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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

REVIEW: DECONSTRUCTING THE DISH; inspirations for modern-day cuisine

DECONSTRUCTING THE DISH; inspirations for modern-day cuisine
(Whitecap, 2007, 160 pages, ISBN 978-1-55285-897-4, $35 soft covers) is
by David Adjey, a consulting chef on the ever-popular "Restaurant
Makeover". He has also appeared on other Food Network shows. He was
once Dan Aykroyd's personal chef, and Dan has endorsed the book. He
begins by stating "I dissect and explain each dish as comprised of
building blocks, each hidden within the finished dish". Exploring this
way will allow you to start from the centre (the principle) and work
out to the garnish, the vegetable, and the sauce. Adjey also promotes
12 rules, one of which is "Cook from a different region in the world at
least once a week". He has the book arranged from Fall to Summer. These
are all complex flavours, not for the faint of heart. Nor are they
quick and easy. You'll need to put some work into it. And that's a good
thing, for spin-offs and variations will later come to you. He has 40
mains and accompaniments or garnishes; there are no apps or desserts.
Ingredients are expressed in both US and metric forms. He has a
glossary and basic recipes for stocks.
Audience and level of use: other chefs, those looking for a challenge.
Some interesting or unusual recipes/facts: duck twofer (roasted breast
and confit leg); grouper, yellow pepper, purple potato, pink
grapefruit; oxtail, red wine ragout, butternut squash ravioli, fried
parsley; turkey, oyster bread pudding, lima beans, white gravy; ancho
rabbit, pozole-poblano stew, epazote-hominy ensalada.
The downside to this book: some may decry the lack of apps and
The upside to this book: there is excellent photography, particularly
on building the dish and plating presentation.
Quality/Price Rating: 90.

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