Anyone who creates recipes, anyone who improvises in the kitchen, will find this a remarkably versatile aid to inspiration.
Page and Dornenberg have written a number of books for pro cooks, including the popular Becoming a Chef. For this impressive cross-index of flavor pairings, they surveyed dozens of the country’s leading chefs for suggestions on what goes best with what. The listings are primarily by ingredient, ranging from achiote seeds to zucchini, with beverages and condiments included. T
hey also include types of cuisine (Afghan, Spanish) and specific flavor notes (astringency, saltiness). Throughout there are examples of specific dishes from the surveyed chefs, so that we see that while Mario Batali serves raw porcini with arugula, parmigiano, and aceto Manadori, Traci Des Jardins serves with them with green apple, Garottxa cheese and hazelnut vinaigrette. It’s a remarkably useful and concise presentation of a huge range of knowledge.