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Gather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining Hardcover – April 30, 2013
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"Hayley and Bill have captured the essence of what it means to dine in the finest Primal style."—Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint and publisher of MarksDailyApple.com
"Gather is filled with fresh flavors and amazing recreations of old favorites that will certainly wow your guests."—Diane Sanfilippo, New York Times Bestselling author of Practical Paleo
"This book is proof that it's possible to eat and entertain like a gourmet without gluten, grains or other "non-Paleo" ingredients… A must on your kitchen shelf."—Chris Kresser, M.S. L.Ac and among the "top 50 most influential people in health and fitness"
"…everyone needs this book. Filled with time-saving tips, decorating ideas, beautiful photographs, and simple but scrumptious menus for every occasion, this gorgeous tome will make you the hostess with the mostest."—Michelle Tam, award-winning blogger at NomNomPaleo.com
"Bill Staley and Hayley Mason have taken the Paleo experience out of the sweat of Crossfit gyms, away from the forest and savannah, and launched an elegant 21st century interpretation of this lifestyle. No preceding Paleo cookbook has cast these ideas into such a luxurious and cultured setting, all viewed from the perspective of gathering and entertaining. Beautifully photographed, with uniquely clever approaches to the menu, such as Night in Tuscany, Takeout Fake-out, and Hunter-Gatherer Feast, Gather will be a classic favorite for grain-free living."—Dr. William Davis, New York Times best selling author of Wheat Belly
About the Author
Bill Staley, a landscape architect and life long artist, grew up with a passion for great food and creating things with his hands. Drawing upon a decade of experience in graphic design, photography, and various other artistic pursuits, Bill flexes his creativity in the kitchen behind the camera lens. Following their popular debut title, Make it Paleo, Bill and Hayley have blazed a unique trail for themselves in the cooking world. What started as a casual blogging hobby quickly grew into a bustling website, followed by a cookbook, and now has grown to an interactive website with a meal planner, customized user-created shopping lists, and even a companion app for smart phones.
Hayley Mason, a high definition makeup artist trained in Hollywood, never thought she would be applying her styling talents to grass fed beef and grain free desserts rather than the eyes and cheek bones of movie stars. Hayley was quick to become one of the most acclaimed culinary forces driving the grain free cooking movement. Her practical, efficient and methodical cooking style shows that delicious grain free eating can be easily attained by anyone and leave you feeling as if nothing is missing from your plate. Her holistic approach to health, wellness and nutrition is a common thread that weaves its way through every recipe she creates.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is titled "Gather: The Art of Paleo Entertaining" not the art of paleo-ish entertaining, or primal entertaining, or hey, paleo entertaining is hard so throw some potatoes and dairy in there because it'll be easier.
The way I look at it is this: call it what it is. Don't write a vegan cookbook and include meat. Don't write a gluten-free cookbook and include recipes with wheat germ. Don't write a Paleo cookbook and include things that are outside the Paleo framework and if you do, either list them as optional or include them in a separate section. Lots of people are "paleo-ish" but what that means to them is different. Some people lean towards primal and include dairy--fine. But then call it primal. I know what that is. I won't buy a primal cookbook because my family has dairy allergies.
Dairy features prominently in this cookbook. Butter, cream, cheese, sour cream.
In the intro to the book, on page six, they say they believe a Paleo "lifestyle" vs a Paleo Diet includes "allowances for holidays, special occasions and celebrations." I agree. Although then I would still prefer to have a paleo version of that indulgence, OR, if I was straying outside the framework, I have plenty of options available to me that aren't marketed as Paleo (while including ingredients that aren't). They further say that while writing the book "it became clear to us, week after week, that serving good, "paleo-friendly" food did not need an excuse or an explanation." Hmm... kind of contradicts what they just said above....If it was good, paleo food (instead of that sneaky "friendly" word included at the end) then I'd agree-- that's what I was hoping this book would be.
One page 13, they list guidelines for people new to Paleo, but oddly do not include dairy and legumes (they list gluten, grains, soy, food colorings , chemicals and preservatives and seed oils). If you compared this list to the one they provided in their first book, Make it Paleo, they would contradict each other. If this was the first book you bought and you were new to Paleo, you would be starting off on the wrong food.
One of the most beneficial aspects of paleo is that by design it eliminates a lot of allergens--many people turn to Paleo for this reason. So to write a book that clearly strays from the paleo (and even primal) framework (potatoes?), and yet title it paleo, is misleading and disappointing. And it's not about being the "paleo police" and arguing to death whether cavemen ate honey--it's about the basic, standard, everybody-knows-what-it-is framework and guidelines.
I like Haley and Bill-- I follow their blog, I have all of their previous books and ebooks and was excited for the premise of gather. I liked the idea of having a book for entertaining that would include meals that everyone would love, whether they ate Paleo or not, and this book does include some recipes like that. I really like the Chinese food section. I wish I could try more of the recipes (even the recipe for cake, the "Butter Cream" frosting is still made with cream! Why put the butter cream in quotes, it's still made of dairy!) How nice it would have been to see a creme brulee made with coconut milk.
I get that they were trying to do an entertaining book that kind of stretched the boundaries of Paleo and included some "indulgences" in things that aren't normally included--but then, just branch out and do a regular cookbook. Or a grain-free cookbook. Or a gluten-free cookbook, and call it that. I already have dozens and dozens of cookbooks with recipes outside the paleo framework that I can turn to if I choose to cook that way--what I expected and anticipated from this book was a way to have treats and indulgences while still staying within the guidelines that I know make me feel my best.
In summary, if you can and choose to eat dairy, or follow a Primal lifestyle, there are probably lots of great recipes in here you can use. The photos are beautiful and there is an expanse of recipes for all seasons.
If, however, you stay true to the original guidelines of Paleo, or have dairy issues, this book probably isn't the best choice for you. For Paleo treats, there are some great recipes in Practical Paleo that stay true to the Paleo framework and use coconut oil or milk in place of dairy.
I loved the idea of a paleo entertaining book (and pre-ordered this one) as I'd always struggled to find things that felt special and that worked together when having guests over.
I think I was expecting a few more 'appetizer' and 'party' type foods; these recipes are very much geared around dinner-party style meals/menus... which is great, too! The tips and tricks, décor inspiration, shopping lists and extra details are very cool. In general, this is quite a good cookbook. BUT be warned...
What you need to know:
Some of the meals are a little out of reach (at least for me) one of them has two recipes which use wild game. No idea where I would find this -- it would have been nice for them to have listed alternatives.
Some of these recipes are quite good. But, every time I open this book, it bothers me that they included non-paleo ingredients. One of the reasons this frustrates me is the conflicting information confuses people new to the paleo world and is aggravating for someone (me) who thought they were buying a truly paleo cookbook. The author(s) have defended this by saying "paleo is strict enough.." (which seems like an odd comment. Would you include the occasional peanut butter in a cookbook for people with peanut allergies? Because it's just so hard to live that way and entertain?) One of the authors comments in a response to another review- "Gather is a tool for people to ease their family and friends into the idea of going grain-free. There is a very real need to make this lifestyle more accessible to the masses without getting all crazy strict Paleo on them" That's fine.... then call it a Grain Free cookbook, or a gluten free cookbook... and let me know that before I buy it rather then selling a "book [that] is proof that it's possible to eat and entertain like a gourmet without gluten, grains or other "non-Paleo" ingredients..." (huh!?) ... "delicious and satisfying menu that will also promote good health."
Good health, for me, was discovering my own intolerance to gluten and dairy and finding a community that also ate this way. It has been simply amazing to be able to have a wealth of truly paleo recipes available and be able to see "paleo" and know that it encompasses all the parameters I need to follow to be healthy. If I wasn't looking for paleo recipes, I wouldn't have bought a paleo cookbook. If they felt it necessary to include these things, I feel they maybe should have been in a "grain free treats" section, or as a "primal option" subsection of the recipe. Eating paleo has eliminated friends' auto immune diseases, my father's GERD and my nephews debilitating excema. When I have a dinner party, I want and need to cook paleo food for my friends and family, and I'd hoped this book was going to be the one to help me do that. It seems (from the author's comments) this book is more "for the masses" since apparently eating paleo is "all crazy strict".
True, sometimes it is difficult to eat this way. That is why I turn to talented chefs to create menus that align with this lifestyle, because frankly, a menu which includes cheese, potatoes (there is a whole page dedicated to a recipe for potatoes as a side dish) and creme brule for dessert? Sounds a lot like the way I was eating before I was paleo and looks a heck of a lot like a million other menus in cookbooks I've already given away....
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