If you think "raw food" means carrots and alfalfa sprouts, Raw will astound you with its elegance and inventiveness. It's a combination no-cook book featuring gourmet recipes using raw and dehydrated vegetables, and a gorgeous, eye-popping, food photography book. The large, glossy book is beautifully designed, with well-arranged recipes, presentation notes, elegant language, and full-page, bigger-than-life photographs of exquisitely arranged food. Each recipe is introduced by an enticing description, e.g., "
the juxtapositions of the crunchy peppercorn pieces and the creamy cheese [made from cashews], the crispy smoked almonds, and the chewy dried apricots, the erotic gooeyness of the honeycomb mounds and the elegant crispiness of the thyme spouts
." This is for special meals, not everyday--the recipes are not quick to prepare, and many include references to other recipes. Authors Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein are master chefs at two internationally acclaimed gourmet vegetarian raw-food restaurants--Charlie Trotter's in Chicago and Roxanne's in California. Photographer Tim Turner turns food photography into contemporary art. Wine notes by Jason Smith give the final touch of elegance. Highly recommended for the adventurous, gourmet cook willing to go the next step in vegetarian fine dining and anyone-- cook or not--who appreciates food photography. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
Ever trendy, raw food is crunching its way into the mainstream-and this book by celebrity chef Trotter (Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home) and Klein demonstrates how appetizing it can be. The collection of vegan recipes, all cooked at temperatures below 118°F, is decidedly gourmet. Dishes worthy of dinner parties include Three Peppercorn-Crusted Cashew Cheese with Honeycomb and Balsamic Vinegar, Salsify with Black Truffles and Porcini Mushrooms, Portobello Mushroom Pave with White Asparagus Vinaigrette, Indian Red Peaches with Vanilla Ice Cream (made with almond milk) and Banana Chocolate Tart with Caramel and Chocolate Sauces. Wine notes with each recipe remind readers that raw food can be complemented by a fine vintage without breaking any rules because "wine, at its most basic, is also an unadulterated creation, never rising above 118°F during its production." The recipes tend to be labor intensive since the taste, textures and flavor of sophisticated raw food can't be bought pre-packaged at the supermarket. But for those who want to reap the reported health benefits of raw food without sacrificing the luxurious taste of fine cuisine, the effort required for these recipes is worthwhile.
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