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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 52.
- Review Date: 2006-10-30
- Reviewer: Staff
In this hefty follow-up to his 1993 debut (Home Cooking with a French Accent), Richard imparts culinary wisdom of the highest order in cheerful nursery tones. Humpty Dumpty, Captain Crunch and a vegetable called Mr. Beet are a few of the merry characters who populate his kitchen. Goofiness apart, the book is filled with clever, innovative techniques and little-known time-savers (microwave béchamel, anybody? food processor sorbet?). Most of the recipes hinge on Richard's unconventional methods, and their successful execution does require a certain level of skill. Attention-grabbers like Asparagus Salmon (in which asparagus spears are slipped inside the pocket of a salmon fillet which is then sliced like a terrine), and Red Snapper in a Spinach Coating are elegant enough to serve to a Michelin inspector, yet are corralled and fenced within the range of ability of a competent home cook. Other dishes are more demanding—the superlative Lamb Loin with White Bean Sauce, for example. In any case, professional cooks and serious amateurs will find this volume an essential resource. (Oct. 31)
A chef's chef, reigning restaurateur of our nation's capital, an inspired and inspiring innovator, Michel Richard is one of the few celebrity chefs I can think of who hasn't written a cookbook. Happy in the Kitchen: The Craft of Cooking, the Art of Eating (Artisan, $45, 352 pages, ISBN 1579652999) happily rectifies that sad state and introduces avid cooks to the joys of taste and technique the Richard way. It's gorgeous, with 225 color photos, including dozens that show step-by-step prep, and its good looks are matched by 150 extraordinary recipes. With unrivaled culinary curiosity, Richard rejoices in the surprising (potato risotto, Chocolate Popcorn), in new combinations (Black Olive-Crusted Salmon), in spinning classics (Green Bouillabaisse with Aïoli) and in letting his imagination soar. This is a must-have cookbook for the foodies in your life and, even better, the foodie within.