From Publishers Weekly
Gourmands and novices alike can cultivate their palates with this DIY guide to themed tasting parties. Seizing on a growing home entertaining trend, culinary educator Cheney offers 10 different plans for tasting, including the most popular items like wine, chocolate and cheese, to more obscure tasting subjects like honey, tea, balsamic vinegar and apples. In the Basics chapter, Cheney explains how to structure your party using the book and photocopied "tasting grids" that can be distributed to each guest for exploring and recording the experience. She recommends choosing six different variations for a tasting and explains how to set up a table to accommodate the foods as well as palate cleansers and complementary accompaniments. Each of the following chapters is devoted to a single subject, with important background information, such as how and where olive oil is made and how the product is graded in different countries. For every tasting, Cheney has included a menu and recipes for sophisticated, appropriate pairings (wines, radishes and a wild mushroom quiche for an evening French cheese tasting; antipasto platter, vin santo, red grapes and biscotti for a global extra virgin olive oil tasting). Throughout, Cheney proves to be an excellent guide, making her urbane subject matter accessible and her parties both fun and informative. (Sept.)
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About the Author
Dina Cheney, a graduate of Columbia College, Columbia University and the Institute of Culinary Education, is a freelance writer, tasting host, and former cooking teacher. The author of Tasting Club (DK Publishing), Dina writes for a number of local and national publications. Previously, she taught hundreds of students to cook through her business, Cooking by Heart. In this capacity, Dina was featured on Fox 5 News, as well as in The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and more.