Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 44.
- Review Date: 2009-10-05
- Reviewer: Staff
Cleveland’s most famous restaurateur, Symon is an iron chef on the Food Network, and he’s got the personality to hang with Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. His fun, brash appeal often shines through in this collection of bold and surprisingly simple to master recipes. He doesn’t hold back with the flavorings: a simple linguine with heirloom tomatoes is spiced with capers, anchovies and chili, and even veggie side dishes—peas and pancetta; Ohio creamed corn with bacon; crispy cauliflower with anchovy aioli—are decadent. Chapters on pickling and charcuterie are evidence that this is a legit chef’s cookbook, but he makes such recipes as lamb bresaola, duck confit, and pickled ramps completely approachable. Though the prose feels dashed off (one paragraph says Symon’s food is “reliant on good technique” and a few lines later claims it uses “almost no technique whatsoever”) and the design is occasionally forced (chapter contents and some headings are displayed in a font apparently meant to evoke Symon’s many tattoos, but they’re barely legible), the recipes are very strong. This volume is excellent for anyone who wants to cook like a chef without a lot of stress. (Nov.)