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In his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, restaurant, the Swedish-born Fredrik Berselius has created a sensation by employing some of the philosophic inspiration of the recent Nordic culinary awakening to local New York foods. This dramatically handsome book deftly illustrated why so many people have been paying attention.
Balancing flavor, seasonality, thoughtfully innovative technique, elegant presentation, and subtle sense of adventure, Berselius's first book is thoughtful and captivating. The recipes are accompanied by meditative headnotes that often emphasize the source of the chef's inspiration—such as picking asparagus for the first time—and photos of the plated food appear immediately opposite the instructions and ingredients, so there's no chasing around the book to find out just how he achieved something unusual you've just seen pictured.
Throughout the book there is an immediacy to Berselius's ideas that clearly comes from full engagement with his ingredients. Not only has he picked asparagus, sea buckthorn, gooseberries, and rose hips, he's gone hunting for venison and fished for herring.
This is not food that one sees on every menu in the US: sourdough bread with smoked hake and toasted milk chip; fresh peas and razor clams; beef aged for 18 months and served with mushrooms and cream; buttermilk granita with blueberries and woodruff.
A fresh, bright statement of creativity.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.