Mendes, chef-owner of the Michelin-starred Aldea here in NYC, has long straddled an interesting line between sophisticated restaurant fare and the humble home cooking of the Iberian peninsula. One of his most famous dishes, the one-pot duck rice (p. 108) is based on the simple foods his Portuguese-born mother prepared while he was growing up, but its execution relies on classic techniques such as confit as well as the modernist use of sous-vide. This, his first book, a moving and gorgeous tribute to the food of Portugal, manages that same deft balance, offering a wholly comfortable mixture of hearty home cooking (chicken and orzo soup) and sophisticated reinterpretation that evokes other great chefs (for instance, a dish of green beans with peaches and almonds in tribute to Alain Passard). Strong and surprising. color throughout.
Hardcpver. Color photographs throughout.