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Wednesday, June 27, 2018


All of these books are recommended values for their intended purposes...Prices are in Canadian dollars...
--EATING LOCAL IN THE FRASER VALLEY (Appetite by Random House, 2018, 264 pages, $24.95 paperbound) is a food guide by Angie Quayle, owner of a gourmet food store, Well Seasoned. She's got  over 70 recipes from farmers, producers and chefs who work in the valley.  These are stories and anecdotes from the region, along with maps and itineraries for day trips. There are mini-profiles of the major players, and as such, forms a perfect gift for anybody having an interest in British Columbia food and wine. 
--THE STORY OF FOOD (DK Publishing, 2018, 360 pages, $45 hardbound) is a heavily illustrated history of everything we eat. The audience level is anyone over the age of 10 who is interested in great food. As with agricultural history, it begins with nuts and seeds, moving through veggies and fruits, meat, fish and shellfish, grains and pulses, dairy and eggs, sugars and syrups, oils and condiments, then herbs and spices. There are overall sections dealing with the nature of food followed by the type chapters. So for nuts and seeds, there are sections on nutcrackers, hoarding, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, sesame seeds, coffee, etc. Very entertaining for a mid-day read.
--THE LATIN TABLE (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018, 168 pages, ISBN 978-1-5107-2866-0  $38.99 hardbound) is by Isabel Cruz, chef-owner of three US west coast restaurants plus a farm near Portland. Her debut cookbook (Isabel's Cantina) was a bestseller. Here she delves into "Latin fusion cuisine" which celebrates the chili, but with innovative and healthy twists on traditional foods.  She's got "three piggie tacos" (carnitas, bacon, chicharron), blackened salmon with pineapple jicama salas, and rack of lamb with cumin, cinnamon and cardamon rub. Drinks are covered too. Preps come from California, Mexico, Puerto Rico, znd down into South America. She's got memoirs and family archives and recipes plus a "Latin pantry" -- ending with a sources list.
--A TABLE IN VENICE (Appetite by Random House, 2018, 268 pages, $40 hardbound) is by Skye McAlpine, who blogs about living and cooking in Venice ( These are her recipes and photos; she's lived there since she was six. About 100 recipes are here, including bigoli with creamy walnut sauce, grilled radicchio with pomegranate, and scallops with pistachio gratin. The photography embraces the gastroporn of markets, plated dishes, and Venice.  As the back cover says,  these are the "markets, meals and afternoon spritzes from the floating city".  A good job, made even better by including both metric and avoirdupois measurements in the listing of ingredients.
--TASTING PARIS (Clarkson Potter, 2018, 256 pages, $40 hardbound) is by Clotilde Dusoulier,  who has written four other cookbooks and runs the blog Here she give us 100 recipes to eat like a local. It's all arranged by time of day, beginning with morning, noon, afternoon, early evening, through to late night.  It is also a stroll through Paris with a tour of Parisian cuisine and what local people do during the day, a day in which food forms the centrepiece. Recipes have variations, and there are mini-profiles of food artisans, such as La Maison Poilane (bread) and La Maison Berthillon (ice cream). Markets are also covered, as well as her favourite shopping streets. Truly a delightful too for the lover of all things Parisian.
--CUBAN FLAVOR (Skyhorse Publishing, 2018, 228 pages, $46.99 hardbound) is by Liza Gershman, food-lifestyle-travel photographer. As was noted, it is a well-researched combination of a cookbook, scrapbook, travel guide and "love letter" to Cuba. 78 recipes have been gathered, from apps through mains to desserts and drinks. She's got some general information on travelling and what to take plus a suggested eight-day itinerary. Major food topics (all with great photography) include (to give them their Spanish names) carne, pollo, pescado y marisco, huevos, vegtariano, dulce and bibidas. And yes, there is the usual "Moors and Christians" as well as so many others. A good souvenir gift book.
--TUSCANY (Grant Hardie, 2017, 2018,  272 pages, $ hardbound) is by Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi who have been working their way through Italian food and travel: with preps from separately published books dealing with the Amalfi Coast, Venice, Rome, and Sicily. Now it is Tuscany's turn, one of the most food-obsessed regions in Italy. So it's a culinary journey beginning with breakfast, and following through with lunch, dinner and the weekend feast. It is a diverse landscape of simple meals and fab feasts from Tuscany, and the Caldesis do it well. Excellent photos blend plating, techniques and travel illustrations together.
--TOKYO NEW WAVE (Ten Speed Press, 2018, 296 pages, $54 hardbound) is by writer Andrea Fazzari, a Tokyo-based international food stylist, restaurant consultant, and photographer. Here she has gathered notes and recipes (plus, of course, her photos) from 31 chefs that are defining Japan's next generation – 30 men and 1 woman. Profiles illuminate their techniques and philosophies, and how they feel about their country's food. If you cannot get to Tokyo (or would like a visual remembrance), this is the next best thing. Each chef is given a separate chapter, and at the back there is a listing with advice about websites and Japanese fluency. Interviews are summaries, with Qs and As. Delicious, and well-worth looking at.
--BETWEEN HARLEM AND HEAVEN (Flatiron Books, 2018, 272 pages, $48.99 hardbound) is by  J.J. Johnson and Alexander Smalls. "JJ" is a James Beard nominee working in NYC kitchens and in Ghana (Villa Monticello). Smalls is an award winning chef-owner in NYC, and together they have operated The Cecil, which is now part of Minton's. Veronica Chambers is the focusing coauthor (she's done other books with Ripert and Samuelsson). This is Afro-Asian-American fusion cooking for big nights, weekends, and every day. The openers are collections of memoirs by the authors, with a careful explanation of Harlem and where they had their roots. This is followed by chapters dealing with salads, meat and poultry, fish, vegetarian, rice and sides, desserts, and more profile material about Bengali Harlem, sauces, Minton's Playhouse, and the Afro-Asian flavour profile. The range includes BBQ brisket egg roll, king mushrooms with harissa vinaigrette and roasted carrots, roti with black-eyed pea hummus and eggplant/carrot puree, charred okra, collard green salsa verde, gullah shrimp mini burgers, and green apple curry.


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