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The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs Hardcover – September 16, 2008
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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.
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
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Top customer reviews
Any cook that absconds recipes NEEDS THIS. Not sure what goes well with ginger? This has it. Not sure the ideal pairing for that crab? This has it. Almost every ingredient is listed with references to every other ingredient that fits well with it. Even marks perfect or best pairings.
I used it all the time until I simply now just know so many profiles that I don't need it unless I'm using an unfamiliar or new ingredient.
Just an awesome book. Have had it for years and bought it as a gift for many aspiring cooks.
It tells you what foods work with which, what spices and herbs best complement the main ingredients, and, where relevant, when such and such an item is in "season" for best freshness. It tells you something about the taste of the ingredient -- sweet, sour, bitter, etc., and how strong that taste might carry into a dish. You are informed in best cooking techniques for a given item: (ie, bake, boil, deep-fry, mash...) It does miss some of the more obscure culinary offerings out there, but any book would have eventual limits.
The book is peppered (ahem) with quotes from various restaurant chefs about specific food items, and the photos are in most cases, enticing. Fascinating to read just for the ideas!