiration.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda M Hunter on March 9, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OMG this is so good. The recipes are fun and easy to execute. They allow me to make use of my fancy kitchen toys and just look fabulous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WilliamBuckley on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anytime I get into a cooking/imagination rut I, I look for inspiration. I bought this book hoping to get a spark. I got more than that, I got an explosion!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Brock on January 2, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Can't get enough of this book. Filled full of some really valuable tips and tricks that we use in our kitchens everyday. This is perfect for home cooks and professional cooks alike. Looking forward to more books from these two!!!
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19 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Pete O. on November 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After following the blog "Ideas in Food", and having read the authors' previous book of the same name and enjoyed it, it's clear that Alex and Aki know how to cook and have found many interesting and novel ways to apply food science and modernist techniques creatively to their cooking. However, this book largely disappoints on it's promise to "...change the way you cook."

The fact that the who's who of American cooking (David Chang, Sean Brock, Daniel Patterson, Grant Achatz, Michael Ruhlman, etc.) all waxed poetically about how amazing this book for their one line reviews belies the truth that this book is just not that inspiring. Don't get me wrong, there are some good recipes, however I have gotten to a point with my cooking where I rarely buy a book for a recipe, but rather to advance my cooking IQ, and unfortunately this book doesn't do that.

To be frank - there is better food science in Harold McGee's "On Food and Cooking", and more useful and applicable modernist techniques for the home cook in "Modernist Cuisine at Home". I really like Alex and Aki, so I hope their next book is a better reflection of their talents.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This helps us look at ingredient combinations we might never have considered before. The recipes are bold; but not excessive.
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By L. Dobbins on May 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This cookbook, along with my Flavor Bible, are the two I can rely on to bring the most flavor to the table with whatever ingredients I might choose to use. Many "tricks of the cooking trade" are included and I was very happy to see that I am using some of them. Well worth the $$$ to purchase.
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