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Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Event: Annual dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada, at Mistura Restaurant

The Date and Time: Monday, January 25, 2016   6PM to 12AM
The Event: Annual dinner of the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Venue: Mistura Restaurant, Ave and Dav
The Target Audience: members of the WWCC plus partners.
The Availability/Catalogue: wines came from our own cellars, an attempt was made to list them all. They are probably not all available in Ontario.
The Quote/Background: We had several donated wines, principally from New Zealand and Robert Ketchin. The NZ sparklers were used at the reception:
-Villa Maria Estate Private Bin  Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014  
-Kim Crawford (Constellation Brands) Small Parcels Fizz 2009           
-Oyster Bay Sparkling Rose NV
-Hunter`s Wines Miru Miru Sparkling NV
From Noble Estate came Bottega Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2013 $21.95 Vintages
 
The Dinner Wines:
 
-Jackson-Triggs Entourage Brut VQA 2008
-Pelee Island Vinedressers Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 VQA
-Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Castillo Ygay Gran Reserva Especial 2001
-ROYAL TOKAJI 5 PUTTONYOS 2008
 
-Chateau Pipeau 2009 St.Emilion Grand Cru
-Georgian Hills Ida Red Ice Apple 2014, 375mL $19.95 (dessert, from Robert Ketchin)
-Tandem Inmacula 2013 Navarra
-P.Labet Beaune 2005
 
-Lungarotti Rubesco 2012
-Arnaldo Caprai Anima Umbra 2012 Umbria
-Closson Chase Chardonnay 2005 Beamsville Bench VQA
-Southbrook Triomphe Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 VQA
-Grange of PEC Gamay 2012
 
-Malivoire Gamay 2007 VQA
-13th Street Winery Gamay 2007 VQA
-Bachelder Niagara Chardonnay 2011 VQA
-G. Gagliardo Barolo 2004
-Finca Flichman Malbec Reserva 2007
-Chateau de Domaine de l'Eglise Pomerol 2005
 
-Calcarli Alvarinho 2012
-Chateau Ste Anne Bandol 2012
-2012 Trius red shale cab franc
-2012 Cattail Creek small lot Cabernet franc
-California: Gundlach Bundschu Cuvee 2011
-Bordeaux: Chateau Puyfromage 2010
-Veneto: Cantina Negrar Amarone 2010
 
The Food:
 
Reception: Four sparkling wines from New Zealand plus Mistura's bruschetta (three different kinds, including pate and anchovy)
 
Appetizers: (all 3 were excellent) Crispy Fried Artichoke, "Gribiche" fresh herbs, Gherkin, Caper & Boiled Egg; Lamb Ribs, sticky Balsamic glaze, Cucumber spaghetti & Minted Yogurt; and Wild Boar Agnolotti, Port stewed dry cherries, Wilted Greens – all served on a triple platter for each of us. One diner remarked that the fried artichoke was better than anything he had had in Rome.
 
Salad: Radicchio with Apples, Asiago, Pomegranates, Black Walnuts, Empire Apple Cider Vinaigrette
 
Main Course:  choice of - Branzino, Broccolini, shaved fennel, orange, black olives, chickpea puree OR Boneless Roast Free-range Chicken (white and dark meat), Squash puree, roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted butternut squash OR Veal Loin Scaloppine, Sperone Marsala jus, Mixed mushrooms and mashed Potatoes. It was pretty well all split equally among the diners; I opted for the fab veal loin.
 
Dessert: Cassata Mistura, candied nut and fruit whipped ricotta.
 
Coffee or Tea  
 
Both Restaurateur Paolo Paolini and Executive Chef Klaus Rohrich came out to take their bows and accolades. It was a terrific evening, our thanks to the restaurant.
 
The Contact Person:  deantudor@deantudor.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 94.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Fw: WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR FEBRUARY 6, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR FEBRUARY 6, 2016
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here.
 
NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants, and "corked" wines are not normally available for a re-tasting. It is more difficult to endorse wines under $20 because the LCBO does not release many of them into Vintages, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values but no notes.
 
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Tinhorn Creek Gewurztraminer 2014 BC VQA Okanagan Valley, +904185, $18.85: very good off-dry feel, rich gewurz MVC tones, 13.5% ABV, twist top. Slightly bitter finish, great price for Alsatian style in Canada. QPR: 89.
2.Avondale Jonty's Ducks Pekin White 2014 WO Paarl, +439554, $14.95: off-dry on palate due to its floral nature, biodynamic wine with chenin blanc, roussanne, viognier, muscat. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 88.
3.Ken Forrester Old Vine Reserve Chenin Blanc 2015 WO Stellenbosch, +231282, $17.95: rich, deep tones of CB, off-dry in mouthfeel despite (XD) rating, lovely finish from the old vine character. QPR: 89.
4.Les Costieres de Pomerols Beauvignac Picpoul de Pinet 2014 Coteaux du Languedoc, +350124, $14.95: a great price for dynamic florals and herbs, gold medalist. 12.5% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
5.Gerard Bertrand Reserve Speciale Viognier 2014 IGP Pays d'Oc, +141975, $14.95: aromatic but on the dry side, perfect as a social wine or for first course, peachy and orange character, but of course no oak. Youthful and useful with nuances of orchard fruit and spicy nuts. Could go either way with or without food. Versatile. 13% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Merlot 2013 Maule Valley, +939827, $19.95: 14% ABV, a bit herby amongst the florals and soft fruit. Strong whiff of mocha. QPR: 88.
2.Sister's Run Calvary Hill Shiraz 2013 Lyndoch Barossa, +222018, $15.95: good syrah hits, MVC generosity, twist top, 14.5% ABV packs a wallop. Nice buy. QPR: 88.
3.Graham Beck The Game Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 WO Robertson, +2519, $18.95: 14% ABV, starts off soft but ends with strong muscular feel. Typical Cabernet in a Euro style. QPR: 88.
4.Cave de Roquebrun La Grange des Combes Saint0-Chinian-Roquebrun 2013, +155804: very dense and toasty, much concentration on mid-palate, great with food (stews). 14% ABV. QPR: 88.
5.Chateau Pech Redon L'Epervier La Clape 2012 Coteaux du Languedoc, +129965, $24.95. QPR: 90.
6.Pasion de Bibal 2012 Utiel-Requena, +439679, $16.95: hard to beat this fruity value for Valentine's Day, 13.5% ABV. Some sweetness on mid-palate, sure to please. QPR: 88.
7.Castelli del Grevepesa Clemente VII Chiant Classico Riserva 2010, +643205, $20.95. QPR: 89.
8.Pipoli Aglianico del Vulture 2013, +320507, $15.95: very approachable new style Aglianico del Vulture, with chocolate and cherries. Cork closure, 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
9.Domaine de la Colline St.Jean Vqcqueyras 2012, +38661, $24.95. QPR: 89.
10.Gayda Syrah 2013 IGP Pays d'Oc, +392977, $14.95: great syrah hit makes this wine a winner, twist top, 13% ABV. QPR: 89.
11.Domaine Puig-Parahy Cuvee Georges 2011 Cotes de Roussillon, +171025, $17.95: one third each of syrah, carignan, and grenache, no oak, but loaded with nuts and berries and herbs. Good food wine. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
 
HALF-BOTTLE ALERT!!!
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Chateau Fortia Cuvee du Baron Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2012, +640482, $24.95. QPR: 90.
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25 RETAIL
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Taittinger Brut Champagne 2008, +989905, $97.95 retail.
2.Giesen The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Marlborough, +438382, $35.95
3.Domaine Laroche Vieilles Vignes Les Vaillons Chablis 1er Cru 2012, +991893, $36.95.
4.Segla 2006 Margaux, +359810, $55.95.
5.Planeta Chardonnay 2013 Sicilia, +109652, $44.95.
6.Marchesi di Barolo Barbaresco 2012, +155408, $29.95.
7.Bod. Gormaz Doce Linajes Reserva 2007 Ribera del Duero, +437681, $34.95.
8.Rocca Delle Macie Riserva di Fizzano Single Vineyard Gran Selezione Chianti Classico 2011, +699454, $32.95.
9.Chateau de l"ou Secret de Schistes 2011 IGP Cotes Catalanes, +440669, $41.95.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

The Event: a tasting of New Zealand wines saved by Robert Ketchin, from the 2015 annual May tasting, especially for the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.

The Date and Time: Sunday, January 17, 2016  11AM to 4PM
The Event: a tasting of New Zealand wines saved by Robert Ketchin, from the 2015 annual May tasting, especially for the Wine Writers' Circle of Canada.
The Venue: WWCC Field House
The Target Audience: members of the WWCC.
The Availability/Catalogue: most wines are available through the LCBO (General, Vintages) or by consignment.
The Quote/Background: We were tasked with tasting some 63 wines, four of them sparklers which we reserved for the WWCC's annual dinner reception where they would get more exposure.
The Wines:
                   
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Auntsfield Estate    Single Vineyard    Chardonnay    Marlborough    2012, $29.95
-Marisco Vineyards    The King's Legacy    Chardonnay    Marlborough    2013, $19.99
-Trinity Hill    Gimblett Gravels    Chardonnay    Hawke's Bay    2013, $35
-Middle Earth    Pinot Noir    Nelson    2012, $22.95
-Auntsfield Estate    Single Vineyard    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $20.95
-Middle Earth    Sauvignon Blanc    Nelson    2014, $17.95
-Nobilo Wines    Icon    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $23.95
-Elephant Hill    Syrah Hawke's Bay 2013, $22.95
-Sileni Estates    The Straits    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.95
 
***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Kim Crawford Small Parcels Favourite Homestead    Pinot Gris    Marlborough    2013, $24.95   
-Marisco Vineyards    The King's Thorn    Pinot Gris    Marlborough    2014, $19.99
-Waimea Estates    Pinot Gris    Nelson    2014, $18.95   
-Akarua    Rua    Pinot Noir    Central Otago    2014, $22.95   
-Auntsfield Estate    Single Vineyard    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2012, $29.95
-Blind River Estate Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2013, $24.95
-Forrest Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2012, $30.95
-Waimea Estates    Spinyback    Pinot Noir    Nelson    2013, $19.95   
-Whitehaven Wine Company        Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2012, $24   
-Babich Wines    Black Label    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $18.95
-Stoneleigh (Pernod Ricard)    Pinot Noir Rosé    Marlborough    2014, $16.95
-Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard    Sauvignon Blanc    Martinborough 2013, $29.99
-Hunter's Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $23.95
-Loveblock Vintners    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2013, $24.95
-Marisco Vineyards    The King's Favour    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.99
-Mud House Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $20.95   
-Craggy Range    Gimblett Gravels    Syrah    Hawke's Bay    2011, $58.99   
-Trinity Hill    Syrah    John Hancock Hawke's Bay    2013, $23.95   
-Trinity Hill    Gimblett Gravels    Syrah    Hawke's Bay    2013, $35   
-Waimea Estates    Sauvignon Gris    Nelson 2014, $19.95
-Yealands Wine Group    Peter Yealands    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $16.95   
-Villa Maria Estate    Cellar Selection    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.95   
-Villa Maria Estate    Private Bin    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $16.95
 
*** GOOD -- Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Waimea Estates    Chardonnay    Nelson    2013, $21.95
-Loveblock Vintners    Pinot Gris    Marlborough    2014, $24.95
-Marisco Vineyards    The Ned    Pinot Gris    Marlborough    2014, $18.99
-Yealands Wine Group    3 Stones    Pinot Gris    Marlborough    2014. $16.95
-Yealands Estate Single Vineyard    Grüner Veltliner    Marlborough    2014, $19.95
-Craggy Range    Kidnappers     Chardonnay    Hawke's Bay    2012, $29.99
-Akarua        Pinot Noir    Central Otago    2012, $38.95
-Hunter's Wines    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2013, $23.95
-Pasquale (Kurow Estate)    Pinot Noir    Central Otago    2011, $39.95
-Saint Clair Family Estate    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2013, $21.95   
-Villa Maria Estate    Cellar Selection    Pinot Noir    Marlborough    2012, $34.95   
-Babich Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.95   
-Kim Crawford     Pansy!     Rosé    Hawke's Bay    2014, $17
-Oyster Bay Wines    Chardonnay    Marlborough    2014, $18.95
-Pasquale (Kurow Estate)        Chardonnay    Central Otago    2012, $29.95   
-Sileni Estates    Cellar Selection    Chardonnay    Hawke's Bay    2014, $15.95
-Stoneleigh (Pernod Ricard)    Chardonnay    Marlborough    2013, $16.95
-Elephant Hill    Reserve    Sauvignon Blanc    Hawke's Bay    2013, $24.95
-Foley Family Wines    Grove Mill     Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2013, $16.95   
-Foley Family Wines    Clifford Bay    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $15.95
-Forrest Wines The Doctors' 9% ABV    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.99
-Marisco Vineyards    The Ned    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $18.95
-Matua Wines    Lands & Legends    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2013, $24.95
-Pasquale (Kurow Estate)        Pinot Gris    Canterbury    2011, $19.90   
-Villa Maria Estate    Private Bin    Pinot Gris    East Coast    2014, $16.95
-Yealands Estate Single Vineyard    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, $19.95   
-Sileni Estates    Cellar Selection    Sauvignon Blanc    Marlborough    2014, 18.95   
 
The Food: bread and water
The Contact Person:  deantudor@deantudor.com; rketchin@ketchin.com
The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 93.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 23, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 23, 2016
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here.
 
NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants, and "corked" wines are not normally available for a re-tasting. It is more difficult to endorse wines under $20 because the LCBO does not release many of them into Vintages, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values but no notes.
 
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
Paul Hobbs Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2014 Mendoza, +119099, $19.95: very good balanced and lightly wooded (creamy side) chardonnay. Worth pursuing. QPR: 89.
 
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Flat Rock Twisted White 2013 VQA Twenty Mile Bench, +1578, $16.95: a fresher vintage in the VE collection, 11.5% ABV, twist top (of course), with riesling dominating the blend of riesling/gewurztraminer/chardonnay. QPR: 88.
2.Donatien Bahuaud Les Grands Mortiers Vouvray 2014 Loire, +140889, $17.95: delicious chenin blanc character, more dry than the (M) would suggest, due to higher acid levels. Perfect chicken wine. QPR: 88.
3.Boekenhoutskloof Porcupine Ridge Sauvignon Blanc 2015 WO Western Cape, +126797, $13.95: very zesty savvy in the Kiwi mode but at a great price. Twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Willy Gisselbrecht Tradition Gewurztraminer 2013 Alsace, +928390, $18.95: soft MVC flavours for the gewurz, some marmalade. Less bitter than other gewurzs. QPR: 88.
5.Mallory & Benjamin Talmard Macon-Uchizy 2014, +733956, $16.95: one of the least expensive white burgundies at the LCBO, well-balanced entry level chardonnay but useful for showing off. Well-priced. QPR: 89.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Chateau Larose-Trintaudon 2012 Haut-Medoc, +297945, $24.95. QPR: 90.
2.H. Pecina Senorio De P.Pecina Crianza 2011 Rioja, +313726, $22.95. QPR: 90.
3.Ste. Chapelle Gem State Red 2012 Snake River Valley Iowa, +441931, $17.95: with a merlot/syrah blend of 60/40, the wine is loaded with black fruit (plums, berries, cherries) and wood tones. 13.9% ABV. QPR: 88.
4.Cono Sur Single Vineyard El Recurso Block 18 Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 Maipo, +439364, $18.95: delicious with its extractive qualities, approachable now with its juiciness. QPR: 88.
5.Fowles Stone Dwellers Shiraz 2013 Strathbogie Ranges Victoria, +265967, $19.95: a powerhouse of syrah style flavours (dark fruits, some fennel, oak tones and wood) rather than shiraz. 14% ABV, twist top. QPR: 88.
6.Basciano Chianti Rufina 2012, +68163, $15.95: another bargain chianti for the price, very Italianate and fulfilling, from pre-prandial through dinner. QPR: 88.
7.Sogevinus Burmester Vinho Tinto 2012 Douro, +114413, $16.95: another high quality Portuguese wine at a modest price, featuring the Oporto grapes and depth behind the spicy wood flavours. 13.5% ABV. QPR: 88
 
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25 RETAIL
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Nautilus Chardonnay 2013 Marlborough, +331662, $26.95 retail.
2.Marchand-Tawse Saint Romain 2011, +440206, $31.95.
3.Atamisque Malbec 2011 La Consulta Uco Valley Mendoza, +415208, $29.95.
4.Huntaway Reserve Pinot Noir 2013, +438424, $29.95.
5.Marchand-Tawse Cotes de Nuits Villages 2011, +440263, $31.95.
6.Vincent Girardin Vieilles Vignes Santenay 2013, +435552, $37.95.
7.Tenuta Carretta Cascina Ferrero Barolo 2009, +429779, $45.95.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

* DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! * -- Contraband Cocktails by Paul Dickson (Melville House)

 
1.CONTRABAND COCKTAILS (Melville House, 2015, 175 pages, ISBN 978-1-61219-458-5, $19.95 US hard covers) is by Paul Dickson, author of more  than 65 books and hundreds of articles on baseball, language and twentieth century history. His previous book for Melville was "Drunk: the drinker's dictionary" which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest-ever collection of synonyms. This current book deals with (from the subtitle): "how America drank when it wasn't suppose to". Much has been written about US Prohibition (1920-1933) but little on the paradoxical rise of the cocktail and cocktail culture. Dickson makes a great stab at it, and no doubt he is working on a larger book. The current one provides a handy framework, well worth reading. The leading cocktails of the day are explained and given a recipe, there is a long glossary on Volstead English, and the book is closed out by an annotated bibliography (plus end notes and index). Along the way "unintended consequences" are explored. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: drinkers who like to explore the Prohibition period.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: under the "B" alone, we find the Bacardi, The Bee's Knees, Between the Sheets, Bijou Cocktail, Bloody Mary, Blue Monday, Brandy Flip, Bronx, and Brooklyn.
The downside to this book: too short, I wanted more.
The upside to this book: good account and great bibliography for more.
Quality/Price Rating: 91.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Thursday, January 14, 2016

* THE RESTAURANT/CELEBRITY COOKBOOK...

...is one of the hottest trends in cookbooks. Actually, they've been around for many years, but never in such proliferation. They are automatic best sellers, since the book can be flogged at the restaurant or TV show and since the chef ends up being a celebrity somewhere, doing guest cooking or catering or even turning up on the Food Network. Most of these books will certainly appeal to fans of the chef and/or the restaurant and/or the media personality. Many of the recipes in these books actually come off the menus of the restaurants involved. Occasionally, there will be, in these books, special notes or preps, or recipes for items no longer on the menu. Stories or anecdotes will be related to the history of a dish. But because most of these books are American, they use only US volume measurements for the ingredients; sometimes there is a table of metric equivalents, but more often there is not. I'll try to point this out. The usual shtick is "favourite recipes made easy for everyday cooks". There is also PR copy on "demystifying ethnic ingredients". PR bumpf also includes much use of the magic phrase "mouth-watering recipes" as if that is what it takes to sell such a book. I keep hearing from readers, users, and other food writers that some restaurant recipes (not necessarily from these books) don't seem to work at home, but how could that be? The books all claim to be kitchen tested for the home, and many books identify the food researcher by name. Most books are loaded with tips, techniques, and advice, as well as gregarious stories about life in the restaurant world. Photos abound, usually of the chef bounding about. The celebrity books, with well-known chefs or entertainers, seem to have too much self-involvement and ego. And, of course, there are a lot of food photo shots, verging on gastroporn. There are endorsements from other celebrities in magnificent cases of logrolling. If resources are cited, they are usually American mail order firms, with websites. Some companies, though, will ship around the world, so don't ignore them altogether. Here's a rundown on the latest crop of such books –
 
 
13.CROSSROADS (Artisan, 2015, 284 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-636-2, $35 US hard covers) is by Tal Ronnen, founder and chef at Crossroads, Scot Jones, executive chef of Crossroads, and Serafina Magnussen, vegan baker at Crossroads. The restaurant opened in LSA in 2013, and of course struck a chord in vegan Hollywoodland. These 100 recipes, with lots of log rolling from Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, plus four others, emphasize the imitative approach with vegan examples of Mediterranean food: flatbreads, pastas, desserts – all without the meat and dairy. The arrangement is from apps to desserts, with cocktails. Thus: butternut squash farinata with arugula salad and pomegranate vinaigrette, or vegetable bouillabaisse with rouille, or pappardelle bolognese. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
14.BUTTER CELEBRATES! (Appetite by Random House, 2015, 260 pages, ISBN 978-0-449-01686-2,  $35 US hard covers) is by Rosie Daykin, owner of Butter Baked Goods (also the title of her first cookbook) in Vancouver; her products can be found in 300 retail stores. From the subtitle, it is "a year of sweet recipes to share with family and friends" – over 100 of them, arranged by holiday/celebration such as Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Birthdays, Hallowe'en, Christmas, etc. Also included are arrivals of new babies, welcoming neighbours to the street, al fresco summer parties – even a dog's birthday! Lots of memoir-type stories and illustrative photos complete the picture. And of course presentation is all. Try triple chocolate mousse with coffee crème anglaise, spicy nuts, sweet potato marshmallow pie, or raspberry fluff. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. A bright and cheerful book, complete with a celebratory bookmark ribbon!! Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
15.PER LA FAMIGLIA (Whitecap, 2015, 234 pages, ISBN 978-1-77050-224-6, $29.95 CAN paper covers) is by Emily Richards, who worked in restaurants, Canadian Living and on the Food Network cooking shows. She's also from a large Italian family, and these are their recipes: southern Italian, principally Calabria, but also involving Puglia, Sicily, Sardinia, and Campania. So this is a family cookbook celebrating heritage recipes and are local takes on classic dishes involving pasta doughs, sauces, antipastos, desserts, roasts, homemade wine – and dinners delayed until the whole family could be there. There are lots of memoirs here, as well as family photos. The 130 preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
16.OLYMPIA PROVISIONS (Ten Speed Press, 2015, 282 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-701-7, $40 US hard covers) is by Elias Cairo, co-owner of Portland's Olympia Provisions in Oregon, which he founded in 2009. Co-author Meredith Erickson is a London-based food writer and cookbook author.  Boulud and Ruhlman are the lead log rollers. This is the story of cured meats and takes from the charcuterie company. So it is part memoir and part cookbook detailing the intricacies of curing meats in several different ways. There is a section on basic recipes for sausages (breakfast, bratwurst, Italian, salami), slow-cooked meats (rillettes, capicola), pate and forcemeat (pate, mousse, en gelee, ballotine), smoked meats, dry-cured meats, and fermented dry-cured salami. Then follow his restaurants and their recipes for brunch, lunch, "wine time", and dinner. A good solid meat book. Preparations have their ingredients listed mainly in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
17.ALL THINGS JERKY (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015, 173 pages, ISBN 978-1-63450-489-8, $14.99 US paper covers) is by Andy Lightbody, an outdoors writer and co-host of an outdoors food TV show. Kathy Mattoon is the other host of that food show, "Cookin' on the Wild Side". This is a guide to making jerky and other dried snack offerings from all manner of flesh, including fish, seafood, poultry, pork, bear, game, fruit and veggies. They cover the basics of drying home ovens and smokers, knives, slicers, grinders, storage and vacuum sealers, marinades, spices, cures, seasonings, and brines. The recipes are solid and goof proof, a good book for that outdoors person in your life. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
18.FRANKIE AVALON'S ITALIAN FAMILY COOKBOOK (St. Martin's Griffin, 2015, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-05913-0, $24.99 US hard covers) is by celebrity singer Frankie Avalon, with award-winning cookbook writer Rick Rodgers assisting. It's your standard Italian cookbook, sure to win over his fans with 80 family recipes from four generations of Avalons in America. It is principally southern Italian, choosing Romano cheese over Parmesan. Typical are bruschetta with bell peppers, braised meatballs, seafood salad with calamari, stuffed shells with three cheeses – enough food for the usual Sunday feast of Italian-Americans. And lots of details and pix of the Avalon family get-togethers along with memoirish material from Frankie himself. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
 
19.JACQUES PEPIN HEART & SOUL IN THE KITCHEN (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 436 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-30198-6, $35 US hard covers) is by the chef who has been in twelve PBS cooking shows, written over two dozen cookbooks, and has won many Beard and IACP cookbook awards. This current book is from Pepin's final PBS series, and is a look at the chef and the food he cooks at home. There are 200 recipes, covering the simple to the elegant and sophisticated, to parties and celebratory events. It is also a bit of a memoir with thoughts about his life with food. And we get older with him: the typeface is large, with plenty of leading for the older readers. It is arranged by course, with hors d'oeuvres [sic] first, soups, salads, through to cakes and custards, and with organ meats along the way too. At the end are 26 menus with (unfortunately) no page references to the recipe itself. He's got a fast fougasse, a cannellini bean dip, ricotta quenelles, tripe and pigs' feet ragout, and a corn souffle – all great food for home family style eating. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
20.THIS IS CAMINO (Ten Speed Press, 2015, 260 pages, ISBN 978-1-60774-728-4, $35 US hard covers) is by Russell Moore and Allison Hopelain, who opened Camino in Oakland. It specializes in local, sustainable, food frugally prepared in California style of flavour combinations. There's a lot of heavy log rolling (Bittman, Waters, Lebovitz, Tanis, Ottolenghi), but then Russell cooked at Chez Panisse for 21 years. There's an opening primer centered on the basics and the larder/pantry with ingredients and methods used. They go on to do veggies, fish, chicken and eggs, duck, lamb, pork, desserts and cocktails. Try slow cooked duck legs with Savoy cabbage, prunes and duck cracklings, grilled king salmon with herb broth, or sauerkraut salad. There's lots of detail about the restaurant, with many pictures, and as well chapters on a week at Camino (with a timeline) and massive detail on grilling. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
21.THE HELL'S KITCHEN COOKBOOK (Grand CentralLife & Style, 2015, 264 pages, ISBN 978-1-4555-3569-9, $30 US hard covers) comes from the TV show which debuted on Fox in 2005; it has aired 14 "seasons". Gordon Ramsay is one of the executive producers. It is a highly dramatic culinary competition. The 100 preps here, with 25 menus lets you make your own without the stress of the workplace. Actually, I am surprised that this is its first cookbook after 11 years of shows. There is opening material on what the show is like, followed by the recipes divided into starters, entrees, sides, desserts, and then the 25 menus with (unfortunately) no page references to the recipe needed. Try bacon and caramelized onion jam, smoked collard greens, sauteed linguine, roasted fennel, cioppino with turbot and seafood, steamed mussels with tequila and coconut milk and cilantro.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
22.THE HOT BREAD KITCHEN COOKBOOK (Clarkson Potter, 2015, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8617-9, $35 US hard covers) is by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez and the bakers of Hot Bread Kitchen (NYC). It is a home diverse breads, and the book reflects it: baguettes, multigrains, conchas, bialys, naans, and more. The bakery hires immigrant women, providing the bakery and culinary skills needed. So you get authentic breads in one place, which is also handy for restaurants who order from them. They are assisted in the book's writing by Julia Turshen, a cookbook co-author. It is all arranged by type of bread: unleavened flatbreads, leavened flatbreads, tortillas, lean breads and rolls, enriched breads and rolls, filled doughs from around the world, and quick breads and holiday breads. The concluding chapter of 25 pages is all about what to do with leftover breads: grilled cheese French toast, bread puddings, croutons, panzanellas, bread salads, bread crumbs, and chilaquiles. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois and metric measurements, as all good bakers scale. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
23.THE DEAD RABBIT DRINKS MANUAL (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-37320-4, $27 US hard covers) is by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, two North Belfast lads. Muldoon is founder and manager of Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog in Lower Manhattan; McGarry is the manager. Both lads and Dead Rabbit have garnered about a dozen major drink awards (best bar, best menu, best bartender, etc.). It is part memoir and the story of Dead Rabbit and part drinks manual. The drinks include communal punches, sours and fizzes, cups and cobblers, juleps and smashes, slings and toddies, flips, possers and nogs, bishops and then "cocktails" with a whole chapter on absinthe. There is even a selection of drinks for the invalid, such beer based items as porter sangaree, elderberry beer, shandygaff, velvet gaff, and, of course, Irish coffee. A really good read. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
24.SOUTHERN SOUPS & STEWS (Chronicle Books, 2015, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-2485-8 $24.95 US soft covers) is by Nancie McDermott, who plays the role of Cake Historian on the Food Network's GOOD EATS show. She's also a food writer with 10 other cookbooks to her credit. Here are 75 recipes, including Kentucky's burgoo, Cajun gumbo, etouffee, and fricassee.  Others include Brunswick stew (but no opossum), shrimp and grits, chowders, dumplings, veggies, and others. She's got some richly detailed histories behind all of the recipes. There is a bibliography at the end. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
25.TACOS (Clarkson Potter, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-44729-3, $32.50 US hard covers) is by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman. Alex is a restaurateur with three Mexican restaurants in New York City; Jordana is an experienced food writer. This book deals with all manner of tacos (shells, soft, corn, flour, and neo-traditional masa based tortillas made with beets, saffron, pistachios, spinach, sweet corn, yuca, chorizo,and chicken. He's also got non-masa buckwheat tortillas and rye tortillas. Talk about variety!! This is also the story of his Empellon Taqueria, Cocina, and Al Pastor (his three NYC restos). Tacos actually begin on p105; the early part of the book concerns the variety of tortillas, the salsas, and the Mexican pantry. The fillings use the usual meats and veggies, plus here he includes offal, and sends with sweet tacos. This is a thorough and comprehensive taco book for the true lover. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
26.PATISSERIE MAISON (Ebury Press, 2014, 224 pages, ISBN 9780091957612, $42.95 CAN hard covers) is by Richard Bertinet, a baker from Brittany but now living in Bath. He's set up The Bertinet Kitchen cookery school in 2005; this is his fifth cookbook. It is a British import now available in Canada through Penguin Random House. These are the basic 50 preps for patisserie that you could reasonably expect on the pastry counter: eclairs, gateau saint honore, baba au rhum, Paris a Brest, meringues, and mousses. He has step by step photos. He's got four major divisions: small, shared (large), treats, and festive.
Preparations have been scaled and their ingredients listed in mainly metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
 
27.RACHEL KHOO'S KITCHEN NOTEBOOK (Chronicle Books, 2015, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-4056-8, $29.95 US soft covers) is by the author of THE LITTLE PARIS KITCHEN which was a popular television series on BBC2 and The Cooking Channel. She is also a food columnist. Her book was original published by Michael Joseph (Penguin) in the UK. She gives us over 100 recipes from her own personal cookbook, recipes she liked to make over and over for friends and company. It is arranged by course: apps, mains, desserts. She's got a section on homemade treats, equipment, and some ingredients. Try the exciting Gorgonzola and ricotta sfogliatella, raw fig trifles, slow roasted pork belly with sloe gin, seafood paella nests, or mushroom stroganoff with spinach and wild rice. Good head notes. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
28.THE CHAKRA KITCHEN; feed your body to nourish your spirit (CICO Books, 2015, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-78249-265-8, $19.95 US paper covers) is by UK vegan chef Sarah Wilkinson, owner of Chakra Cakes and The Chakra Kitchen. Everything here is organic, vegan, gluten-free with natural sweeteners. The 60 recipes work with the seven chakras (energy centres). Optimal health and well-being is stressed by chakra work, and food nicely complements this activity. For the advanced believer, it would also be helpful if crystals were involved in boosting the power of the food ingredients. The arrangement is by season, beginning with Spring, about 15 for each quarter. Recipes and foods are identified by colours for the relevant chakras. Typical dishes include rainbow chard with smoked tofu and cashews, or raspberry-pecan-goji berry pudding. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
29.RAMEN FUSION COOKBOOK (DK, 2015, 208 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-4142-3, $19.95 US soft covers) is by Nell Benton, owner of The National Cafe (Milwaukee) who specializes in international cuisine. It is a collection of some 40 traditional recipes and modern makeovers of the classic Japanese broth soup. She suggests making them from scratch. After the primer, the book is divided into types of stocks: recipes with dashi stock, with chicken stock, with pork stock, and with vegetarian stock-- about 10 preps for each kind of stock. There is material about accompaniments to ramen, such as edamame, avocado salad, bean sprout salad, ramen burgers and ramen frittata. Try spicy miso pork ramen, pork shio ramen, or pork red curry ramen. There is also coconut curry tofu vegetarian ramen and mushroom miso vegetarian ramen. Good idea for a book! Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
30.GJELINA (Chronicle Books, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-2809-2, $35 US hard covers) is by Travis Lett, chef at Gjelina (and two other places) in Venice, California. The emphasis is on grain-and-vegetable cuisine with an international bent. Celebrities and food lovers gather here. Here are more than 150 recipes covering salads, toasts, [pizza, veggies, grains, and some meats (mainly fish but also lamb and pork). It is a pretty book, featuring his stories and his types of dishes – one for his fans. Try kabocha squash and goat cheese agnolotti with brown butter and walnut picada for a wide-range of taste sensations. Or grilled octopus with braised black-eyed peas. Preparations have their ingredients listed mainly in metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
31.MODERN GERMAN COOKBOOK (DK, 2015, 224 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-4394-6, $22 US hard covers) is by Frank Rosin, owner of a two star Michelin restaurant, Rosin, in Germany. In addition, he has appeared on German TV (Rosin's Restaurants) and is a celebrity judge on the reality cooking show The Taste. Here he presents some home-scaled versions of modern German food, about 100 recipes which also include upscale contemporary versions of beef roulades and sauerbraten. His new German classics also involve a strong Mediterranean influence from Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey. The arrangement is by course: apps through desserts, along with some basic recipes and lots of tips/advice. Try baked apples with marzipan filling, barley risotto with pecorino cheese, or roast beef with eggplant and tomato salsa. Classic napkin dumplings are no slouches either. The whole package comes with the usual photography that DK has made a point of attending to details. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
32.SLOW FIRES (Clarkson Potter, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8623-0, $40 US hard covers) is by Justin Smillie, chef-partner of Upland in NYC, specializing in rustic CalItal food. It is divided into braising, roasting, and grilling, with recipes for each (plus a primer section). He's got pork shanks (didn't these used to be pork hocks? They look the same) with late-season tomatoes and polenta, olive oil-cured cod and summer tomato panade, and grilled sausage coils with charred escarole and hazelnut vinaigrette. There are about 50 preps in all plus a whack of foundations and finishes. Each recipe has a story. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Great stylish food, well-worth a look. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
33.SIMPLY NIGELLA; feel good food (Appetite by Random House, 2015, 402 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-752989-3 $45 CAN hard covers) is by Nigella Lawson, TV personality and food journalist, author of nine bestselling cookbooks. Here she concentrates on comfort food, or "simply feel good food". The passion of cooking at home should be uncomplicated – leave the stress to the chefs. Simple means easy-to-prepare and relaxed, satisfying the taste buds and the palates. So the 125 recipes here are divided into chapters such as quick and calm (which are easy), bowlfood (salad, pasta, soup), dine (mains and bites), breathe (slow-cook, make-aheads), sides (veggies), sweet (desserts), and beginnings (breakfast and brunch). Good thinking here. Typical are chicken traybake with bitter orange and fennel or sake-sticky chicken drumsticks. In the mix are gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, highlighted in the index along with bold print for the major ingredient. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
34.BAKING WITH THE BRASS SISTERS (St. Martin's Griffen, 2015, 294 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-06435-6, $29.99 US hard covers) is by Marilynn and Sheila Brass, authors of other cookbooks "...with the Brass Sisters" in the title. They have appeared on US TV cooking shows. Here are 125 recipes for classic American cakes, pies, cookies, breads, desserts and some savouries. Solid baking such as lemon-lime tassies, almond jam clothespin cookies, strawberry blondies, or tutti frutti biscotti. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

EVEN MORE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
35.LUCKY PEACH 101 EASY ASIAN RECIPES (Clarkson Potter, 2015, 271 page, ISBN 978-0-8041-8779-4, $35 US hard covers) is by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach, a quarterly journal of food and writing that has won multiple James Beard Awards for its single theme issues. These preps have been drawn from that magazine, and are designed for the fans and others who wish to explore easy Asian dishes such as pesto ramen, sichuan pork ragu, seaweed salad, five-spice chicken, braised chicken wings, or greens with whole garlic. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
36.TEA TIME (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015, 170 pages, ISBN 978-1-63450-343-3, $22.99 US hard covers)is by Francis Amalfi, who has written more than 15 food books. This book was originally published in Spanish as TODOS LOS TES DEL MUNDO; it has recipes, facts, and tips on tea preparation. It is also heavily illustrated. There is a history and culture, a description of various teas, therapeutic properties and household uses, and tea ceremonies. The recipes include infusions and tisanes, and there is even tasseomancy (reading tea leaves). At the end there is a select bibliography. You could try roasted peppers and potatoes with green tea, tea and mango sorbet, wild rice with tea, or green tea flan with vanilla and crunchy pistachio wafers. Preparations have their ingredients listed irregularly in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
37.MARK BITTMAN'S KITCHEN MATRIX (Pam Krauss Books, 2015; distr. Penguin Random House, 304 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8801-2, $35 US hard covers) has selected essays and photographs from his New York Times Magazine column EAT between 2011 and 2015. His simple formulae mix and match ingredients and techniques in a matrix to easily adapt many recipes for each season, taste, or flavour pairing. For example, white fish fillets can be done at least 12 ways: broiled, sauteed, roasted, poached with variations of garnishes and styles. Paillards (cutlets) are even more versatile, since any meat such as chicken, lamb, beef and pork can be used for the base and fried with different intents. He's got a lot of different variations for tomato sauce, Thanksgiving leftovers (over 20), and chicken parts. A great book to leaf through for ideas. Unfortunately, preparations have their ingredients listed irregularly in both metric and avoirdupois measurements with no consistency, and there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
38.RISOTTO (Ryland Peters & Small, 2011, 2015, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-661-7, $21.95 US hard covers) is by Maxine Clark, a UK food writer specializing in Italian food, and who has authored many cookbooks for Ryland Peters & Small. It was originally published in 2011, and here it is updated. She comes up with 60 recipes for this Italian classic dish, including a variety of leftover uses and desserts. It is arranged by ingredient, with veggies followed by cheese, eggs, poultry, game, meats, and fish/seafood. Some interesting recipes include suppli al telefono con sugo di pomodoro (rice croquettes), saltimboca di risotto, arancini, torta di riso e formaggio tricolore (rice and cheese cake), cherry and almond risotto puddings, and dark chocolate Easter risotto. There are some useful UK and USA websites, as well as Italian titles for all of the recipes (including the index). Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
39.FIONA BECKETT'S CHEESE COURSE (Ryland Peters & Small, 2009, 2015, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-687-7, $24.95 US hard covers) is by the award-winning UK food writer and author who specializes in food and wine matching (www.matchingfoodandwine.com}. It was originally published in 2009, and some of this book can be found in bits and pieces (and kept up to date) through her website. The subtitle says it all: styles, wine matching, plates and boards, recipes. She covers the different forms of cheeses (from fresh and soft to old and hard and blue), how to pair wines (and beers and spirits), how to set
out an attractive cheeseboard and a cheese plate when entertaining, and how to employ cheese in your cooking course by course. She has about 40 preps here, with their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no metric table of equivalents. Some recipes: cheddar and cider fondue; lavender honey and vanilla cheesecake; taleggio and grape focaccia; bell pepper and Manchego Spanish omelet; leek and blue cheese quiche. There is a listing of UK and North American cheese producers, including Canada. Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
40.VEGETARIAN INDIA (Alfred A. Knopf, 2015, 422 pages, ISBN 978-1-101-87486-8 $35 US hard covers) is by the renowned Madhur Jaffrey, well-known actress and cookbook author (she has seven Beard Awards). It was originally published in England by Ebury Press in 2014 under the title "Curry Easy Vegetarian" and in a slightly different form. Jaffrey has been at the cookbook game for over 40 years, yet still needed logrolling from such British chefs as Yotam Ottolenghi or April Bloomfield. At least two of her previous cookbooks had the word "vegetarian" in the title. Here she covers the whole of the Indian subcontinent, from north to south, from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal, with collections of family recipes from friends and relatives. Each of the 200 preps has a story that she tells. It's arranged by course, from apps through to desserts and drinks, with large pit stops for dals and grains. And while there is an index, all the recipes are also listed in chapter order at the back so that you can see at a glance what each chapter contains. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
41.HAPPY COOKING (Pam Krauss Books, 2015, 312 pages, ISBN 978-0-8041-8792-3, $35 US hard covers) is by the fabulous Giada De Laurentiis (I would kill for her teeth and smile), star and judge on many TV cooking shows and cooking reality programs. And she's written seven bestselling cookbooks. So here's another one, based on her digital magazine GIADA, between August 2013 and the present (about two years worth). Here she tries to maintain good health without the stress of cooking and eating in an everyday ritual. So that means preparing in advance and having a slew of decadent treats. There are about 200 recipes here, time-saving tips and advice, and healthy eating strategies for the busy weekday activities. It is arranged by both course and meals (breakfast, snacks, salads, soups, stews, pastas, weeknights, weekends, veggies, and sweets). You could try her citrus-chile acorn squash, butternut squash with marjoram and gluten-free pasta, soy citrus turkey jerky, margarita chicken wings, or shellfish noodle paella. Each prep has indications of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. Recipes have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
42.FRENCH COUNTRY COOKING (Arcade Publishing Skyhorse, 2015, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-61145-858-9, $24.99 US paper covers) is by Francoise Branget, a member of the National Assembly of France. It was originally published in France in 2011 and then translated into English for North American release. These are 180 authentic recipes from every region. It is actually a collection contributed to by every member of the National Assembly of France. It also has some politics and some legends to relate. It is an interesting book, although some of the stories are unreadable because of the light typeface ink. There's a slow-cooked hare prep, an offcuts in a pot pie (stewed scraps, soubes style), and chicken poached and sauteed with chanterelles. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
43.JAPANESE HOME COOKING (Firefly, 2015, 280 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-606-6, $39.95 CAN hard covers) is by Chihiro Masui (author of over 20 cookbooks) with Hanae Kaede. It was originally published in France in 2013, and this is the North American English language translation, finally available. Many step-by-step photos clearly show the techniques and ingredients of Japanese cuisine. The book moves from the basic cooking of rice to the sophistication of setting and dressing a table. The comprehensive nature of the book deals with Japanese approach to food with cultural history and the impact of foreigners, the basic technique skills, the final dish presentation, and the Japanese table. There are about 90 recipes with some variations, for a mix of everyday home food and gourmet special occasions. There are some tips on substitutions for hard-to-find ingredients.
The range of dishes follow the standard Japanese meal pattern, beginning with cold starters and ending with desserts. Multiple indexes are useful, with a glossary, an ingredient index, and English recipe index, and a table of recipes from transliterated Japanese. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

* THE REISSUES, THE REPRINTS, AND THE NEWER EDITIONS...

...all reflect a boom in the cookbook publishing business. A paperback reprint will lower the cost to the purchaser, and also give a publisher a chance to correct egregious errors or add a postscript. Some will reissue a book in paper covers with a new layout or photos. Others will rearrange existing material to present it as more informative text while keeping the focus tight. Some magazines will reissue popular or classic recipes in an "easy" format. Here are some recent "re-editions"...
 
 
31.SIMPLY VIETNAMESE COOKING (Robert Rose, 2015, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0521-2, $19.95 US paper covers)is by Nancie McDermott, a US SouthEast Coast food writer specializing in SouthEast Asian food. It was published in the US in 2006 as Quick & Easy Vietnamese, with 75 everyday recipes. She has also authored "Quick & Easy Thai" and "Quick and Easy Chinese". The Vietnamese book, with 135 recipes this time, has traditional dishes plus some shortcuts. She has notes on ingredients, substitutions and techniques, as well as a glossary, pantry notes, and utensils needed. There are menus for 12 different meals, with extensive details. The arrangement is by food type(beef, chicken, etc.). She concludes with a bibliography and a North American mail order source list. Some interesting recipes include lemongrass soup. grilled leaf-wrapped beef kebabs, crab and asparagus soup, hainan chicken and rice, grilled tuna steaks with pineapple-chili sauce, and sweet and tangy soup. The index has both the Vietnamese and English names of the dish, and the menus all have page references to the recipes used. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and  avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
32.MICHAEL JACKSON'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO SINGLE MALT SCOTCH Fully Revised 7th edition. (DK, 2015, 448 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-3798-3, $25 US hard covers) has been expanded by 112 pages since the 1999 edition. It was originally known as MALT WHISKY COMPANION. This Companion was first available in 1989, so it has been around for 26 years now. Regular
revision has enhanced the late Jackson's status; this is the world's best selling book on malt whisky. There are over 1000 tasting notes, reviewing the latest releases from every distillery in Scotland (plus a few from offshore in Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Germany, India, and Australia –  but not Cape Breton. Included are bottlings from closed distilleries and some rediscoveries. The first 70 pages here bring us up to speed on malt whisky, including "what's new?" (e.g., micro-distilleries, wood finishes, cask strengths, vintages and single casks, and unchillfiltered). Then, there is the A-Z listing of single malts. The range is from Aberfeldy to Tullibardine. For each is given the usual names and numbers, websites, history, house style, tasting notes for each label and brand (colour, nose, body, palate, finish, score). The good stuff is scored over 70, the exceptional drink is in the 80s, while the 90s are for the greats. These
scores are not indexed, so you have to skim through the whole book to find the "best" malts. I'll tell you now that The Macallan 1824 Sienna rates a 91, while there is Highland Park 18 year old (92) and Lagavulin 12 year old (91), Lagavulin 2014 distilled 1995 (93), and Springbank 21 year old (91). There is also a bibliography and an index.
Nova Scotia's Glenora Distillery's Glen Breton once rated a few encouraging lines but a score of only 71 in the past. It is no longer in the book. Because of the need for colour in the label reproductions, the pages are thick and the book is exceedingly heavy. Not a bedside winner for the faint. In addition, there is no index to the rating numbers, nor are price ranges quoted. Quality/Price rating: 91.
 
 
33.COMPLETE CHINESE COOKBOOK (Firefly Books, 2011, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-1-77085-583-0, $29.95 CAD soft covers) is by prolific chef-cookbook author Ken Hom. He's sold over 2 million cookbooks over the past 35 years, as well as appearing on many TV cooking series. This is a group of 250 or so recipes, co-published in the UK by BBC Books. It is a paperback reprint of the 2011 hard covers book. There's a primer on ingredients, equipment, techniques, menus, and how to eat Chinese food. The range is from apps through desserts, although Hom does discourse on yin, yang, and yin yang. Overall, it is a basic book, emphasizing that Chinese food is healthy, modestly priced, and quick and easy. So it fits today's trends. Preps are sourced from all different regions such as Cantonese, Hong Kong, Szechuan, and more. Try curried vegetarian spring rolls, Beijing-braised lamb, cold marinated peanuts, walnut chicken, paper-wrapped chicken, or stir fried spinach with garlic. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is also a table of equivalents. Good layout, interesting photography, and large typeface. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
34.BETTY CROCKER GLUTEN-FREE BAKING (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-57920-0, $22.99 US paper covers) has about 230 recipes for all meals, both sweet and savoury. It is loaded with tips and photos to make life easier, presented in a succinct style of tables. Just about everything is covered, and you can, with comfort and ease, make your own variations. There are a couple of gluten-free flour blends, but mostly they fall under the Betty Crocker (TM) banner (e.g. the BC GF yellow cake mix, the all purpose rice flour blend, the devil's food cake mix, or the Biquick (TM) gluten- free mix). Nothing wrong with that since most feel comfortable with a pre-mix, one that will work. Overall, I think the cookies work best. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
35.LANCASTER CENTRAL MARKET COOKBOOK (Good Books, 2015, 284 pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-066-9, $19.99 US paper covers) has been pulled together by Phyllis Good. It's the 25th Anniversary Edition of The Central Market Cookbook, it's former title. This now is an expanded collection, now updated with new recipes and revisions, and contributions from the "new" current standholders. The Lancaster Central Market was founded in 1730; it is the oldest continually run farmers' market in the US, just off the main square in Lancaster, PA. It operates Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with a mix of local organic farmers, truck patch gardeners, bakers, butchers, cheese-makers, and cooks from local kitchens who bring their fully prepared food to sell. 25 years ago one of the sellers collected her fave recipes, and a book of 300 preps was issued. It now has 300, ranging from pumpkin cream soup to lamb balls with sour cream and capers, to scallops and pasta Romano, espresso mousse, and strawberry snowbank pie. Good had previously written the bestselling "Fix-It and Forget-It" cookbook series; in her youth she worked at the market and now still shops weekly at the market. The range covers apps to desserts, and is distinctly family oriented. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
36.THE COMPLETE WILD GAME COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2015, 384 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0516-8, $39.95 CAN paper covers) is by Jean-Paul Grappe, chef and owner of four restaurants. It was originally published in French in Montreal in 2008. It is an all-in-one game book, with advice on preparing the flesh of game birds (half the book) such as duck, goose, grouse, ptarmigan, partridge, quail, pheasant, turkey and others. The other half deals with game animals such as moose, caribou, wild boar, bison, muskox, bear, beaver, rabbit and more. Quite thorough: they only thing lacking are game sausages, although there are patties and terrines. There are also preps included for gravies, broths, marinades and glazes. Related preps include pairing with wines and wild plants and mushrooms. Each recipe such as the roasted American Black duck with root veggies or the filet of Virginia deer on gingerbread loaf with confit of onions and fava beans comes with a variety of tips and variations. The photography is first-rate. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements with no need for a table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
 
37.THE ESSENTIAL AYURVEDIC COOKBOOK (Robert Rose, 2015, 352 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0513-7, $27.95 CAN soft covers) is by Lois A. Leonhardi, a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and educator who creates individual diet/exercise programs. Portions of the book were previously published as East Well, Be Well in 2013. Here are 200 basic recipes for health/wellness/balance. It addresses dietary needs for omnivores, vegetarians, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free individuals. Her approach is breezy in style, and it is written for the modern day life of millennials (dare I say it?) with busy lifestyles who need to save time, make food ahead, get organized, and find essential ingredients rapidly at grocers. Knowledge of ayurvedic principles is not required. The first 100 pages concern the ayurvedic life (five elements, twenty qualities, three doshas, six tastes), followed by pantry/larder material. The preps are arranged mainly by meal time, breakfast through to end-of-day snacks. Typical are amaranth crepes with pomegranate syrup, endive with honeyed goat cheese, lavender essence tea bread, and ginger salmon hand rolls. Each prep has tips and variations, with their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
38.BEST OF BRIDGE HOME COOKING (Robert Rose, 2015, 360 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0514-4, $29.95 CAN spiral bound) is by the "Best of Bridge" team (over 4 million sold). These are the tried and true classics for the home, a sort of first cookbook choice for those setting up their first kitchen. Comfort food like you would not believe (hot sausage sandwiches, chicken tacos, poached eggs, creamy tuna pasta bake, carrot raisin muffins – 250 recipes are here. Plus advice on quick meal preparation and shopping. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR JANUARY 9, 2016

 
WORLD WINE WATCH (LCBO VINTAGES TIP SHEET) FOR  JANUARY 9, 2016
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
By DEAN TUDOR, Gothic Epicures Writing deantudor@deantudor.com. Creator of Canada's award-winning wine satire site at http://fauxvoixvincuisine.blogspot.com. My Internet compendium "Wines, Beers and Spirits of the Net", a guide to thousands of news items and RSS feeds, plus references to wines, beers and spirits, has been at www.deantudor.com since 1994. My LCBO tastings are based on MVC (Modal Varietal Character); ratings are QPR (Quality-to-Price Ratio). Prices are LCBO retail. Only my top rated wines are here.
 
NOTE: The LCBO does NOT put out all of the wines of the release for wine writers or product consultants. Corked wines are not normally available for a re-tasting. It is getting more difficult to endorse wines under $20 for the simple reason that the LCBO does not release many of them into the Vintages program, ones that can be deemed to be worthy of your consideration. So I will now just ADD some "under $25" suggestions, along with point values.
 
 
====?>>> ** BEST WINE VALUE OF THE RELEASE *UNDER* $20
 
Ramirez de la Piscina Crianza 2011 Rioja, +383018, $15.95: a very well priced woodsy crianza, full of tempranillo fruit. In oak for 15 months (more than the required six). QPR: 91.
 
 
TOP VALUE WHITE WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Studert-Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2011 Mosel, +912659, $24.95. QPR: 89.
2.Featherstone Black Sheep Riesling 2014 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +80234, $16.95: lovely complex wine, crisp lemon acidity with body but off-dry on the finish, twist top, overwhelming but underpriced. Not as (M) as indicated in LCBO catalogue. 9.5% ABV. QPR: 89.
3.Catena Alamos Torrontes 2015 Salta, +81539, $14.95: the wine of Toronto, useful around the fireplace to evoke memories of summer. 13.5% ABV, off-dry mode, twist top. QPR: 88.
4.Middle-Earth Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Nelson, +391987, $17.95: very good consistent MVC kiwi savvy, well-priced for value. Twist top. QPR: 88.
5.Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2015, +675421, $14.95: nice chenin floral flavours, backed up by orchard fruit with a lemony finish. QPR: 88.
6.Saint-Roch Vieilles Vignes Grenache Blanc/Rousanne Cotes du Roussillon 2014, +175232, $16.95: nifty and compact white Rhone with low yields, longer finish with older vines, very goof price. 13% ABV. QPR: 88.
7.Lingenfelder Bird Label Riesling 2013 Pfalz, +568634, +$14.95: very popularly priced Germaan riesling, consistent with light and soft tones yet 11.5% ABV and twist top. Not (M) in taste. QPR: 88.
 
TOP VALUE RED WINES under $25:
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
1.Foris Pinot Noir 2012 Rogue Valley Oregon, +937128, $24.95. QPR: 89.
2.Chateau Blaignan 2010 Medoc, +400606, $23.95. QPR: 90.
3.Bod. Ateca Honoro Vera Garnacha 2013, +432997, $15.95: "Garnacha of the month at the LCBO". QPR: 89.
4.Valpantena Valpolicela Ripasso 2013, +429928, $15.95: "Ripasso of the month at the LCBO". QPR: 89.
5.Matane Primitivo 2013 IGT Puglia, +434290, $14.95: "Primitivo of the month at the LCBO". QPR: 88.
6.Chateau d'Aydie L'origine Madiran 2012, +343566, $14.95: charming black fruit on the mid-palate, but the tannat grape gives it some substance and longer length for food. QPR: 88.
7.Chateau des Aladeres Selection Vieilles Vignes 2012 Corbieres, +431726, $14.95: leather notes and a charmer for dark and concentrated flavours. QPR: 88.
8.Indomita Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Maipo, +434191, $15.95: loaded with cabby flavours, very tasty, cassis and mint, wood tones of toast. 14% ABV, cork closure. QPR: 88.
9.Zuccardi Santa Julia Magna 2013 Mendoza, +93799, $14.95: great blend of cabernet sauvignon (50%), malbec (40%) and syrah (10%), twist top, 14% ABV. Emphasis on red fruit. QPR: 88.
 
VALUE: "RESTAURANT READY" or "BRING YOUR OWN WINE BOTTLE" over $25 RETAIL
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restaurants should consider offering these FINE VALUE wines at a $10 markup over retail; the wines are READY to enjoy right NOW. Consumers should buy these wines to bring to restaurants with corkage programs.
 
1.Te Kairanga Pinot Noir 2013 Martinborough, +744946, $26.95 retail.
2.Caiarossa Pergolaia 2008 IGT Toscana, +424333, $34.95.
3.Allende 2007 Rioja, +954560, $29.95.

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, January 4, 2016

Re: * DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH! *

Whoop! Thank you!!!!!!

>�
>1.BEER BITES (Chronicle Books, 2015, 168 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-3524-3, $24.95 US soft
>covers) is by Christian DeBenedetti and Andrea Slonecker. He's a food and drinks writer
>(The Great American Ale Trail) and brewery owner; she's a cookbook writer (Eggs on Top)
>and food editor. Together they have produced about 65 recipes for beer pairings, ranging
>from snacks to major dishes. Plus several desserts. Each recipe comes with at least five
>recommended beers from specified named breweries. They've got introductory material on
>how to taste beer and the principles of food matching. Each prep comes with extensive
>notes on how to match beers to the flavours. It is arranged by beer style, so
>neighbouring preps can be close to similar beers listed for other recipes. First up in
>"crisp & clean" as in lagers, "fruit & spice", "hoppy & herbal", "sour &
>complex", "malty, rich & sweet", and "deep, roasty & smoky" (stout territory).
>Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements;
>there is no table of equivalents.
>Audience and level of use: beer drinkers, those interested in matching beer to food.
>Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: duck carnitas nachos; sweet corn griddle
>cakes; Irish oatcakes; smoked trout board with cabbages; chicken hearts!; hoisin-glazed
>pork belly lettuce wraps with daikon carrots; seafood ceviche with crunchy quinoa.
>The downside to this book: I wanted more.
>The upside to this book: quite a series of complex matches, first rate job!
>Quality/Price Rating: 92.
>�
>Chimo! www.deantudor.com



Cheers,
Danielle Johnson ~ Senior Publicist
Raincoast Books
2440 Viking Way Richmond, BC V6V 1N2
604 448 7163

raincoast.com
facebook.com/raincoastbooks
twitter.com/raincoastbooks

DRINK BOOK OF THE MONTH: THE SPIRITS (Square Peg, 2015, 320 pages, $35.99 CAN is by Richard Godwin

1.THE SPIRITS (Square Peg, 2015, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-22410118-9 $35.99 CAN hard covers) is by Richard Godwin, a UK newspaper features editor with a blog called The Spirits. It is a very nifty book about the life of "cocktailing", citing F. Scott Fitzgerald's use of "to cocktail" as a verb in 1928. Like many such cocktail books, there are classic preps, contemporary preps, and classic-with-contemporary-spin preps. What sets this book apart is his writing style and adamant feeling that the ability to make a good cocktail will never be a waste of time. He tears apart the champagne cocktail (and rightly so: "no classic is quite so poorly designed as this"). After the classics, it is all arranged by technique: the stirred, the shaken, the long, the occasional, the invented. He also covers hangovers, hosting, and ingredients for the bar. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Very handy are the ten basic ratios for making your own cocktails. There is an index to all major drinks and their variants.
Audience and level of use: those looking for a stylish cocktail manual.
Some interesting or unusual facts: he presents the cocktailing day, beginning at 7AM with corpse reviver #2, 8 AM's English breakfast martini, the 9 AM bloody mary, the 10 AM sherry cobbler, and so on through to the 11 PM sazerac and the midnight champagne cocktail. If you are up all night, the nuclear daiquiri at 2 AM might be good, or the espresso martini at 4 AM. Anyway, he's got a drink for every hour.
The downside to this book: some people may not appreciate the fact that there is not a single photo of any drink, and the generic line drawings are just that. But I don't care – it is some relief that they are not there.
The upside to this book: there is a chapter on the 25 classics: at number 20 is the Gin & It.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com