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The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs [Kindle Edition]

Karen Page , Andrew Dornenburg
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (639 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $38.00
Kindle Price: $14.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

Winner of the 2009 James Beard Book Award for Best Book: Reference and Scholarship

Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe--it's knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on dozens of leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating "deliciousness" in any dish. Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. Readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal.Seasoned with tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from America's most imaginative chefs, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an essential reference for every kitchen.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Dornenberg and Page's follow up to their award-winning What to Drink With What You Eat certainly compliments its predecessor (part of the intent), but works equally well as a standalone reference for cooks of all skill levels. An alphabetical index of flavors and ingredients, the book allows readers to search complimentary combinations for a particular ingredient (over 70 flavors go well with chickpeas; over 100 are listed for oranges), emphasizing the classics (chives with eggs, nutmeg with cream, sardines and olive oil, etc.). Entries for ingredients such as chicken, beets and lamb span multiple pages and feature menu items from chefs such as Grant Achatz of Alinea, Alred Portale of Gotham Bar and Grill and Le Bernardin's Eric Ripert. Regional tastes are well-represented in broad entries for classic German and English flavors, as well as the more fine-tuned flavors of, for example, northern France or West Africa. The listings, combinations and short essays from various chefs on different matches are meant to inspire rather than dictate-there are, in fact, no recipes included. Instead, the volume is meant as a jumping-off point for those comfortable in the kitchen and eager to explore; though experienced cooks and chefs will benefit most, novices will find themselves referring to this handsome volume again and again as their confidence grows. Color photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Creative, self-motivated cooks who don’t demand recipes’ precise prescriptions will cheer the publication of this guide to the kingdom of taste. Addressing the nature of flavor and its role in cooking, the authors have gathered creativity and wisdom from dozens of the world’s best chefs. Page and Dornenburg define the aesthetic of flavor as a combination of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, and a mysterious factor perceived by the other senses and by the diner’s emotions. They then break down in hundreds of tables how ingredients’ flavors relate to one another. For example, the table for apples notes their affinity for cinnamon, pork, rum, and nuts. They also list the most common ingredients of national cuisines. In some cases, they note clashes, such as oysters and tarragon. This is a valuable reference for all aspiring chefs and sets down in print what has often been believed inexpressible. --Mark Knoblauch

Product Details

  • File Size: 17556 KB
  • Print Length: 391 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (September 16, 2008)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0P86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,285 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
630 of 656 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary book! October 12, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I recently added this book to my cookbook collection, which numbers more than 1,000 volumes (probably more like 1200 but I'm still cataloging). It has immediately become one of my favorites (and definitely my #1 favorite in English). If you are a serious cook, love to read cookbooks like novels, and view recipes as suggestions rather than as requiring strict adherence to precise measurements, then this is the book for you! (Did I say I LOVE this book?)

I make all of the desserts for my husband's restaurant. If I snag some particularly luscious fruit and want to make it into a dessert, this is the book I reach for first. I don't WANT to be told how to make a fruit sorbet. I already know how. But I love having a list of suggested flavors and products that go with what I already have. It's like having an uber-creative friend at your side saying "hey, why not try THIS?"

And if you are not an experienced cook, this book provides invaluable guidance that a recipe book never could. It is wholly different from every food book I have ever read.

The book is clever, useful, and obviously the product of prodigious research. To the authors, I send my humble gratitude. You have made my life immeasurably easier, and my dishes far more interesting than ever before.

This book is a must-read if you love to eat or love to cook. I have already bought six copies and have given two as gifts. It's THAT good.
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207 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, even though its not really a book! September 4, 2010
By G. Chen
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's more of a compendium of alphabetical listings of foods that are paired together. The format basically goes something like this:

Season: spring-summer
Taste: sour-sweet
Botanical relatives: huckleberries
Weight: light
Volume: quiet-moderate
Techniques: cooked, raw
Tips: Can subtitute huckleberries

butter, unsalted
chocolate, white
cinnamon basil

It is like a book that is a giant index, which refers you to things that can pair well. This book is more for people who have a willingness to experiment. It gives pointers on what other people think might go good with an item, such as blueberries. You have to figure out your own proportions. Of course, responsible cooks probably want to taste the food they serve beforehand anyways. ;)
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199 of 219 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Answer to a Prayer October 15, 2008
By Miemi
Bought this book w/o a whole lot of information about it. Can't believe it -- I now have the resource I've been looking for --

I'm a cook with some years of experience, a huge cookbook collection, a list of classes taught by renowned experts and cookbook writers, and still I yearned for a reference that gave me the info on what goes with what (w/o me researching my whole library or classnotes. I guess I need "permissions" and this book gave it to me.

Tonight I made redfish (snapper in the book) with a crust of almonds, chives, parsley and dill (methodology learned in all those classes). Served w a favorite zuchinni recipe that included the "go-to" ingredients for snapper, and roasted potatoes with light sprinkling of rosemary and salt (again, a "go-to" herb for the main dish).

It wasn't overkill (my worry) -- it just plain worked and I did it w/o a single recipe. Cut my cooking time in half and raised my personal culinary "thermometer" by a ton of degrees.

If you cook, know methodology and are looking for a silent but knowledgeable help in the kitchen, buy this book. It's a gem!!!
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193 of 213 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flavor, because you can't live on Bread and Water alone September 16, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Flavor is the basis for all food, without it, the world would seem less colorful, lifeless, and bland. Food isn't just about what you can taste in your mouth but also what you can see with your eyes, what you smell with your nose and what you feel in your heart. That's what is presented in this book. (The authors wrote two other acclaimed books, Culinary Artistry and What to Drink with What You Eat.)

Culinary Artistry showcased was that food can be art. That colors structure on a plate can evoke emotions the same as any other art work. And like any art work, is in the eye of the beholder.

What to Drink with What You Eat gave us the understanding that beverages (not just wine) can be paired and should be thought of as a condiment rather than an afterthought

The Flavor Bible talks about, well, flavor; but more then that, it talks about what flavor is and how we perceive it, receive it, balance it and emphasize it. All coming to the climax which is a very in depth list (3/4ths of the book) of ingredients detailing its profile (weak, strong), seasonality, and every herb, spice, fruit, vegetable, meat, fish, poultry and alcoholic related item and what would go exceptionally well with it.

So, if it is so good, why did I give it only 4 stars? The list for the most part is just an update from Culinary Artistry; most flavor companions haven't change since the days of Escoffier. The "new" list does give mention of the seasonality of produce and also the break down of different cuts of meat such as beef, lamb, pork, and poultry into their respected parts and given their own listings.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book for anyone who loves to cook, and especially for those...
WOW, this book is awesome. I am not a fan of cook books. I like to cook on intuition and flavors. Cooking is not an exact science, so I find it almost insulting that you must use... Read more
Published 7 hours ago by Justin K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Was hoping for Veggie-tales like Bible stories. we mislead but not disappointed.
Published 2 days ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Best reference book I have seen for the kitchen
This book doesn't leave our kitchen. Best reference book I have seen for the kitchen.
Published 6 days ago by Billie Hillier
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have. Powerful tool for creating your own recipes ...
Must Have. Powerful tool for creating your own recipes and dishes.
Published 7 days ago by Lucus
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great price and shipping. Good quality.
Published 8 days ago by Ron Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have
Wonderful Book and very useful
Published 8 days ago by Keith Lanning
5.0 out of 5 stars The book was new and in perfect condition. If you're looking for...
The transaction was smooth and the delivery was prompt. The book was new and in perfect condition. If you're looking for another recipe book, this is not the book for you. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Nemissa
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not bad,
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cooking tool
The brother-in-law loves it more than I expected. Great cooking tool.
Published 15 days ago by amy marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Tasty
I bought this as a birthday gift for my boyfriend a few years ago, and he still uses it to this day. It's a great book for cooks who like to make their own recipes. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Caitlin B.
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Topic From this Discussion
Kindle or Paper?
I just downloaded this cookbook to my Kindle app. After exploring it I wouldn't recommend it in this form. Very poor navigation/search interface. You literally have to blindly scroll through the 25,000 pages to locate what you may want to reference. The Table of Contents lists only 3 sections... Read More
Jan 1, 2011 by Deborah J. Raftery |  See all 6 posts
Would this book be useful for a raw food vegan?
Thanks for your inquiry, Mark. Yes, THE FLAVOR BIBLE features extensive information on what to pair with fruits (e.g. apples, apricots, bananas, etc.), vegetables (e.g. artichokes, arugula, asparagus, etc.), and nuts (e.g. almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.). ... Read More
Jun 15, 2009 by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg |  See all 2 posts
Does Anyone Have This in the Kindle Version?
Hi Deanna -- yes, we're planning to have THE FLAVOR BIBLE translated into Spanish (and Chinese and lots of other languages)! Stay tuned for announcements re: the foreign language versions in 2010.... Delicious wishes, Karen & Andrew
Jan 7, 2010 by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg |  See all 4 posts
from the bible the devil greed and corruption
Did you hear about the dyslexic devil worshipper?

He sold his soul to SANTA!
Jun 23, 2013 by Michael Taylor |  See all 2 posts
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