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Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Event: annual tasting of LCBO Vintages Essentials catalogue

The Date and Time: Friday, August 18, 2017
The Event: annual tasting of LCBO Vintages Essentials catalogue
The Venue: LCBO tasting lab
The Target Audience: wine writers
The Availability/Catalogue: all are available at the LCBO in the various Vintages sections or by order through the store or online.
The Quote/Background: I have reproduced the entire listing of wines from the VE catalogue below, taken from the LCBO spreadsheet that was sent to participating writers. Vintage dates were not listed by the LCBO, although, of course, they appear on the label. The supply to the LCBO is continuous, and new vintages supplant the older one when supplies are exhausted. In many cases, I added the date when I noted it. I did not taste every wine, and for some wines I did taste, I did not give a rating. I have listed the top wines judged by taste and by value (MVC/QPR), even though some wines are drinkable now and others must be cellared. Two wines were unfortunately corked: one a white, and one an icewine, both Ontario.
The Wines:
 
**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
Argentina    1834    SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS    $13.95 2016
Australia    142935    SMALL GULLY THE FORMULA ROBERT'S SHIRAZ    $20.95 2014
Canada    24133    THIRTY BENCH RIESLING    $20.85 2015
Canada    213983    CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING    $29.95
Chile    694208    PÉREZ CRUZ RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $14.95 2014
France    508614    VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN BRUT VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE    $102.95 2008
France    268771    LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT PREMIER CHAMPAGNE    $72.95  NV
Italy    111641    ROCCA DELLE MACÌE RISERVA CHIANTI    $15.95  2014
Italy    425488    SELLA & MOSCA CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA RISERVA    $16.95  2013
New Zealand    304469    CLOUDY BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC    $35.95
Portugal    149047    TAYLOR FLADGATE 20-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT    $69.95
Spain    82024    MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS GRAN RESERVA    $17.95  2007
Spain    36483    TORRES GRAN CORONAS RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $19.95  2012
USA    258699    J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY    $19.95  2015
USA    84988    BERINGER NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY    $23.95  2015
USA    678698    GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    $17.95  2015
 
====================================
Argentina    985002    CATENA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $19.95
Argentina    1834    SUSANA BALBO CRIOS TORRONTÉS    $13.95
Argentina    58339    KAIKEN MALBEC    $15.95
Argentina    478727    CATENA MALBEC    $19.95
Argentina    452672    LUIGI BOSCA MALBEC    $18.95
Australia    142935    SMALL GULLY THE FORMULA ROBERT'S SHIRAZ    $20.95
Australia    660043    TWO HANDS GNARLY DUDES SHIRAZ    $24.95
Australia    142018    MAJELLA THE MUSICIAN CABERNET/SHIRAZ    $19.95
Australia    84996    WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE BLACK LABEL CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $28.95
Australia    606624    RINGBOLT CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $22.95
Australia    659607    MITOLO JESTER SHIRAZ    $22.95
Australia    925453    KILIKANOON KILLERMAN'S RUN SHIRAZ    $19.95
Australia    943787    WAKEFIELD SHIRAZ    $18.95
Canada    544791    REIF VIDAL ICEWINE    $24.95
Canada    370361    TAWSE SPARK LIMESTONE RIDGE SPARKLING RIESLING    $20.95
Canada    447441    CAVE SPRING RIESLING ICEWINE    $49.95
Canada    274753    HIDDEN BENCH ESTATE PINOT NOIR    $30.30
Canada    64618    FEATHERSTONE CABERNET FRANC    $19.95
Canada    149237    THE FOREIGN AFFAIR THE CONSPIRACY    $19.95
Canada    388306    INNISKILLIN VIDAL ICEWINE    $49.95
Canada    389411    JACKSON-TRIGGS RESERVE VIDAL ICEWINE    $39.95
Canada    258673    G. MARQUIS THE SILVER LINE PINOT NOIR    $19.95
Canada    147504    13TH STREET CUVÉE BRUT ROSÉ    $27.95
Canada    1545    FLAT ROCK PINOT NOIR    $20.95
Canada    1578    FLAT ROCK TWISTED WHITE    $17.95
Canada    18564    PELLER ESTATES PRIVATE RESERVE VIDAL ICEWINE    $27.30
Canada    24133    THIRTY BENCH RIESLING    $20.85
Canada    89037    TAWSE SKETCHES OF NIAGARA CHARDONNAY    $21.95
Canada    286377    CAVE SPRING ESTATE BOTTLED RIESLING    $18.95
Canada    302083    BACHELDER NIAGARA CHARDONNAY    $24.95
Canada    303800    TRIUS RED    $24.95
Canada    430561    HENRY OF PELHAM RIESLING ICEWINE    $49.95
Canada    522672    LAKEVIEW CELLARS VIDAL ICEWINE    $21.95
Canada    545004    MISSION HILL RESERVE CHARDONNAY    $23.95
Canada    553321    MISSION HILL RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $30.95
Canada    559088    MALIVOIRE LADYBUG ROSÉ    $16.95
Canada    563247    KITTLING RIDGE VIDAL ICEWINE    $39.95
Canada    573147    MALIVOIRE CHARDONNAY    $19.95
Canada    587154    MAGNOTTA VIDAL ICEWINE    $32.95
Canada    591313    MALIVOIRE GAMAY    $17.95
Canada    198853    TAWSE QUARRY ROAD ORGANIC RIESLING    $24.50
Canada    213983    CAVE SPRING BLANC DE BLANCS BRUT SPARKLING    $29.95
Canada    565861    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES VIDAL ICEWINE    $26.95
Chile    322586    MONTES ALPHA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $20.00
Chile    30957    CONCHA Y TORO WINEMAKER'S LOT 148 CARMENÈRE    $17.95
Chile    337238    CONCHA Y TORO MARQUES DE CASA CONCHA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $22.95
Chile    694208    PÉREZ CRUZ RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $14.95
Chile    408658    SANTA CAROLINA RESERVA DE FAMILIA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $19.95
Chile    974717    CASAS DEL BOSQUE RESERVA SAUVIGNON BLANC    $14.95
France    681643    CHÂTEAU ARGADENS    $17.95
France    162073    LOUIS JADOT BOURGOGNE PINOT NOIR    $23.95
France    11452    WILLM RÉSERVE RIESLING    $15.95
France    50575    CHANSON RÉSERVE DU BASTION PINOT NOIR    $19.95
France    158550    LAURENT-PERRIER CUVÉE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE    $99.95
France    215525    LA CHABLISIENNE LES VENERABLES, VIEILLES VIGNES    $26.95
France    259721    E. GUIGAL CÔTES DU RHÔNE    $19.95
France    268755    CRISTAL BRUT VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE    $304.95
France    268771    LOUIS ROEDERER BRUT PREMIER CHAMPAGNE    $72.95
France    280461    DOM PÉRIGNON BRUT VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE    $231.95
France    302018    CHÂTEAU PIPEAU    $39.95
France    363457    DOMAINES PERRIN RÉSERVE    $16.95
France    365924    LOUIS JADOT BEAUJOLAIS-VILLAGES    $17.95
France    508614    VEUVE CLICQUOT PONSARDIN BRUT VINTAGE CHAMPAGNE    $102.95
France    542548    HENRI BOURGEOIS LES BARONNES SANCERRE    $27.95
France    926626    FAMILLE PERRIN LES SINARDS CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE    $36.95
France    933077    LOUIS JADOT CHARDONNAY BOURGOGNE    $23.95
France    220244    ARMAND DE BRIGNAC ACE OF SPADES BRUT GOLD CHAMPAGNE    $305.95
Italy    912956    RUFFINO MODUS    $29.95
Italy    951319    BOLLINI PINOT GRIGIO    $17.95
Italy    111641    ROCCA DELLE MACÌE RISERVA CHIANTI    $15.95
Italy    650713    MONTE ZOVO SA' SOLIN RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA    $18.95
Italy    729392    FOSS MARAI EXTRA DRY PROSECCO    $19.95
Italy    168179    MARCHESI DI BAROLO LA TRADIZIONE BAROLO    $39.95
Italy    69377    MONTE ANTICO    $15.95
Italy    106450    SANTA MARGHERITA PINOT GRIGIO    $19.95
Italy    413179    ZENATO AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    $52.95
Italy    425488    SELLA & MOSCA CANNONAU DI SARDEGNA RISERVA    $16.95
Italy    433417    TEDESCHI AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA    $44.95
Italy    479766    ZENATO RIPASSA VALPOLICELLA SUPERIORE    $26.95
Italy    606541    ANTINORI PÈPPOLI CHIANTI CLASSICO    $19.95
Italy    650432    CASTELGIOCONDO BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO    $52.95
Italy    687582    SANTA MARGHERITA BRUT VALDOBBIADENE PROSECCO SUPERIORE    $19.95
Italy    741769    ROCCA DELLE MACÌE CHIANTI CLASSICO    $18.95
Italy    910430    TOMMASI RIPASSO VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO SUPERIORE    $22.95
Italy    948158    ANSELMI SAN VINCENZO    $16.95
Italy    986786    TIGNANELLO    $105.95
Italy    145920    MARCHESI DE' FRESCOBALDI TENUTA DI CASTIGLIONI    $21.95
New Zealand    650325    KIM CRAWFORD PANSY! ROSÉ    $17.95
New Zealand    991950    KIM CRAWFORD CHARDONNAY    $19.95
New Zealand    10421    ASTROLABE PROVINCE SAUVIGNON BLANC    $22.95
New Zealand    35386    KIM CRAWFORD SAUVIGNON BLANC    $19.95
New Zealand    304469    CLOUDY BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC    $35.95
New Zealand    316570    OYSTER BAY SAUVIGNON BLANC    $19.95
New Zealand    326728    OYSTER BAY CHARDONNAY    $14.95
New Zealand    626390    KIM CRAWFORD PINOT NOIR    $19.95
Portugal    121749    TAYLOR FLADGATE 10-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT    $35.95
Portugal    149047    TAYLOR FLADGATE 20-YEAR-OLD TAWNY PORT    $69.95
Portugal    606590    ESPORÃO RESERVA RED    $25.95
South Africa    328567    CATHEDRAL CELLAR CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $16.95
South Africa    595280    PORCUPINE RIDGE SYRAH    $15.95
Spain    82024    MONASTERIO DE LAS VIÑAS GRAN RESERVA    $17.95
Spain    166538    LAN CRIANZA    $16.95
Spain    50203    BERONIA RESERVA    $20.90
Spain    36483    TORRES GRAN CORONAS RESERVA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $19.95
Spain    177345    MUGA RESERVA    $25.95
Spain    479014    JULIÁN CHIVITE GRAN FEUDO RESERVA    $17.95
USA    294298    CONUNDRUM RED    $24.95
USA    212126    MCMANIS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $19.95
USA    369686    KENDALL-JACKSON VINTNER'S RESERVE CHARDONNAY    $19.95
USA    210047    COLUMBIA CREST H3 CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $20.95
USA    130138    MEIOMI PINOT NOIR    $27.95
USA    521021 FRANCIS COPPOLA DIAMOND COLLECTION IVORY LABEL CABERNET SAUVIGNON $24.95
USA    232371    LOUIS M. MARTINI NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $33.95
USA    958975    MER SOLEIL RESERVE CHARDONNAY    $34.95
USA    59311    MICHAEL DAVID 7 DEADLY ZINS OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    $25.95
USA    255513    ROBERT MONDAVI NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $37.95
USA    258699    J. LOHR RIVERSTONE CHARDONNAY    $19.95
USA    314575    STERLING NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $30.95
USA    342428    BONTERRA CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $21.95
USA    342436    BONTERRA CHARDONNAY    $19.95
USA    352583    BERINGER KNIGHTS VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $43.95
USA    359257    RAVENSWOOD VINTNERS BLEND OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    $18.95
USA    594341    TOASTED HEAD CHARDONNAY    $18.95
USA    608653    SONOMA-CUTRER RUSSIAN RIVER RANCHES CHARDONNAY    $27.95
USA    656561    J. LOHR SEVEN OAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $23.95
USA    710426    CAKEBREAD CELLARS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $119.95
USA    738823    LIBERTY SCHOOL CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $21.95
USA    954834    RODNEY STRONG ESTATE RUSSIAN RIVER VALLEY PINOT NOIR    $25.95
USA    996405    STAGS' LEAP WINERY CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $55.95
USA    84988    BERINGER NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY    $23.95
USA    188110    FIRST PRESS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $25.95
USA    222877    CAYMUS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    $104.95
USA    678698    GNARLY HEAD OLD VINE ZINFANDEL    $17.95
USA    27516    J. LOHR LOS OSOS MERLOT    $22.95
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com
AND http://gothicepicures.blogspot.com
AND https://twitter.com/gothicepicures

Dean Tudor, Ryerson University Journalism Professor Emeritus
Treasurer, Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://winewriterscircle.ca
Look it up and you'll remember it; screw it up and you'll never forget it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for August 19, 2017.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for August 19, 2017.
=======================================================================
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 http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
20 under $20
=========
W+147512    13TH STREET JUNE'S VINEYARD RIESLING    VQA Creek Shores, Niagara Peninsula    2015    $19.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+247825    REIF ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC    VQA Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake    2016    $14.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+370262     GÉRARD BERTRAND GRAND TERROIR LA CLAPE SYRAH/ CARIGNAN/ MOURVÈDRE  Coteaux de Languedoc La Clape    2014    $18.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+375212    SAN PEDRO 1865 SINGLE VINEYARD SAUVIGNON BLANC Leyda Valley    2015    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+419010    CONO SUR VIENTO MAR BLOCK 21 SINGLE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR    San Antonio Valley 2015    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+434456    POWERS CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Columbia Valley    2014    $16.95
15.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+438309    DOMAINE SALMON GRANDE RÉSERVE MUSCADET SÈVRE & MAINE SUR LIE    AP    2015    $16.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+480889    CHÂTEAU DE SÉRAME MINERVOIS 2010 $16.95 4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+489930    FRANKLIN TATE CABERNET/MERLOT    Margaret River, Western Australia    2015    $18.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+519025    FEATHERSTONE PHOENIX [gewurztraminer] VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $18.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+970707    CASTELLANI RISERVA CHIANTI DOCG 2014    $14.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+486076    TERRE STREGATE SVELATO FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO    DOP    2015    $16.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+80234    FEATHERSTONE BLACK SHEEP RIESLING    VQA Niagara Peninsula    2016    $16.95  10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+908079    BENI DI BATASIOLO NEBBIOLO    DOC Langhe    2015    $16.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+718999    FAMILIA CASTAÑO HÉCULA MONASTRELL    DO Yecla    2013    $13.95
14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+112151    ROSEWOOD UNOAKED CHARDONNAY VQA Niagara Peninsula    2015    $17.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+143099    MAS DES BRESSADES CUVÉE TRADITION    AP Costières de Nîmes 2015    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+156299    LE SECRET DES CAPITELLES SAINT-CHINIAN    AP    2014    $15.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+222323       BEST'S BIN NO. 1 SHIRAZ    Great Western,Victoria 2014    $19.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+511519    CAMPO ARRIBA    DO Yecla    2014    $17.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+494609    PASCUAL TOSO BARRANCAS TOSO    Mendoza    2014    $13.95  14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+512442    ELGIN VINTNERS PINOT NOIR    WO Elgin 2013 $19.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
R+192476    ALEJANDRO FERNÁNDEZ DEHESA LA GRANJA    Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León    2008    $20.95            14 % ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
R+314401    CA' DEL MONTE AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO    DOC    2009    $49.95    15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+397174    LECCO CRIANZA    DO Ribera del Duero    2012    $22.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+452102    MIGUEL TORRES PURGATORI    DO Costers del Segre    2013    $44.95    14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+488866    DOMAINE BERTHENET TÊTE DE CUVÉE MONTAGNY    AC    2015    $22.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+677450    DOG POINT SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island    2016    $26.95
13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+962886    LA CREMA SONOMA COAST CHARDONNAY    Sonoma Coast    2015    $29.95    13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+734681    SPY VALLEY PINOT NOIR    Marlborough, South Island    2013    $24.95    13.4% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+935957    CHÂTEAU DES CHARMES ST. DAVIDS BENCH VINEYARD CABERNET SAUVIGNON VQA St. David's Bench, Niagara-on-the-Lake 2014 $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+225490    2027 CELLARS WISMER VINEYARD FOX CROFT BLOCK RIESLING VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Escarpment    2016    $22.95     10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+175570    LUCA G LOT PINOT NOIR    Gualtallary, Uco Valley, Mendoza    2014    $32.95
13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+437004    TENUTA ROVEGLIA VIGNE DI CATULLO LUGANA RISERVA DOC 2013    $24.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+440198    CHÂTEAU DE LAMARQUE  Haut-Médoc 2010    $39.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+494914    MAS OLIVIER EXPRESSION Faugères    2014    $24.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+496489    SIEGBERT BIMMERLE RIESLING KABINETT TROCKEN    Prädikatswein    2015    $24.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+499624    CHÂTEAU DE CHAMIREY MERCUREY     2014    $39.95    13.1% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+512277    SOUTHERN RIGHT SAUVIGNON BLANC    Walker Bay, WO Western Cape    2016    $21.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+514810    THE ORIGINALS CHARDONNAY Columbia Valley 2015 $21.95
13.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Monday, August 14, 2017

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 –
 
 
7.PRAISE THE LARD (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017, 336 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-70249-3 $25 USD hardbound) is by Mike and daughter Amy Mills. They own 17th Street Barbecue restaurants in Illinois; Mike is also a partner in Blue Smoke in NYC. Mike is in the Barbecue Hall of Fame; Amy is a BBQ consultant for branding, marketing and pr work. Their previous BBQ book was a Beard nominee. It is a thorough and comprehensive work, coming with some heavy-duty logrolling as well. Their premise is the holy trinity of Esses: seasoning, smoke and sauce. It's a heavy-duty book featuring classic pit-smoked meats, but there are adaptations to backyards and casual family dining. Still, the feed-a-crowd preps are in one of the largest chapters. You can get more details at www.17bbq.com/resources They've got 8 basic useful rubs and 7 basic sauces (blackberry and raspberry and apricot, mustard and chipotle and habanero, et al). They've got temperature guides and lots of tips. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
8.SO GOOD (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-544-66331-2 $30 USD hardbound) is for the fans of Richard Blais who has appeared many times on Top Chef, Food Network, MasterChef, and other shows (besides owning restaurants in Atlanta, Nashville, Birmingham, San Diego and Los Angeles). These are about 100 of his home-style preps for families (no liquid nitrogen) but rather leg of lamb roasted in hay with rosemary and garlic potatoes, sweet-and-sour ham hocks with mustard greens, and spicy green pozole. There are also some memoir materials here to emphasize the family connections, and Rachel Ray and Emeril Lagasse lead off the logrollers. Once again, the book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
9.MASTERCHEF STREET FOOD OF THE WORLD (Absolute Press, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-4729-0916-9 $35 USD hardbound) is by food writer Genevieve Taylor, with sourced contributions from MasterChef TV champions such as Ping Coombes (UK), Christine Ha (USA), Simon Wood (UK), and others from Australia, France, and Denmark – 13 in all. This is a pretty full collection, arranged by continent. Canada turns up with butter tarts; bacalaito comes from Puerto Rico. Venezuela has arepas, Peru has ceviche, El Salvador has pupusas. There's also Cajun shrimp po' boy, tamales with pulled pork, fricasse Tunisienne, and socca Nicoise wraps. Preparations have their ingredients listed in mainly metric measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
 
10.SIMPLY FISH (Skyhorse Publishing, 2017, 209 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-1750-3 $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Matthew Dolan, owner-chef of Twenty-Five Lusk in San Francisco. Here he concentrates on the plenitude of West Pacific Coast seafood – so it is more than just fish. The 75 preps include such as Bay scallop fish tacos, various tuna (albacore, yellowfin), salmon, petrale, rock cod, ling cos, mussels, halibut, prawns, et al. Sustainable seafood is the theme, and here it is arranged by season beginning with winter. There is even a chapter on the whole fish and larger gatherings. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
11.SHAKE SHACK (Clarkson Potter, 2017, 240 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-45981-4 $26 USD hardbound) is by Randy Garutti and Mark Rosati. Randy is CEO of Shake Shack; Mark is Culinary Director of Shake Shack. The roadside burger-and-shake stand has locations around the world. Part cookbook, part memoir stories, the package includes a format designed to keep millennials happy. There's lots of material on how Shake Shack came to be and spread. The original menu had a variety of burgers and dogs, with the works for each and crinkle cut french fries.  For dessert there was frozen custards with housemade toppings, cookies, donuts and beverages. The preps are all given separate chapters. The burger chapter has immense detail on the hamburger in the USA, along with the anatomy of a ShackBurger. The hot dog chapter is similar, as is the crinkle cut french fries. Th come all the shakes. A fun book, well worth reading, and as a gift. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
 
12.KNIFE (Flatiron Books, 2017, 246 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-07917-6 $29.99 USD hardbound) is by John Tesar, who has opened two restaurants in Dallas and had appeared on Top Chef TV show. He's with Beard Award-winning food and wine writer Jordan MacKay. Can this be a slasher cookbook? Well, the subtitle does say "Texas steakhouse meals at home". There are some details about his cooking life, about beef, and about equipment. The emphasis is definitely on steak but there are other cuts in other chapters as well, including beef sandwiches and burgers, charcuterie and tartares. Anything that involves a knife – so those skills need to be emphasized. The unusual also appears, such as bacon-crusted bone marrow or pork blood sausage or octopus with chorizo. Sides are covered, and the last chapter is called "One Dessert"  – which is chocolate coffee tart. But you'll need the book for the steaks and their sauces/rubs. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
13.HOME COOK (Guardian Books Faber and Faber, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-78335096-4 $53.95 CAD hardbound) is by Tomasina Miers, who was the winner of BBC MasterChef 2005, and has gone on to cheffing about and co-founding UK's Wahaca group (Mexican food). She's also written a pile of cookbooks, including two dealing with Mexican food. These 300 recipes have probably been published in the (Manchester) Guardian's Weekend Cook series. It's a family oriented book, fuss-free and easy to do preps for the home. She's got bowls (who hasn't these days?), bites and salads, weekends, daily dinners, kids' food, some sweet items, and a pantry to pull it all together. Try her black bean and chorizo soup or chestnut and spelt with chorizo soup. Very tasty is her sobresada, avocado and pecorino pizza. The for dessert there is coconut and jasmine rice pudding. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
 
14.FULL MOON SUPPERS AT SALT WATER FARM (Roost Books, 2017, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-61180-332-7, $35 USD hardbound) is by Annemarie Ahearn, who owns Salt Water Farm cooking school in Maine. These are 12 seasonal dinners derived from more than 100 sold-out dinners at the farm. Each supper includes details of the month on climate and kitchen tasks. This is followed by a menu based on that description. It's arranged by month, beginning with January (sea urchin butter on toast, potato gnocchi, roasted beets, poached cod, cinnamon rice pudding) to December (oysters Rockefeller, chestnut soup, bitter greens, rib eye, linzer torte). She gives full details on how to prepare, of course, but also a primer on the general nature of entertaining. Wine recommendations might have been useful, particularly the of the fruit variety. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
15.FABIO'S 30-MINUTE ITALIAN (St. Martin's Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-250-10995-8 $27.99 USD hardbound) is by Fabio Viviani, who has appeared on Top Chef and now has a chain of restaurants – 16 in all nationally. A perfect fan-based audience for his latest book. He had earlier written Fabio's Italian Kitchen. The log-rollers here are other chefs and restaurant owners. The emphasis is family food in 30 minutes or less. The secret, of course, is the mise en place and the pantry/larder. Get everything together and away you go. Just no socializing if you want to get the job done. Over 100 recipes include such as 15-minute seafood cioppino, baked gruyere/grana padano and caramelized onion tart, white chocolate souffles, orange and calabrian pepper sauce, and chunky pork and veal bolognese sauce. Stories and memories also abound within the covers. The arrangement of the book is from apps to desserts. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 85.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Saturday, August 12, 2017

* MORE FOOD AND DRINK BOOKS for SUMMER

2.A FARMGIRL'S TABLE (Gibbs Smith, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-4236-4218-3 $24.99 USD hardbound) is a second book on US farm life by Jessica Robinson. She grew up on a Connecticut farm, married and then moved to a North Carolina farm. She writes and photographs for her blog, Carolina Farmhouse Kitchen. It is all homespun and fancy-free, with chapters dealing with the seasons, BBQ, pantries, summer celebrations, hearty meals and desserts at harvest time, breads and pastries, and cooking from scratch. The book is part memoir too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: those interested in the farm life, homemakers.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: sausage gravy; berry-swirled pops; red velvet marble cake; tangy farmhouse coleslaw; Gorgonzola-bacon stuffed mushrooms; blueberry-pecan salad; lemon-blueberry scones.
The downside to this book: it's a bit too general in tone.
The upside to this book: a good sequel to The New England Farmgirl.
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
3.HOMEGROWN PANTRY (Storey Publishing, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-578-7, $22.95 USD paperbound) is by Barbara Pleasant, who has written many books on organic gardening. Her articles appear regularly in Mother Earth News/Living. It's a basic guide to planning a garden that will not only feed you through the year but also provide materials for creating a pantry. She's got a gardener's guide to selecting the best varieties and planting the perfect amounts: 55 popular veggies, fruits (berries and tree fruits) and herbs (kitchen and tea). There are also preservation techniques such as canning, pickling, root cellaring, fermenting, and dehydrating. So for corn, there is how much (50 row feet per person), stellar varieties (Luscious, Ambrosia, Bodacious), and best ways to preserve (freeze, can or dry). Very nicely laid out. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements.
Audience and level of use: beginning gardeners
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: there's usually one recipe per plant, just the basics to get it all going.
The downside to this book: I'd like at least two recipes per plant.
The upside to this book: an excellent reference book
Quality/Price Rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
4.WILL IT SKILLET? (Workman, 2017, 208 pages, ISBN 978-0-7611-8743-1, $14.95 USD paperbound) is by food writer Daniel Shumski, and a followup to his WILL IT WAFFLE? Book. Here he explores one pan with a variety of different uses. The basic techniques are charring, roasting, baking, and toasting. No need to grill if the skillet can char; no need to toast if the skillet can do it. You can cover it for a braise, do a small paella, make a tortilla, and do a variety of one-pot meals for singles or doubles at home. He has 53 recipes to make in a cast-iron skillet, although many can be made in a stainless steel skillet too. There are many other skillet cookbooks, but this one has a lot of variations, allows you to develop your own skillet recipes, and is also affordable at under $15 US. He covers the range of breakfast, brunch, snacks, sides, mains and desserts.  Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents.
Audience and level of use: students, beginning cooks, singles
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: okonomiyaki; Parmesan tuiles; gnocchi with goat cheese and skillet roasted tomatoes; potato-crusted ham quiche; pluot clafoutis.
The downside to this book: I wanted more
The upside to this book: confidence and conversion tables.
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
 
 
5.LOVE YOUR LUNCHES (Hardie Grant Books, 2017, 144 pages ISBN 978-1-78488-095-8 $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Bec Dickinson, cake baker, food stylist, and Melbourne OZ blogger. She concentrates on the lunch box "al desko" with 50 riveting lunch bags. She's got some handy tips for lunch on the go, desk drawer essentials, communal feasts and potlucks at work, and healthy snacks for later in the day. It's arranged by format: frozen ahead, the night before preps, the morning preps, the afternoon slump, the leftover-holdover-madeovers, and the sharing. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of equivalents.
Audience and level of use: students, workers, singles.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: miso salmon parcels with Asian noodles; light and creamy green spelt penne pasta; cajun-spiced sweet potato quinoa fritters; zucchini ribbons with pea mint salad; pearl barley, halloumi and pickled veggie salad.
The downside to this book: I wish there were more recipes.
The upside to this book: good selection for all manner of tastes.
Quality/Price Rating: 89.
 
 
 
6.YUMUNIVERSE PANTRY TO PLATE (The Experiment, 2017, 312 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-340-0 $24.95 USD paperbound) is by Heather Crosby, a recipe developer and wellness advocate of plant-based foods. She has created www.glutenfreebakingacademy.com and is the author of YumUniverse: Infinite possibilities for a Gluten-Free, Plant-Powerful, Whole-Food Lifestyle. That book's website offers more than 500 free recipes. Here the stress is on improvising meals from you have around you at home. No real recipes are required. The classic example is putting together some vegetables, some protein, a binder and some herbs/spices to create – veggie burgers! She's got 30 recipe templates to freestyle plant-based, gluten-free meals and snacks, plus 100 preps that show the templates in action. A classic is: flour + sweet + puree + oil + acid = muffins. Well worth looking at. After a primer, chapters begin on page 35 with breakfast, moving on to lunch, mains, and sweets. If you are not vegan, then add-ons are possible (eggs, honey). Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric and some conversion tables (by ingredient) at the back.
Audience and level of use: plant-based eaters, vegans (with a honey caveat)
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: seed-powered acorn squash fries; Chinese five-spice lentil and pecan crunch; buckwheat and chickpea bites; lots-a-noodles red curry soup.
The downside to this book: honey is used in three recipes, but can be omitted.
The upside to this book: There is an cook-by-ingredient index
Quality/Price Rating: 88.
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Friday, August 11, 2017

* 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"...
 
 
16.THE NEW AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION COOKBOOK. 9th ed. (Harmony Books, 2017, 536 pages, ISBN 978-0-553-44718-7 $35USD hardbound) was first published in 1973. Since then it has been regularly revised and updated about every 6 – 7 years. This edition has more than 800 preps, 100 of which are all-new recipes and 250 have been updated. These are preps that emphasize the heart-smart life. There have been useful spinoffs, such as the AHA book for low-salt cooking, healthy family meals, low-cholesterol cookbook, slow cooker meals, grilling/braising, and more. Nutritional data is supplied for each recipe, but appears to be at odds with the American style of listing quantities with the ingredients. The book could have been improved if it also used or included metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Still, food doesn't get much healthier than this...Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
17.HOW TO DRINK FRENCH FLUENTLY (Ten Speed Press, 2016, 2017, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-399-58029-1 $18.9 USD hardbound) is by Drew Lazor, a food and drink writer for Punch, Conde Nast Traveler, Bon Appetit. It was originally published in 2016 by Punch, and here it has wider distribution. This is billed as a guide to joi de vivre with cocktails made with St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur that is extremely popular now in North America. Contributions here come from a variety of mixologists in the USA; there are 30 cocktail recipes here. The arrangement is by category: brunch drinks, daytime, aperitif, dinner, and nightcap. He's also got material on food pairing and syrups. Each prep is sourced as to contributor. There are a wide variety of spirits but most appear to be vodka or gins. Appeals to the millennial include Nudie Beach with its syrups (ginger, honeydew), passion fruit puree, rose water and lime juice. But is a fairly flexible book with variations possible. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
18.THE MEDITERRANEAN TABLE (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-813-0 $24.95 USD hardbound) is a publisher's book collecting some 150 Mediterranean-style preps that are fresh/simple/delicious for lunch, BBQ, al fresco. The range is all around the basin, and from veggies through meats to desserts. Everything here is meant to be eaten by the "sea", with small plates, summer soups, salads, lunches, grills and drinks. Miriam Catley was the editor; 17 contributors (part of the RP&S stable of writers) range from Ghillie Basan, Maxine Clark, Ursula Ferrigno, through the prolific Jenny Linford.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
19.GOOD VEG (The Experiment, 2016, 2017,322 pages, ISBN 978-1-61519-286-1 $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Alice Hart. It was originally published in 2016 as The New Vegetarian by Square Peg in the UK. She deals with bold international flavours as appeal to non-vegetarians. Here are veggies, fruits and grains, arranged by categories of "mornings", "grazing", quick, thrifty, gatherings, grains, raw, and "afters". She's got a pantry with preps for pickles, jams, mustards, dressings, sauces, relishes, and pastes – all full of flavour and spicy (not necessarily "hot"). Try the spiced buckwheat waffles with mango, bhel puri, the lemongrass banh mi, or the quinoa and fava bean falafel.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some slight metric, but there is no table of metric equivalents. "Have the perfect supper on the table daily" as Nigella Lawson log-rolled. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
20.YOGURT EVERY DAY (Appetite by Random House, 2015, 2017, 198 pages, ISBN 978-0-14-753042-4 $24.95 CAD paperbound) is by Hubert Cormier, registered dietitian and Ph.D. Candidate in nutrition. It was originally published in Quebec and in French by La Semaine in 2015; this is the English translation. The 75 recipes (including making your own) cover the bases of breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and snacks. Preps for lunch include lentil patties, soft-boiled eggs and green pea salad, cauliflower cream, and a variety of sandwiches. Each recipe has a photo of the plated dish. Try the avocado lassi or the crunchy corn guacamole. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements, with nutritional value data per serving. Quality/price rating:  88.
 
 
 
 
21.MY GREEK FAMILY TABLE (The Countryman Press, 2009, 2017, 234 pages, ISBN 978-1-68268-078-0 $29.95 USD hardbound) was originally published in 2009 by Penguin Australia. Its author Maria Benardis founded the Greekalicious cooking school in Sydney, but now lives in NYC and still teaches Greek cooking classes. This is another Greek cookbook with a family get-together orientation; it is good to have these books as a sort of way to preserve Greek heritage cooking. The categories include salads, messes, veggie dishes, seafood, meat and poultry, and sweets. The book has been updated with more material about the healing properties of Greek greens; the photos are the originals from 2009.
The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 85
 
 
22.A FIELD GUIDE TO WHISKY (Artisan Books, 2015, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-57965-751-2 $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Hans Offringa, contributing editor for Europe for Whisky Magazine, tasting judge, and lecturer on whisky. It was originally published in 2015 in the Netherlands; this is the translation for the English-language market. It's a gift package with black-gilded pages and 230 colour photos. He begins with the top five whisky nations, goes through the distillation process, and then tastes the spirit and matches up with food pairings. So there is stuff on how to get the most out of your glass, how to read a whisky label, which whiskies to try first, investing in whisky, and more. There are maps, travel and festival resources. A lot of the book is in Q & A format. It's a great book for beginners or millennials who wish to advance their knowledge. Quality/price rating: 86.
 
 
23.175 BEST SMALL-BATCH BAKING RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-7788-0561-8 $27.95 CAD paperbound) is by Jill Snider, which has written seven baking books. She managed the test kitchen of a flour company for 25 years. Here she offers us 175 preps for small-baked goods. These are all treats for one or two people. Some of the recipes in this book appeared in a different form in "Bake Something Great" (Robert Rose, 2011). Treats include cookies (drop, refrigerator, pressed, shaped, biscotti, shortbread, chocolate), bars and squares (including no-bake), quick breads and muffins, cakes, mini pies and tarts, and "spoonable desserts". There is even a chapter on gluten-free desserts. An excellent book for those who do not have a lot of storage space or who use hand mixing: perfect for singles, seniors, couples, small families. The book is also enhanced by variations. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
24.EATING WELL QUICK AND CLEAN (Houghton Mifflin, 2017, 272 pages, ISBN 989-0-544-92550-2 $22 USD paperbound) is drawn from the pages of Eating Well magazine. 26 contributors are cited, including Carolyn Casner, Carolyn Malcoun, and Breana Lai who seemed to have contributed the most number. For over two decades, EW has worked on new ways to make exciting the healthy choices for eating. There are 100 achievable and easy recipes, each with a short list of ingredients and each with whole foods ready for dinner in under 45 minutes (there is also a chapter on under 20 minute preps). Covered too are breakfasts, lunch, and snacks. Typical are asparagus tabbouleh, braised cauliflower and squash penne pasta; chilly dilly cucumber soup, cashew and three-seed chocolate bark, and cornbread- topped chili casserole. Family dining at its finest! Special-interest indexes include gluten-free and vegan. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

* 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"...
 
 
 
22.FAVORITE RECIPES WITH HERBS. Revised and Updated (Good Books, 2017, 337 pages, ISBN 978-1-68099-204-5 $17.99 USD paperbound) is by Dawn Ranck Hower and Phyllis Good. It was last published in 2003 as a spiral bound book. Here it is revised, with an additional author, Phyllis Good (both ladies are responsible for selling millions of cookbooks). Hundreds of easy preps have been enlivened with full colour photos. Not every herb is here, but those you will most likely encounter include basil, parsley, rosemary, bay leaf, lemon balm, thyme, lovage, chives, mint, sage, tarragon, oregano, marjoram, dill and cilantro. I did not run across any savory. The 14 herbs are all discussed separately, while the recipes are arranged from apps to desserts. There is an alphabetical index to the recipes and an index to the foods by name of herb, subdivided by course. Typical are lemon thyme cookies, rosemary garlic stir-fry, and tarragon chicken salad. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
23.FABULOUSLY FRENCH COOKING (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015, 2017, 216 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-2113-5, $24.99 USD hardbound) is by Cathleen Clarity, a professional chef from the US Midwest who now lives in Paris and offers cooking classes. It comes with some heavy duty log rolling (including Alice Waters). The bok was originally published in Germany in 2015; this is it's first appearance in North America. She's got a dozen menus with 70 classic but simple and elegant preps. Presumably these are from her classes as she gives instructions and professional advice on prepping, cooking, and entertaining. Menus include a spring family lunch, a ladies' lunch, lunch for teens, Saturday night dinner from the fish market, other Saturday night dinners for meat lovers and autumn harvests, and one menu for "The French Chicken" (caramelized chicken wings, chicken consomme with dumplings, stuffed chicken thighs, and a rice pudding for dessert). Very readable with good leading, type font and white space. A good book for beginners or those who need a menu for ideas for a special meal. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
 
 
24.SUSHI; taste and technique (DK Books, 2002, 2017, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-2984-1 $20 USD hardbound) is by Kimiko Barber and Hiroki Takemura. Kimiko specializes in writing about Japanese food and culture; Hiroki has been a sushi chef for decades and now works as one in Turkey. DK originally published the book in 2002; this is the revised edition, some 15 years later. It's a basic book covering definitions, etiquette, beverages, utensils, ingredients, and the prime preps. Other basic chapters cover fish, shellfish and roe. Then there are six sections on the basic sushi: scattered sushi, stuffed, pressed, rolled, hand-formed, and sashimi. There is a two page glossary which is mainly translations for ingredients or equipment (e.g., gari = pickled ginger). Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there is no table of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 86
 
 
25.SALADS & DRESSINGS (DK Books, 2017, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-4654-6199-5 $14.95 USD paperbound) is a publisher's series book, with reprinted preps from 16 previous books, such as The Cooking Book (2008) through to Plant-Based Cookbook (2016). There are 100 salad dishes here, including a range of salad bowls and salad jars. On page 186 we are advised to re-invent any of the salad recipes in the book by mixing it up with an entirely different dressing. On this page, there is an index to 45 such dressings and sauces – all of this really extends the book. After a salad primer, it is arranged by ingredient: fish/seafood, poultry/meat, cheese, grains/pulses, fruit/veggies – with lots of yummy photos. The book could have been improved if it also used more than minimal metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
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Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, August 6, 2017

SOME NEW WINES TASTED THIS MONTH –

Henry of Pelham Old Vines Baco Noir 2016 VQA Ontario, +459966, $19.95 LCBO General List: low yielding grapes come from 1984 and later plantings in the Short Hills Bench area. As with their previous baco noirs, HOP has maintained both the rich jammy black currant spicy character and the low price – under $20. Both new and older (one/two year old) US barrels are used for 14 months aging. It is still needs another year or two for proper aging, but with decanting it can be enjoyed now. 13% ABV. One of the top bacos at the LCBO. Works best with pronounced meats such as pork/boar, lamb, farmed or wild game – all either braised or grilled. Quality/Price rating is 90 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
 
Henry of Pelham Pinot Noir 2016 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +13904 LCBO, $16.95: Here is a deft entry-level character pinot noir wine, with some cherry-berry tones, some nuances of wood, mildly opulent style, not totally cool climate at all. Fermented in stainless and aged in "European" oak (15% new). Expect also light cloves, fresh fruit tones, and oak vanillin which will mute over time. Ready now but will get better, very food friendly and drinkable. Maybe decant first. 13% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Henry of Pelham Cuvee Catharine Carte Blanche Estate Blanc de Blanc 2012 VQA Niagara Peninsula, +315200 Vintages TBD, $44.95: there is not much more to say about this wine than I haven't already said over the years – it's simply one of the top performing bottles of Traditional Method or secondary fermentation in the province. The price has not changed over the years, still $44.95, but the grapevines are older and producing quality material. This is estate grown (Short Hills Bench) chardonnay, the best juice selected for 20% barrel fermentation and then aged for up to 60 months in the bottle before being disgorged. Very close to champagne, with its elegance and smoothness plus citric overtones (especially in the finish) and that typical yeasty baked goods aromatics. 12.5% ABV, a personal fave of mine. Needs another six months for the disgorgement addition to come together. Gold Medal winner at 2017 All Canadian Wine Championships. Quality/Price rating is 93+ points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Henry of Pelham Estate Fume Sauvignon Blanc 2016 VQA Short Hills Bench, $19.95 winery only: very aromatic with nuances of toastiness both in the nose and on the palate, somewhat in a fume style started by Mondavi fifty years ago. Typical savvy zestiness is tamed by oaking. Medium finish accents lemon and vanillin character. 13.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89.5 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
Quinta de Curvos Loureiro Vinho Verde 2015, +471284, $12.95 Vintages: 100% Loureiro, 12% ABV, with lightly floral tones on the nose and on the palate, ending with aromatic softness. Loureiro is one of the vinho verde varieties used in blending. Best sipped or with appetizers. A Vintages re-order just in time for summer endings. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Casa Vinicola Sartori Mont'Albano Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Venezie IGT 2015, +492546, $16.95 Vintages: from organic vineyards in the Friuli-Graves DOC zone. The name indicates a red-stemmed refosco grape that is indigenous to the region. The wine is ruby-ish, assertive with herbaceous complexities, and goes best with food, especially fatty salami and sausages. Reminds me of a leaner cabernet franc. Organic wine, 12% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Baron de Hoen Cremant d'Alsace Brut Mausberg Blanc de Blancs NV, +171785 Vintages, $17.95: Limestone pebbles are responsible for the higher acid of the pinot auxerrois and pinot blanc grapes used in the blend here. Traditional Method is used, of course, without any ML. It is a pretty wine, with a bit of fruit, but is better as an aperitif or with first courses. My wife and I enjoyed this bottle with popcorn and a movie at home. It's sustainable agriculture in the region, and with a huge production of some 600,000 bottles (50K cases), there is an opportunity to keep the price down. This is a re-order by Vintages. 12.5% ABV, 3.8 g/L TA and 10 g/L RS. Quality/Price rating is 88 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
Chateau des Charmes Riesling "Old Vines" 2014 Estate Bottled VQA NOTL, at winery [+277228 older Vintages SKU], $18.95 Vintages: Made from vines largely planted in 1978, so it is now a mature vineyard. 12.4% ABV. Succulence like you would not believe, but off-dry Alsatian character (citric tones, spices), with now almost three years of aging. A beaut with spicy or higher acidic foods. Lots of character. Twist top. Silver Medal from this year's National Wine Awards of Canada. Quality/price rating 91 points by Dean Tudor.
 
 
 
Chateau des Charmes Aligote 2016 VQA Niagara-on-the-Lake, $15.95, +296848 LCBO: made from the rare French vinifera (seldom seen outside Burgundy) that Paul Bosc has cultivated since 1978, loaded with orchard fruit (apples and pears) and ending with a finishing crisp acidity suggesting food more than sipping. It was often used in Burgundy as the white wine base for Kir; now, almost any dry white is used in North America. It's refreshing for summer, and is unoaked. 12.5% ABV. Quality/Price rating is 89 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 
 
La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2015 +962886 Vintages, $29.95: La Crema winemakers get a fairly consistent wine from year to year, with bottle aging being the main difference. Cool climate (as much as California could allow) from the coast in the evening and the early morning. Expect a combo of lemons, toast and orchard fruit tones, with a smooth finish from secondary malolactic fermentation. One of my really fave California chardonnays: balanced concentration. Mostly French oak with some US; 19% of the total is new oak. 13.9% ABV (label). Excellent price. Better paired with food, from starters and apps through to cheese. Quality/Price rating is 91 points by Dean Tudor of Gothic Epicures.
 

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for August 5, 2017.

WORLD WINE WATCH TOP 20/20 WINES: 20 under $20 and 20 over $20 for August 5, 2017.
======================================================================
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 http://www.deantudor.com since 1994.
 
So many people have asked me for wine recommendations, with numbers only. The readers' most common response is that while they like what I say, they only relate to the score. The score is a combination of MVC (Modal Varietal Character, where e.g. a Southern Rhone tastes like a Southern Rhone and not like a Northern Rhone) and Quality/Price Ratio. Let's take it for granted that, e.g., a Riesling tastes like a Riesling, and the wine has some value in the marketplace either above or below its selling price. This way too I can also cover more wines.
 
This restructured wine newsletter for the Ontario market (with wines available through the LCBO and Vintages on a bi-weekly basis)  can always be found at http://www.gothicepicures.blogspot.ca/ or at    http://www.deantudor.com
 
THIS MONTH'S SPECIAL FINDS --
 
R+66738    THE BLACK CHOOK SHIRAZ/VIOGNIER    McLaren Vale/Padthaway, South Australia        2015    $18.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
R+448829    CHÂTEAU TOUR DE SARRAIL    AC Bordeaux        2010    $19.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+514794    STONECAP RIESLING    Columbia Valley    Goose Ridge Vineyards    2013    $16.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 92
 
20 under $20
=========
R+86363    WILDASS RED    VQA Niagara-on-the-lake, Niagara Peninsula  2013 $19.95        13.3% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+93948    WILLIAM COLE MIRADOR SELECTION SAUVIGNON BLANC    Casablanca Valley        2016    $14.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+140889    DONATIEN BAHUAUD LES GRANDS MORTIERS VOUVRAY    AC        2015    $18.95    12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+277707    TWO RIVERS CONVERGENCE SAUVIGNON BLANC    Marlborough, South Island        2016    $19.95     13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+350090    FINCA SOPHENIA RESERVE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Tupungato, Mendoza        2015    $17.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+350900    ROBERT OATLEY SIGNATURE SERIES CHARDONNAY    Margaret River, Western Australia    2015    $18.95    12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+381251    REDSTONE LIMESTONE VINEYARD SOUTH RIESLING    VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula    2013    $19.95     10% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+402172    HOGUE CHARDONNAY    Columbia Valley 2015 $15.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+431742    QUINTA DA REDE RESERVA DOC Douro 2013    $17.95    15.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+439729    VIÑOS DE ARGANZA LAGAR DE ROBLA PREMIUM    Vino de la Tierra de Castilla y León        2012    $12.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+442210    MONDECO RED    Dão Fontes da Cunha 2011 $13.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+448472    DOMAINE LAFAGE CADIRETA BLANC    IGP Côtes Catalanes        2015    $16.95 13.8% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+471284    CURVOS LOUREIRO DOC Vinho Verde    2015    $12.95     12% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+492652    FINCA DEL MARQUESADO RESERVA    DOCa Rioja    Bodegas Valdemar    2009    $17.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+508267    MURPHY GOODE RED BLEND    California 2012 $19.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+512434    CREDO NUMERUS QUATTUOR CHENIN BLANC    WO Stellenbosch        2014    $16.95    14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
R+950204    FALESCO VITIANO    IGP Umbria        2014    $15.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+498790    ROCKWAY PINOT NOIR    VQA Niagara Peninsula        2014    $19.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
 
20 over $20
=========
W+26682    BERINGER PRIVATE RESERVE CHARDONNAY    Napa Valley        2015    $47.95        14.9% ABV, MVC/QPR: 90
W+392118    HENRI EHRHART GEWURZTRAMINER    AC Alsace        2015    $21.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+490318    TE MATA ESTATE CAPE CREST SAUVIGNON BLANC    Hawkes Bay, North Island        2014    $30.95  13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+508242    PREDATOR CABERNET SAUVIGNON    California    Round Hill Cellars    2014    $21.95     13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+946640    ARGYLE CHARDONNAY Willamette Valley 2015 $29.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
W+954644    YALUMBA VIOGNIER    Eden Valley, South Australia        2015    $24.95 13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 89
R+329102    VIÑA OLABARRI GRAN RESERVA    DOCa Rioja        2007    $24.95 14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 91
W+221887    ROBERT MONDAVI FUMÉ BLANC    Napa Valley        2014    $22.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+276741    OSOYOOS LAROSE PÉTALES D'OSOYOOS RED    BC VQA Okanagan Valley        2013    $28.95    13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+363358    RODNEY STRONG KNOTTY VINES ZINFANDEL    Northern Sonoma, Sonoma County        2014    $24.95     14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+395103    ROCCA BAROLO    DOCG        2012    $38.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
W+466144    J. MOREAU & FILS CHABLIS AC 2015    $22.95     12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+487421    DOMAINE ADÉLIE CHAMPS MARTIN MERCUREY 1ER CRU    AC        2014    $42.95    13% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+487439    DOMAINE GUY DUFOULEUR SANTENAY VILLAGE    AC        2014    $31.95 12.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+493551    BAROSSA VALLEY ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON    Barossa Valley, South Australia        2015    $21.95     14% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+508184    LEESE-FITCH ZINFANDEL    California        2014    $21.95 13.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+511048    ROTLLAN TORRA PRIORAT RESERVA    DOQ Priorat        2011    $24.95 14.5% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88
R+394395    MICHAEL DAVID 6TH SENSE SYRAH Lodi 2014 $25.95 15% ABV, MVC/QPR: 88

Chimo! www.deantudor.com

Sunday, July 30, 2017

* 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 –
 
 
11.JUNK FOOD JAPAN (Absolute Press-Bloomsbury, 2017, 272 pages, ISBN 978-1-4729-1992-2 $40 USD hardbound) is by Scott Hallsworth, who has worked at Nobu London, Park Lane, opening Nobu Melbourne, and then opening Mirai in Dubai. In 2013 he opened Kurobuta, now with two London locations. It's not really junk food here, but it does have elements of both Japanese and junk cuisine: lobster and chips, Jerusalem artichoke chopsticks, crab crunchies, iced sweet and sour nasu, wagyu beef sliders, and flamed edamame. All of it tasty – and you can see the junk elements in the plating. Excellent layout in the index. Preparations have their ingredients listed in metric measurements, but there are tables of conversion equivalents. Quality/price rating: 90.
 
 
12.MARY BERRY EVERYDAY (BBC Books, 2017, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-78594-168-9 $53.95 CAD hardbound) is by the star chef of her latest BBC series which ran in 2016. Here are 120 new preps from that TV show, meant to accompany her series,  ranging from family dinners, entertaining, sweets, and weekend comforts. She hits the highlights of just about every food ingredient, and also adds her own special twist in concocting surprising flavours. The range: meats, game, poultry, fish, veggie, sides, salads, desserts plus teatime, sharing apps, first courses, and lunches. Interesting twists include more herbs and spices plus inspirations from Asia and Mexico, wines and spirits, condiments of oils and vinegars, lemons and limes. She's got a recipe finder apart from the index, for 30-minute meals, prep-ahead crowd pleasrs, low-prep winter warmer deserts, and easy teatime treats, And for entertaining, there is a locator for quick nibbles, express mains, and speedy desserts. There's a nicely chosen package of recipes too. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
13.JULIE TABOULIE'S LEBANESE KITCHEN (St. Martin's Griffin, 2017, 296 pages, ISBN 978-1-250-09493-3 $29.99 USD hardbound) is by Julie Ann Sageer with Leah Bhabha. The book accompanies the PBS show of the same name. She was also the host of the Emmy-nominated "Cooking with Julie Taboulie". The theme, of course, is home-cooked Lebanese food, emphasizing the aromatic/flavourful side of Mediterranean cooking. She's got 125 family preps from her heritage, ranging from street food, mezze, skewers, sandwiches, seasonal salads, pickles, veggies, soups, stews, mains and sides, and sweets. Typical are labneh and ajin (yogurt and bread), atar (rose water syrup) and my faves sheikh el mahshi and kabis batenjen, both stuffed baby eggplants. At the end, there's a chapter on the Lebanese pantry and a resources list. The book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
 
 
14.RECIPES FROM THE HERBALIST'S KITCHEN (Storey Publishing, 2017, 304 pages, ISBN 978-1-61212-690-6 $24.95 USD hardbound) is by Brittany Wood Nickerson, an herbalist who owns Thyme Herbal and offers cooking classes, lectures, conferences, and so forth. Her preps offer unexpected combinations such as lavender and dandelion flower muffins or rosemary/olive oil tea cake, or red grape chimichurri with dill and oregano. Every dish uses a large amount of culinary herbs to emphasize some healing properties. Her own arrangement is by a spiritual form with empowerment, awakening, nourishing, invigorating, comforting, challenging, transforming, adapting and sharing as the main theme chapters. It is all bound together by the index, which covers the herbs, the recipes, and the unhealthy conditions (acne, acid reflux, anemia – a wide range). Most of us get tired now and again, and for that she has some preps to enliven and energize: spinach and grapefruit salad with toasted pumpkin seeds, thyme and jalapeno pickled carrots, mint and feta bruschetta with chive blossoms, vital roots kimchi, and more. About 100 good recipes with lots of details. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
 
15.ALCHEMY OF HERBS (Hay House, 2017, 358 pages, ISBN 978-1-4019-5006-4 $24.99 USD paperbound) is by Rosalee de la Foret, a teacher and author of online courses at LearningHerbs [www.herbswithrosalee.com] She's got a whopping big crew of 21 log rollers endorsing the book, including Susun Weed. There is a lot of herbal info here as well as herbal healthful hints. Through this book, you'll find something about cinnamon tea to soothe your throat, ginger lemon tea for cold symptoms, cayenne salve to relieve sore muscles, and even an anti-oxidant such as spiced cold brewed coffee. It's arranged by taste of the herb: pungent, salty, sour, bitter, and sweet...just as our taste buds are. Twenty-nine herbs and spices are covered this way, along with a primer chapter. Each herb is described along with photos, properties, immune support possibilities, how to use, and a few recipes. There's a glossary and endnotes, plus a resources chapter. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
 
 
16.VEGETABLES ON FIRE (Chronicle Books, 2017, 144 pages, ISBN 978-1-4521-5824-2 $19.95 USD hardbound) is by Brooke Levy who develops food pairings for Winemaker Salon and has cooked at Delfina Restaurant. She's also a food/travel writer and editor. Here she has 60 preps for veggies cooked on the grill, from cauliflower steaks to beets slow-cooked like brisket. It's arranged by type of vegetable with tomatoes/brassicas/squash up front, followed by green veggies (e.g., peas and beans), grains, corn, mushrooms, and roots. There's an opening primer on dips and drizzles and basic rubs, and a closing chapter on breads. Well-worth a look, for such as patatas bravas fries, charred leeks with blue cheese and walnuts, or coconut curry squash. However, I found the book difficult to read with its white on black typography; the listing of ingredients in red gets a bit lost in the black background. Preparations have their ingredients listed in  avoirdupois measurements with some metric, but there are no tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85
 
 
17.30 MINUTE CURRIES (Absolute Press Bloomsbury, 2017, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-4729-3777-3 $36 USD hardbound) is by Atul Kochhar, an owner of multiple restaurants around the globe, including Benares in Mayfair. He's also appeared on British TV cooking shows. Here he sums up the UK's most popular dish: curry – which may or may not be better if eaten out. He's simplified things for a regular kitchen, virtually promising a finished product in 30 minutes. It will call for a pantry (which he itemizes) and pre-bought ingredients, as well as a mis en place. But after that, it's quick to do, and even quicker when you get proficient at it and it becomes routine. Veggies and pulses cover most of the book (82 pages), followed by eggs and cheese, seafood, poultry, and meat. There's pyaz ki tarkari (onion stir-fry), shalijam kori (turnip curry), kacang bendi (stir-fried okra and eggs), and the classic kairi ka murgh (mango and chicken curry). Each prep has a photo of the plated food. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both avoirdupois and some metric measurements, but there are tables of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 88.
 
 
18.TAQUERIA (Hardie Grant Books, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-74379231-5 $29.99 USD hardbound) is by Paul Wilson, an Australian chef who also wrote "Cantina" about Mexican food. It comes with log rolling by Anthony Bourdain. It's a book of "new-style" fun and friendly Mexican cooking all based on taco culture. The 80 preps here are all classic and  modern, utilizing fresh ingredients. There are five basic chapters: the important Latin Larder/Pantry, salsas/dips, salads and veggies, tacos, and beverages such as a variety of margaritas. It is also a very colourful book. Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric (limited) and avoirdupois measurements, but there are no tables of equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87.
 
 
 
19.LEMONS AND LIMES (Ryland Peters & Small, 2017, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-806-2 $21.95 USD hardbound) is by well-known Ursula Ferrigno, who has written over 18 cookery books most emphasizing Mediterranean foods. She's been on UK TV quite a lot, does restaurant consultations, and runs classes at all Sur La Table stores. These 75 preps emphasize the freshness and vivacity of lemons and limes, with one excursion to pink grapefruit. The range is from small bites through soups/salads, meat/poultry, fish/seafood, veggies, and sweets plus drinks. Lemon mushroom arancini, pork dumplings in lime-leaf broth, spaghettini with calamari and lemons, and a smashing gin and tonic cake with lemon syrup. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 87
 
 
 
20.NADIYA'S KITCHEN (Michael Joseph, 2016, 272 pages, ISBN 978-0-71818451-3 $42.95 CAD hardbound) is by Nadiya Hussain, winner of Great British Bake Off in 2015, She's also a columnist and a TV host in the UK. It was originally published in 2016 in the UK; this is the North American release of the original book. Here are 100 simple family preps, ranging from brekkies to teatime to dinners to cakes. Chapters deal with Sunday brunches, snacks, small plates, a "dinner date", midnight feasts, and sharing plates. The theme is UK family, with an emphasis on baked goods such as scones, pancakes, sausage rolls, za'atar and lemon palmiers, bakewell macaroons, parsnip and orange spiced cake, mushroom and cheese croissants. Classics and contemporary styles as well. But, the book could have been improved if it also used avoirdupois in the recipes as well as metric, or at least had a conversion or equivalents chart (this could limit sales in the USA). Quality/price rating:  86.
 
 
21.VINEGAR REVIVAL (Clarkson Potter,2017, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-451-49503-7 $19.99 USD hardbound) is by Harry Rosenblum, co-owner of the Brooklyn Kitchen, co-founder of the Meat Hook and Bierbox. He's also host of an old-time podcast on radio. The book turns back the clock in presenting heritage artisanal recipes for brightening dishes and drinks with homemade vinegars. Topics include making the vinegar master (and a primer on pasteurization, clarity, determining pH, testing, alcohol fermentation, and aging), infusions, shrubs, drinks and cocktails, and moves on to pickles and preserves. Then it is over to sauces, condiments, and vinaigrettes. After that, the dishes start: apps, mains, sides, desserts. It's an amazing resource through 50 recipes plus some experimentals. Try rosemary maple shrub, dashi mayonnaise, saucy piquant pork chops, or a vinegar compote. One for the sour lovers! But the book could have been improved if it also used metric in the recipes, or at least had a metric conversion chart. Quality/price rating: 89.
 
Chimo! www.deantudor.com