A Very Serious Cookbook: Contra Wildair
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Jeremiah Stone and Fabien von Hauske opened Contra in 2013 and the more casual Wildair two years later. Contra had a Michelin star and Wildair is known for an impressive selection of small plates that pair impeccably with the restaurant’s collection of natural wines.
In this, their first book, the chefs offer an edgy collection of recipes that defy easy categorization. Yes, they’re seasonally aware and handsomely plated. But they draw inspiration freely from a host of cuisines, caring primarily about flavor in dishes such as beef tartare with smoked cheddar and horseradish; potatoes dauphin with uni and jalapeño; or sweetbreads with peas and rhubarb.
This is a notably friendly book, one that’s perfectly willing to tell you some stories along with offering you its sophisticated food. The chefs share stories of their inspirations and frustrations, of dishes that migrated from one restaurant’s menu to another, and the many, many cooks with whom they have worked who gave them an imaginative boost.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.