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Sunday, January 22, 2012


 ...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"...
23. THE SOTHEBY'S WINE ENCYCLOPEDIA; the classic reference to the wines
of the world, 5th edition rev. (DK, 2011, 736 pages, ISBN 978-0-7566-
8684-0, $50 US hard covers) is by prolific wine writer Tom Stevenson.
The first edition was in 1988, and Stevenson has done a remarkable job
in chronicling the changes over the years. The last edition was in
2007, with the same US price, but only 664 pages. Here there are 72
more pages, needed for entirely new content such as the ABC of Grape
Varieties and A Chronology of Wine. Also inn this new edition, he has
reworked all the maps, with major changes to Greece, Romania, Israel,
South Africa, North Africa and Asia. He also claims that the new
Italian and United States' maps have every single DOC and AVA listed.
Other updating deal with wine producers, new appellations, and recent
vintage assessments. His book is arranged geographically, covering all
the wine-growing areas, history and reputation. There are new useful
photos. There are sections on all the factors affecting taste and
quality. Stevenson authors many profiles of important producers, giving
assessments of individual wines. He also has a section on enjoying
wines, including wine tasting; wine and food, star ratings, taste
charts to profile flavours, flaws in wines, and vintage charts back to
1976 in general, with earlier mentions for key years. He even has some
detail about regional oak varieties with illustrated close-ups of the
grain. The book concludes with a glossary (Micropedia) and an extensive
index. Many changes are devoted to New World wines (California,
New Zealand, Australia, India, Asia). Stevenson gives detailed coverage
of the whole world and 6000 wineries are recommended; he is also a good
writer. Canada gets six pages, covering 25 Ontario wineries and 23 in
BC, plus Nova Scotia and Quebec, with up-to-date notes. There is an
"author's choice" section which lists the best wines, with a lengthy
description and aging ability. With over 1000 photos and maps (plus
scores of Top Ten lists), it's hard to get more comprehensive, fresh
and up-to-date than this book right now. Quality/Price Rating: 92.
24. THE RESTAURANT; from concept to operation. Sixth edition. (John
Wiley & Sons, 2011, 557 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-62643-6, $82.59 US hard
covers) is by John R. Walker, a hospitality professor at the University
of South Florida. This book has always been a one-stop guide to the
resto biz, and is well-read in hospitality schools. New to this edition
is greater emphasis on business leadership and management,
sustainability, business plans and the independent operator, cultural
history of eating out in America, purchasing meat, cocktails, spirits
and non-alcoholic beverages, and the influences of Native Peoples and
African American food on the industry. Although heavily pitched to the
US scene, there is enough of value here to us in Canada. Quality/price
rating: 89.

25. ARTISAN BREADS; practical recipes and detailed instructions for
baking the world's finest loaves (Skyhorse Publishing, 2004, 2011, 240
pages, ISBN 978-1-61608-487-5, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Jan Hedh, a
Swedish bread maker. The book was originally published in 2004 in
Swedish, and here it has been translated and released into North
America. He's got 110 recipes that are internationally based, and are
quite suitable for home cooking. There are lots of primer-type
information and photos of techniques and finished breads. There's
nothing gluten-free here, and most of the preps are European
influenced. There are sandwich breads, sweet breads, dark breads,
savoury bread, brioches, Christmas breads, and the like. Preparations
have their ingredients listed in only avoirdupois volume measurements,
with no scaling, and there is no table of metric equivalents. A
concession to the American market? Quality/price rating: 82.

26. THE COMPASSIONATE COOK; or, "Please don't eat the animals!" a vegan
cookbook (Grand Central Publishing, 1993, 2011, 24 pages, ISBN 978-0-
446-39492-5, $13.99 US paper covers) is by People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals and Ingrid Newkirk, president of PETA. It was
originally published in July 1993, and here it has been reprinted in
2011. It's a guide to low-fat, cholesterol-free and animal-friendly
eating, with over 225 basic vegetarian/vegan dishes covering all
courses and meal patterns. There are the usual substitution tips,
listing of healthy ingredients, and some advice on how to eat out.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements,
but there is no table of metric equivalents. Well-worth an affordable
look. Quality/price rating: 85.

27. THE BOOK OF YIELDS; accuracy in food costing and purchasing. Eighth
edition. (John Wiley, 2012, 298 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-19749-3, $37.50
US spiral comb) is available separately from the hard cover book done
by Francis Lynch. I had reviewed the book previously as: "a basic work
for students and chefs, and it comes with a workbook. It tells you what
you need to know for how much food to buy". It is a collection of
accurate food measurements for over 1,350 or so raw food ingredients
(200 new foods since the 2008 edition). Measurements are given in
weight-to-volume equivalents, trim yields, and cooking yields. Part One
of the contents covers herbs and spices, produce, starchy foods,
baking, fats and oils, dairy, beverages, meats, seafood, and poultry.
Part Two is the workbook of costing sheets and conversion tables. Here,
recipe cost and yield are most important. Spreadsheets, though, should
be able to handle all of this. There's also a new chapter on standard
portion sizes to assist in menu planning, recipe development and
costing. For the most part, only US measurements are given, so you will
need to convert to metric or imperial. That is why a spreadsheet works
better than paper and pen. But there are conversion charts inside the
book. Quality-to-Price Ratio: 90.

28. FOOD AND BEVERAGE COST CONTROL. 5th ed. (John Wiley & Sons, 2011,
544 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-25138-6, $97.95 CAD hard covers) last came
out in 2008. The authors are academics and consultants Lea Dopson and
David Hayes. We all know that there are razor-thin profits in the food
hospitality industry. Such outlets embrace all types of restaurants,
bars, sports complexes, grocery stores, room service, country clubs,
banquet halls, etc. This book emphasizes the need for control, in order
to maximize profits and minimize shrinkage. Its contents cover managing
as a Food and Beverage Manager (basic accounting, forecasting,
predicting sales), the cost of food, storage, and inventory – with
plenty of forms to view. More chapters cover the cost of beverages,
labour, and "administration". Another part of the book deals with
pricing, analyzing charts, and verifying data. There is information on
security, such as dishonest employees, false invoices, scams, skips,
and the like. For example, chapter four is on beverage control (45
pages). This is mainly booze control for all of the industry as noted
above. There is how to forecast sales of beer, wine (wine by the glass,
too), spirits, cocktails and their mixes. All of it applies to
standardized drinks and portions, markups, constructing a wine list,
storage and inventory, and to the ubiquitous forms. Forms are available
for finding how to compare the costs of beverages. I'm not sure how
much of the record keeping applies to Canada, since there are
provincial regulations on what has to be recorded for government
inspectors and revenue filing. Anyway, the appendices have all of the
useful formulae. As a textbook for the hospitality schools, it fulfills
its functions: there are questions and answers for students to discuss
and then to apply. Each chapter has lists of key terms and concepts,
plus selected tests for you to try out. Additional readings are also
suggested. New to this edition are sections on sustainability and
environmental responsibility, and more on international foodservice
operations. Quality/Price Rating: 90.
29. EASY PARTY FOOD; simply delicious recipes for your perfect party
(Ryland, Peters & Small, 2011, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-162-9,
$19.95 US hard covers) has over 100 recipes taken from the publishers'
books of cookery authors Fiona Beckett, Susannah Blake, Maxine Clark,
Ross Dobson, Lydia France, Fran Warde, Jennifer Joyce, and others.
Everything is easy to prepare, and broken down into categories such as
"light bites and dips", tartlets and toasts, canapes, sticks and
skewers, breads and crackers, buffet dishes, sweet treats, and drinks
(which include crowd faves such as mulled wine, sangria, mulled cider,
and punches). It's one of two dozen books in the "Easy" series.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 85.

30. WHERE WOMEN COOK CELEBRATE! Extraordinary women & their signature
recipes (Lark, 2011, 176 pages, ISBN 978-1-60059-898-2, $24.95 US hard
covers) is by Jo Packham, editor of "Where Women Cook" magazine. The
book profiles 28 women who share their passion for cooking and
entertaining, and there are about 50 preps. Most of the women are food
bloggers and/or authors/writers for magazines or newspapers. Here they
all write about festivities or large dinners. There's food for every
course, such as caramelized onion and gruyere tart, lemon pepper tea
biscuits, pumpkin donuts, or carrot orange soup. There's a biography
for each and some text on how and why they did the celebration, plus
most of the recipes. The rest of the recipes may be found at the
magazine's website; much of the material here
had been published in the magazine. Preparations have their ingredients
listed avoirdupois measurements, but there are tables of metric
equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.

31. SOUP; a kosher collection (Whitecap, 2004, 2011, 210 pages, ISBN
978-1-77050-062-4, $24.95 CAD paper covers) is by Pam Reiss, who joined
the family business in Winnipeg (Desserts Plus, a kosher catering
company). There's 150 kosher soup preps here, and for the 2011 revision
she has added 20 new soups, full-colour photos, and nutritional
information for every recipe. There's a full-range here, from Passover
to parve, dairy, fish, meat, fruit and dessert soups. As one reviewer
of the first edition said, everything here is both creative and easy.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.
32. EASY COCKTAILS; over 200 classic and contemporary recipes (Ryland,
Peters & Small, 2011, 240 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-164-3, $19.95 US hard
covers) has enough preps to get your home bar started. Most of the
recipes come from Ben Reed, but Louise Pickford and Tonia George also
contribute. There's the basic primer on home bars, followed by separate
chapters on martinis, sparkling cocktails, smashes, sours, manhattans,
rum-based, highballs, shooters, and creamy cocktails. There's even a
short chapter on hangovers and mocktails. It's one of two dozen books
in the "Easy" series. Preparations have their ingredients listed in
both metric and avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of
metric equivalents. Quality/price rating: 85.

33. PURCHASING; selection and procurement for the hospitality industry.
Eighth edition. (John Wiley, 2012, 688 pages, ISBN 978-0-470-29046-0,
$111.65 US hard covers) is by Andrew Hale Feinstein and John
Stefanelli, both academics teaching in American hospitality programs.
It was last published in 2008. It is a basic book, used as a text, and
on the desks of current Food and Beverage Managers. New to this edition
are the latest thoughts on green practices, sustainability, socially
responsible suppliers, buying locally, new technology, new products,
novel approaches to procurement, and new techniques for costing. There
are interviews which show the daily lives of workers doing typical
purchase decisions. There are exercises for students and practitioners
alike. Bibliographic references include websites and newer periodical
articles. Key words and concepts have been increased and revised. And
there are scores of new illustrations and photos. Quality/price rating:
34. THE CALIFORNIA SEAFOOD COOKBOOK; a cook's guide to the fish and
shellfish of California, the Pacific coast and beyond (Skyhorse
Publishing, 2011; distr. T. Allen, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-61608-344-1,
$24.95 hard cover) is by the team of Isaac Cronin (a PR director), Paul
Johnson (owner of a fish company and chef), and Jay Harlow. All three
are also cookbook authors. It was first published in 1983, and sold
over 125,000 copies. It's encyclopedic in scope, covering some 75
species with about two recipes apiece on average (150 in all). About
half of the species are also in the Atlantic and Gulf waters, and each
recipe suggests alternative fish and shellfish from other regions, so
it is wider in scope than just "California". The titling was just an
unfortunate marketing practice. There's primer data on cooking methods
such as cleaning and shucking oysters, crabs, and the like. and some
wine notes. There's a colour illustration for each fish, and a
concluding bibliography. Print size is nicely large for these tired
eyes of mine. Preparations have their ingredients listed in avoirdupois
measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.
35. COOKING VEGETARIAN; healthy, delicious, and easy vegetarian cuisine
(Wiley Publishing, 1998, 2011, 274 pages, ISBN 978-1-118-00762-4,
$26.95 soft covers) is by Chef Joseph Forest and Vesanto Melina, a
nutritionist who writes books. It was originally published with 40
fewer pages in 1998. It is an easy book to get into. Preparations have
their ingredients listed in both metric and avoirdupois measurements,
but there is no table of metric equivalents. There are updated
reference charts and guides to food, as well as and all-new book list
and added resources. The first 70 pages concern health benefits and
cooking techniques. The recipes cover all courses, and include their
take on ice cream (Vegan Dasz). Lots of menus and good sense here,
although it is actually a vegan book (no fish, eggs, dairy, honey).
Quality/price rating: 88.
36. 300 BEST POTATO RECIPES (Robert Rose, 2011, 448 pages, ISBN 978-0-
7788-0278-5, $24.95 CAD soft covers) is by Kathleen Sloan-McIntosh, a
well-known Canadian cookbook and food freelance writer, now based in
Bayfield, off Georgian Bay. It's a vastly updated and expanded version
of a 2002 book she did for Penguin, which had only 150 recipes for the
same price. She's said the Canadian-originated Yukon Gold potato was
the impetus for that book. A member of the belladonna family (tomatoes,
sweet peppers, eggplant, tobacco), the potato is a good source for
niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, essential minerals, and complex
carbohydrates. One 150 gram potato can supply half the RDA of Vitamin
C. It is probably everybody's favourite vegetable. Over 400 species of
white potatoes are in production (about 4000 have been catalogued). And
there are plenty of yellow, red, purple varieties, in all shapes and
sizes, all year long. And they are used in every conceivable way:
boiling, baking, roasting, steaming, frying, and mashing. The only
difference between most potatoes which appear at the market: some are
floury (best for baking and mashing) and some are waxy (best for
salads). She's got many sidebars of tips and advice. Her chapters are
arranged beginning with "classic" recipes (roast, mash, fried,
scalloped), and moving on to appetizers (potato focaccia, potato bread,
brandade), French potato galette, oyster pie, potato soup and pesto,
salads, grilled, souffles, stews, noodles, and a concluding section on
sweet potatoes which is mostly desserts but with some interesting
concoctions involving dry mashed white potatoes. But "classic salade
nicoise" has no place here: a classic nicoise uses only raw veggies.
Preparations have their ingredients listed in both metric and
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/Price rating: 90.

37. THE GOOD COOKIE; over 250 delicious recipes, from simple to sublime
(John Wiley & Sons, 2002, 2011, 390 pages, ISBN 978-1-118-16954-4,
$22.99 US soft covers) is by Tish Boyle, cookbook author and food
editor at Chocolatier and Pastry Art & Design magazines. It was
originally published in 2002; here is the paperback reprint. There's
the usual primer on cookie dough and equipment. At the back, there is
an updated source list, with websites. Of particular value is the
series of "Cookies for Every Occasion", a listing by categories
(unfortunately without any page references, so you will have to look
them up yourself). So under the "Coffee Hour" there are almond anise
biscotti, almond java rounds, chocolate almond biscotti, chocolate
walnut bars, cinnamon dough nut holes, hazelnut biscotti, and toasted
almond crunch cookies. Other categories are "for kids", "picnic fare",
"ship well", "nuts about nuts", "holidays", "over-the-top chocolate"
and six more—for a total of thirteen. A good wide-ranging assortment of
cookies here.  Preparations have their ingredients listed in
avoirdupois measurements, but there is no table of metric equivalents.
Quality/price rating: 87.
38. HOME-GROWN HARVEST; delicious ways to enjoy your seasonal fruit and
vegetables (Ryland, Peters & Small, 2011, 192 pages, ISBN 978-1-84975-
149-0, $27.95 US) is a collection of some 150 recipes concentrating on
the bounty of any home-grown fruit or veggies that you may have.
Recipes come from the stable of the publisher's cookery writers such as
Fiona Beckett, Maxine Clark, Ross Dobson, Tonia George, and 19 others.
The arrangement is two or four to ma page, categorized by type: root
veggies, bulbs and stems, fruiting veggies, podding veggies, salad
greens, squash, mushrooms, tree fruits, and soft fruits. The
organization makes it a nice concept. Preparations have their
ingredients listed in avoirdupois measurements, but there is a table of
metric equivalents. Try flamiche (leeks), belladonna tart, pea and
parma ham crostini, squash and eggplant chutney, or summer crumble.
Quality/price rating: 87.

39. BREWED AWAKENING; behind the beers and brewers leading the world's
craft brewing revolution (Sterling Epicures, 2011, 292 pages, ISBN 978-
1-4027-7864-3, $24.95 US hard covers) is by Joshua M. Bernstein, a free
lance writer who writes beer articles for Imbibe magazine. Most of this
book comes from articles he had written for Imbibe, Others come from
his writings for the New York Press. It is loaded with stories about
craft beer makers, illustrated with a variety of pubs and labels. There
is also a number of different typefaces for the reader to enjoy, plus
material on food and beer pairings. He manages to cover super-bitters,
cask-conditioning, organic beers, gluten-free beers, high alcohol
beers, and the like. He also manages to cover limited production beers,
usually in lots of 800 or so bottles which sell out in an hour. There
are stories about lost recipes, back-to-the-land beers, and extreme
beers. But there is not a lot here on draught beers. Throughout the
book there are 150 craft beer reviews. At the back there's material on
craft beer weeks around the US, with three listed for Canada. There is
also a glossary and an index. Canada gets a few pages, principally
about Dieu du Ciel in Montreal. Quality/price rating: 85.


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