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The Recipe: Classic Dishes for the Home Cook from the World's Best Chefs

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by Josh Emett
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We find this book fascinating and confusing. Emett, a New Zealand chef who had a high-profile career working alongside Gordon Ramsay before opening his own restaurants, presents a collection of more than 300 recipes, either written by himself or by famous chefs and cooks. They're handsomely photographed and include dishes from many cuisines, ranging from the traditional to au courant. The list of contributors is certainly impressive. Emett has lined up everyone from Leah Chase to Anne-Sophie Pic, and from Yannick Alleno to Tetsuya Wakuda. But the recipe assortment itself is eclectic to say the least. Lobster thermidor from Marco Pierre White; roast turkey from Martha Stewart; feijoada from Daniel Boulud; a traditional Christmas cake from Charmaine Solomon (though precisely where this cake is traditional is not explained). You'll also find contributions from Alice Waters, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Charles Phan, Nancy Silverton, and a host of other very fine cooks. But since the book lacks recipe headnotes, it ultimately lacks coherence, insight, and justification. If you need an attractive gift for people who love fine dining but never cook themselves, you may have found this book's raison d'etre. Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.

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