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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 29 reviews
on August 19, 2017
Published in 2003, Flavor is an intriguing look at Rocco's award-winning flavors, written at the height of his star-studded and award-laden culinary fame. I bought the book after reading an article about the chef's meteoric rise in the 1990's and his departure from the kitchen in pursuit of a television career that turned out badly. Flavor captures many of Rocco's ideas that were cutting edge at the time: his effortless mixing of Asian ingredients and Western technique, including sous vide cooking. Many of his ingredients are expensive and difficult for the average home cook to acquire--for example, uni, Dungeness crab, live blue crabs, baby artichokes, duck, bay scallops, head-on shrimp, skate, venison, truffles, and taro root. To his credit, he provides an extensive list of sources. The book is stunning visually, with ample photographs accompanying every recipe. Six stars for the color graphics! For his "white truffle risotto with a gulf shrimp fondue," he provides 10 pages with 57 photographs! Moreover, almost every recipe is accompanied by photographs of the ingredients, indicating that he's not only using canned and bottled ingredients (mostly Asian), but letting us see what his preferred brand is of Japanese mustard paste, for example. In addition, he often names his favories. I appreciate the lack of food snobbery with regard to cans and bottles; however, I was scratching my head at the photo of honey in the plastic bear bottle with organic chicken and again with New York strip steak -- why use a cheap, inferior honey with such precious main ingredients? In his ingredient guide he describes onlyone honey, acacia, so who knows? I think that most recipes would be out of reach for the average home cook, either because of hard-to-find/expensive ingredients, or because of time/technique required. He does list active and total prep time as well as degree of difficulty. Because I found this such a fascinating read for many reasons, I would have given it 5 stars except that it flunked the "Post-It" test: although I read many of the recipes through, and although I'm not daunted by time-consuming recipes or those requiring advanced technique, I failed to flag any recipes to try. Still, the book will be a useful reference when, for example, I need kimchee for a dish. First, I won't feel like a wimp for not making it myself, and second, I know where to look to find a good brand of bottled kimchee.
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on December 25, 2008
This cookbook is so interesting because it's very creative and it lets you in on the process. Rocco's cooking theory here is "sweet, salty, bitter, sour" and he labels each ingredient in the recipes with a colored dot so you can see how he is using one (or more) of each per recipe. Then in the back of the book, he has a couple pages listing food items that qualify in each category, so you can think up your own mix of ingredients. The book also has helpful items like mini photos of the more unusual foodie items that my be hard to find, plus a couple pages with ideas of where to buy them (online gourmet shops). I love the cookbook because it has soooo many photos! Each dish has a huge, full-page, color photo of it. There are also tons of black-and-white photos of Rocco and his chefs cooking in a restaurant kitchen (this book is a few years old and he was at Union Pacific then, I think). For the other reviewers commenting on the photos, some are done in an artsy style where the photo is blurred to show movement. Each recipe also has a paragraph or 2 preceding it where Rocco tells a story about the dish. So it's not your typical cookbook with just a bunch of typed-out recipes! There are a few super-easy recipes that I can definitely make: Nutella sandwich with broiled bananas, cauliflower soup, radish and cranberry salad. The book has a mix of super-easy, medium-easy and hard recipes with some super-hard recipes in a separate section in the last chapter. It's fun to see photos and descriptions of some of Rocco's "famous" dishes even though they would be too hard for me to make, like uni sea urchin (yikes! where would you find this?) with raw scallops and tomato water (made by hand) and mustard seed oil (made by hand).
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on April 10, 2004
This cookbook is a real knock-out. Visually as stimulating as the recipes are for the taste buds, the minute I opened it, I couldn't bear to close it. Its foundation is Rocco's exceptional palate, incorporating elements from all over the world and combining flavors that stimulate the taste sense in new and different ways. It's haute cuisine all the way, but accessible. Simple elements, the basics, fish, meats, vegetables, side dishes, desserts are combined with herbs and spices beyond the usual. The recipes are quite simple and easy to prepare, and the book is laid out very well to help you do so. Being an aromatherapist, I'm always seeking aromatic stimulation, and these recipes fit the bill.
In addition, the book gives you suggestions for wines that go with each recipe.
I've eaten at Rocco's first restaurant in NYC, Union Pacific, on East 22nd Street, and this book makes me feel that I can prepare the same type of food at home, simplified. I treated my cousin to a meal at Union Pacific and we both moaned and groaned through the entire meal in delight. If you want to do the same thing at home with your friends and loved ones, get this book.
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on October 8, 2013
I don't like cooking but Rocco's cookbooks make it easy and is so healthy. (Plus he's decent scenery!) This arrived in perfect condition and in the time specified.
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on December 10, 2015
did great
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on September 9, 2011
this is a good book for everyone who does a lot of cooking you can learn a lot from it thanks
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on September 28, 2004
I had the opportunity to eat some of Rocco's food and loved it. So I immediately ordered the book as soon it came out. It has been sitting on my shelf ever since. It is one of these books, that you browse through once and don't find a single recipe that inspires you.

The layout of the book is equally unappealing and messy. Too many different colours used in recipe titles, unattractive pictures, silly snapshots of all the ingredients used in each recipe, with the pepper mill appearing every time....... The reference to the 4 flavours (which is what the book is supposed to be about) are represented by awkard coloured dots that seem out of place.

I am sure there are a few good recipes in there but I just cannot get myself to open the book again.
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on April 29, 2010
Very please with how the book was shipped to me. Enjoy how Rocco uses combination of spices and ingredients to get better flavor.
He has introduced me to different ingredients like greek yogurt.
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on October 19, 2012
This is the second book I purchased by Rocco, and again I've been let down. Many of the ingredients are hard to find, and some of the flavor combinations just don't work..
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on April 19, 2015
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