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Wednesday, July 23, 2008



...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. Here are some recent "re-editions"...

Wiley & Sons, 2008, 539 pages, ISBN 978-0-471-78276-6 soft covers) is
by Clayton Barrows (professor at University of New Hampshire) and Tom
Powers (professor emeritus at University of Guelph). This introductory
volume covers all the basics of the hospitality business: food service
plus beverages, lodgings, and travel/tourism. It is meant for those
contemplating a career in the sector, or for those taking an
introductory course. There is an instructor's manual and a study guide
available. New materials include the changes in tourism and travel
since 9/11, more examples of new technology, more focus on gaming and
casino destinations, an expansion of information on franchising, more
up-to-date profiles and case histories, sections on spas, and Internet
exercises for the students. This is a foundation book with excellent
layout and design and use of colour and photos. Quality/Price rating:

12. THE JAPANESE TEA CEREMONY: cha-no-yu (Tuttle Publishing, 2008, 283
pages, ISBN 978-4-8053-0914-8, $21.95US soft covers) is by A.L. Sadler.
He wrote the book in 1930 when he was a professor at the University of
Sydney; it was published in 1933. This time out it has a new forward by
Shaun McCabe and Iwasaki Satoko, translators of "Chado: the way of
tea". This is a highly technical and cultural work, with many
illustrations and drawings and photographs for every single aspect of
the "cha-no-yu". Included are informations about furniture, utensils,
architecture and gardens. Sadler places the ceremony in context of the
Japanese culture over the centuries. There's a bibliography, but it has
not been updated since the book's original publication date.
Quality/Price rating: 89.
13 HOW BAKING WORKS; exploring the fundamentals of baking science.
Second edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2008, 399 pages, ISBN 978-0-471-
74723-9 soft covers) is by food scientist Paul Figoni (Johnson & Wales
University, Rhode Island). Before teaching she worked in product
development for baking concerns. This is a more theoretical book,
covering the "whys" behind the basic techniques. She explains
rationales for each major ingredient. There are separate chapters for
wheat flour, "variety grains", gluten, sugar and sweeteners, gelling
agents, fats, egg products, milk products, leavening agents,
flavourings, fruit products, nuts and seeds, and chocolate products.
Each section has an introduction, review questions, discussion
questions, exercises and even experiments. Here are lots of tables,
charts and graphs, and even some math. New material includes reworked
exercises and an expanded coverage of sweeteners (including stevia),
variety grains, enzymes, starch structure, and gluten structure. There
is new material on nutrition, dietary fibre, trans fats, and US federal
food legislation. Quality/Price rating: 90.

14. DELIA'S HOW TO CHEAT AT COOKING (Ebury Press, 2008, 264 pages, ISBN
978-0-091-92229-0, $39.95 CAD hard covers) is by Delia Smith. This book
was first published over 35 years ago, in 1971. It was written for
people who didn't have time to cook, or did not want to. Smith is
Britain's bestselling cooking author with sales of over 18 million
copies. Here she presents 150 recipes, all newly recast for our uber
modern lifestyles. She invests many classics dishes with tricks and
tips and shortcuts, which makes everything either easy or quick (and
sometimes both). Topics include soups, starters/sides, meat, chicken,
seafood and fish, vegetarian, and desserts. Most of the dishes use some
mind of convenience food from the supermarket; these labels are not
carried in this country, so you'll have to figure out what's available.
Illustrated with colour photographs. Quality/Price rating: 80.
15. FUNDAMENTALS OF MENU PLANNING, third edition (John Wiley & Sons,
2008, 258 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-07267-7 soft covers) is by Paul McVety,
Bradley Ware, and Claudette Ware – all at Johnson & Wales University in
Rhode Island. This book has offered a complete review of the principles
of planning a menu, including concept development, design mechanics,
and menu pricing. New to this edition are appendices such as a glossary
and the Food Guide Pyramid. There is also new material on dietary
guidelines, labeling and descriptors, and nutrition. Updated menus
reflect the changing variety and composition of items, especially as we
all seem to be marching to a world global fusion cuisine. There is a
new section on restaurant design guidelines, and the review questions
have been recast. There are also numerous forms, tables and worksheets.
For American restaurants, I do find disturbing the huge increase in
wine list prices. The publisher could also have reduced the number of
pages in the book: the typeface size is enormous. I do appreciate the
8.5 x 11 size of the page, to accommodate reproductions of menus.
Quality/Price rating: 89.
16. AU PIED DE COCHON; the album (Douglas McIntyre, 2006, 2008, 192
pages, ISBN 978-1-55365-391-2, $40 CAD paper covers) is by the team at
the famous Montreal restaurant, but principally Martin Picard who once
opened Toque. In 2001 the resto opened to acclaim, promoting hearty and
rustic Quebecois food with a delicate flair. This book was originally
published in 2006, and this is the paperback reprint. Here are 55
recipes direct from his kitchen. Just about everything is over-the-top
and larded with, well, lard and other fats. There are more than 650
illustrations here (mostly photos) that recount Picard and his staff's
story of the resto's beginnings and philosophy of food. Unfortunately,
the publisher has made it hard to actually use the book since it is
oversized (9 x 12 inches) and there is no index. You must consult the
two paged table of contents to find a recipe. But then, why would a
normal person want to cook from this book? It can be a challenge,
especially if you don't have all the ingredients handy. There is much
text on suppliers, which is important information in these times of
eating seasonally and locally. Both metric and avoirdupois measurements
are listed for all ingredients; the publisher notes "for the best
results, we recommend using the metric weights and measures". Try
boudin maison, foie gras hamburger or foie gras poutine (or both,
together), oreilles de crises, maple pigs' feet, cotechino, pot-au-feu.
Quality/Price rating: 85.
17. CUISINE AND CULTURE; a history of food and people (John Wiley &
Sons, 2008, 410 pages, ISBN 978-0-471-74172-5, $39.95 US paper covers)
is by Linda Civitello, M.A (History) who teaches food history. This is
the second edition; the first won a 2003 Gourmand World Cookbook Award.
The basic theme is how history shapes our current diet. The scope is
universal, from pre-history to modern times, the grand sweep being a
good overview. For the most part, each chapter is an anecdotal survey
of a time period and/or region. Later, closer to our new millennium,
the focus becomes Western, and then in the 20th century, it is mostly
North American. This is a useful textbook for culinary arts courses, to
give some sense of history to the preparation of food. Accompanying the
narration are some historical drawings and reproductions. There are
plenty of sidebars for historical tidbits, as well as pronunciation
guides to French and Italian words. The appendix has a cookbook
chronology, from Apicius (1st century AD) through La Varenne, Beeton,
Escoffier, Davidson), plus notes on why these books
are important. There are sample menus and historical recipes, and the
writing style is lively. The book concludes with an extensive
bibliography, footnotes, and index. New to this edition (50 more pages)
are materials on foods and customs moving between cultures, more
holiday histories, better coverage of the Byzantine-Ottoman-Austro-
Hungarian empires, and greater coverage on genetic modification (GM) of
food. Quality/Price rating: 90.
18. NEW GOOD FOOD; shopper's pocket guide to organic, sustainable, and
seasonal whole foods. (Ten Speed Press, 2008, 172 pages, ISBN 978-1-
58008-893-0, $10.95 CAD) is by Margaret M. Wittenberg. She had guided
the quality standards of Whole Foods Market for more than 25 years. Her
book was originally published in 1997; certainly, there have been
tremendous changes and upheavals in the industry since that time. This
is actually a manual and glossary to the whole world of whole foods,
emphasizing buying, storing and preparing. There are many charts and
tables that do a good job of summarizing ingredients and seasons for
the purchase and prep work. Foods include grains, fruits, vegetables,
legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, oils, eggs, dairy products, seafood,
meats, poultry, and seasonings and sugars. "Teff" is covered, but
"stevia" isn't. Still, its comprehensiveness makes it good value for
the inexpensive price. Quality/Price rating: 90.
19. HOSPITALITY LAW; managing legal issues in the hospitality industry.
Third edition (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, 462 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-
08376-5 hard covers) is by Stephen Barth, a professor of hospitality
law at the University of Houston. He also began
New to this edition is the reorganization to provide for summaries and
beginning information upfront in each chapter. There are also
"International Snapshots" offering sidebars from practicing lawyers
regarding the differences between US and international laws. This is
also useful to us in Canada. There are more samples of contracts; there
is more new technology discussed. Through this book, the reader – or
student – has online access to an annual case summary of over 100
significant hospitality case decisions. The table of contents includes
topics such as: business contracts, business structures, managing
property, selecting employees, responsibilities of ownership, guests'
property, and service of food and drink. There is an instructor's
manual. Could be useful in Canada, but it does need "Canadianizing".
Quality/Price rating: 87.
20. EVERYDAY DRINKING; the distilled Kingsley Amis (Bloomsbury, 2008;
distr. Raincoast, 302 pages, ISBN 978-1-59691-528-2, $19.99 US hard
covers) is a reprint of three books by Amis, on a theme of "drinking":
"Kingsley Amis on Drink", "Every Day Drinking", and "How's Your Glass?"
There is a lot here on spirits, booze, hangovers, and wine, including
"The Boozing Man's Diet", "How Not to Get Drunk", and "What to Drink
with What". There are some very easy quizzes (with answers) suitable
for anybody at a party or a game. As for the Martini, it is stirred,
not shaken. Christopher Hitchens provides an introduction. This book
comes with a combined index to Amis' three shorter efforts from 1971-
1984. Quality/Price rating: 88.
21. TECHNIQUES OF HEALTHY COOKING. 3rd edition. (John Wiley & Sons,
2008, 578 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-05232-7, $65 US hard covers) is from
the Culinary Institute of America. It was first issued as a manual in
1990, and it has evolved somewhat into something bigger. It presents
the dietary guidelines (restrictions, nutrients, labeling), with
details for healthier choices on menus. The CIA discuses ingredient
options and serving sizes. The book develops recipes for menus; there
are 400 preps here, many showing how to cook with less of everything
(less fat, salt, sugar, alcohol, and – dare I say it – less food). The
150 colour photos illustrate techniques and plated final dishes, as
well as ingredients and equipment. Servings are for 10 people, and the
ingredients are in both avoirdupois and metric weights and measures.
The appendix covers recipe analyses. The resources guide details
readings, tables and a glossary. There are two separate indexes for
subject matter and for recipes. Quality/Price rating: 90.
22. ASIAN COOKING MADE EASY (Periplus Editions, 2007, 96 pages, ISBN
978-0-7946-0507-0, $11.95 US spiral bound) was previously published as
"LTC Fabulous Asian Homestyle Recipes". These are all home kitchen
meals from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam,
with different flavours and textures. Many preps here involve making
spice pastes. All courses are covered, and weights and measures are
expressed in both metric and avoirdupois. The 40 recipes are all
photographed in their final plating. No index, but there is a complete
listing of the recipe by course. Quality/Price rating: 88.
23. SO YOU WANT TO BE A CHEF? Your guide to culinary careers. Second
edition. (John Wiley & Sons, 2009, i.e. 2008, 266 pages, ISBN 978-0-
470-08856-3, 64691-1, paper covers) is by Lisa Brefere, Karen Drummond
and Brad Barnes, all US authors and teachers in the cooking arena. It
was first published in 2005 in a larger form that also covered career
changing. That part has become its own separate book which I reviewed
last month: SO YOU ARE A CHEF; managing your culinary career (John
Wiley & Sons, 2009 [sic], 149 pages with a CD-ROM, ISBN 978-0-470-
25127-0, paper covers and CD). The current book contains templates and
worksheets, sample resumes and portfolios, forms and slides. Working in
the hospitality area (some may say "arena") is appealing to young
people, and this book certainly shows options available for the cook.
It has discussions on employment as chefs in restaurants, hotels,
cruise liners, clubs, catering, and supermarkets. As well, there are
chances in mass feeding (universities, schools, health centres, armed
forces) plus related areas of research development, private and
personal chefs, food writers, food stylists, food photographers, and
public relations work. There is one paragraph on "celebrity chefs" (did
you know that there actually is an employment category here?). For each
type of chef or cook or employment, there are sub-sections on a day in
the life, reality, pay, organizations, and job descriptions. The
appendix details some culinary professional organizations; 42 are
listed, described, given addresses, websites and phone numbers.
Quality/Price Ratio: 90.

24. MARITIME FLAVOURS; guidebook and cookbook. 7th ed. (Formac
Publishing, 2008, 176 pages, ISBN 978-0-88780-768-8, $24.95 CDN paper
covers) is
By two sisters who are both food writers, Elaine Elliot and Virginia
Lee. The first edition was in 1993; this book comes out quite regularly
every two years or so. This newest edition has new recommendations to
inns and restaurants. They have left the original recipes intact,
though many chefs have moved on and restaurants like Chez La Vigne have
long closed. All recipes were tested for home use, of course. The
profiles cover 91 inns and restaurants, such as those in Wolfville
(including Tempest, my daughter's restaurant: I have a minor conflict
of interest here), with a description of the menu and accommodations.
Lots of colour photos. But some of the descriptions read like
advertorials. The recipes are not particularly Maritime. Do we need
another eggplant parmigiana or steak tartare, especially from the
Maritimes? What I do like about this book: the recipes work, the
plating photos are good, and the book is updated every two years.
QPR Rating: 86.

25. PACIFIC FLAVOURS; recipes from the best chefs on Canada's west
coast. 3rd ed. (Formac Publishing, 2008, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-88780-
756-5, $24.95 CDN paper covers) is by Virginia Lee, a co-author with
her sister of other books in the "Flavours" series from Formac. Recipes
come from chefs working in Whistler, Vancouver, Victoria, Vancouver
Island, and the Okanagan Valley. Over 40 were chosen. The recipes for
all courses  here are complemented by sommelier Brent Hayman's BC wine
choices. The establishments are profiled at the back, with the usual
names and numbers, and some text on what to look for. This revised and
updated list includes spas, wineries, and resorts. Just about all preps
are local and seasonal, although "Cayman Island Chowder" is a bit of a
stretch: even the chef says he substitutes local fish. So why not call
it "Caribbean Chowder"? That's what it is. Quality/Price rating: 88.

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