The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs

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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.

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

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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.

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

About the Author

Recently cited as two of a dozen “international culinary luminaries” along with Patrick O’Connell, Alice Waters, and Tim and Nina Zagat (in Relais & Chateaux’s L’Ame et L’Esprit magazine), the award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written several groundbreaking books chronicling and celebrating America’s culinary revolution. What to Drink with What You EatBecoming a ChefDining Out, and The New American Chef were all winners of or finalists for Gourmand World Cookbook, IACP, and/or James Beard book awards. In March 2007, Page and Dornenburg were named weekly wine columnists for the Washington Post. Karen Page is a graduate of Northwestern and Harvard Business School. Andrew Dornenburg studied with the legendary Madeleine Kamman at the School for American Chefs and has cooked professionally in top restaurants in New York City. Their Web site is KarenAndAndrew.com.

 

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