Of course by now pastry chef Antonio Bachour (1975– ) is an Instagram sensation and has a number of cookbooks under his belt, but in 2013 when his eponymous book was published, could we have known how far he would ascend?
The answer to that is a resounding yes.
A special kind of energy stirs among these some 130 pages. Alan Batt’s striking, close-up photography—an asset to any chef’s work—effectively demonstrates how just a few components, assembled with the right vision, can become something magical. Facing each image are concise recipes with short ingredient lists. Certainly, some pastry and baking experience is a must, but Bachour’s style is remarkably approachable.
We might mention the coconut rice pudding with mango crémeux, tropical fruits, and foam, assembled high and tight in a verrine, garnished with flower petals. A number of semifreddo popsicles are here treated as plated desserts, playful head-turners, no doubt. And the microwave sponge cakes that dominated pastry menus in the early 2000s are here too, but they are far from appearing outdated. In particular, we are drawn to the pistachio sponge filled with lemon cream and raspberry gel, appearing like an elegant, bejeweled bird’s nest.The range of Bachour’s work has only grown and become more complex throughout his career, but this inaugural tome set the stage. Sadly, most of his books have suffered short print lives, and the early ones are all out of print. We are pleased to offer a Fine first printing with a Fine jacket. Truly inspiring.