Anyone who loves cooking likely loves cookbooks. Some wind up being huge disappointments. Others end up being the stalwarts of your cookbook collection – called upon time and again. When I read about Food52 Genius Recipes I had a feeling in my gut it would fall into the latter category, and so far I’m right.
In case you don’t already know about Food52, after you read this hit the link and check it out. It’s a great website filled with wonderful cooking tips, recipes culled from all over the web, and products that will help bring your own cooking to new levels of fabulousness. I have to confess I had never heard of it until I came across this book, but now it’s a new food website go-to for me. Being unfamiliar, I was obviously a little wary about how good this cookbook would be. Thankfully my gut served me well.
And how could I not have a good gut feeling about this book? It culls recipes from a roster of cooking superstars who have stellar reputations: Tom Colicchio, Nigella Lawson, Jim Lahey, Alice Waters, Eric Ripert, and even James Beard, the Godfather of modern cuisine. People who really know what they’re doing. And now armed with this book you can use their food knowledge and apply it to your own kitchen. Even the feel and look of it is amazing (yes, I’m one of those people for whom the feel of a book matters). As soon as I held it in my hand I was taken with the fact that it doesn’t have a dustjacket (who needs that in the kitchen), but rather a sturdy cover with a glossy finish making any little spills in the kitchen easy to wipe off. The paper is thick and and has a wonderful texture that lends itself to any notes you want to make as you try these recipes and add your own personal touch. And the photos are stunning – true food porn. They say you eat first with your eyes, and given the eye candy that fills this book you’ll want to eat everything in it.
The main premise of this cookbook is to introduce home cooks to the little unexpected tips and additions that professionals use to elevate their dishes. And even better, it encourages the reader to take these recipes and use them as a jumping off point and experiment to make these recipes their own. It wants to help open up the mind of the home cook and inspire them to think like a chef. Often times that means making things simpler, taking away all the bells and whistles and really learning to let the ingredients sing on their own.
I’ve already tried the Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion from Marchella Hazan. Seriously, those are the only ingredients: Diced tomatoes, onion, and butter (and salt to season). Plus, it only took about an hour to make a rich simple pasta sauce that was tasty as is, but has already got my mind thinking about how I can make it mine (a little chiffonade of fresh basil, anyone?) and make it even tastier. Super simple, yet something I’d never have thought of on my own. Genius.
Food52 Genius Recipes is a great all around cookbook. Its simple and clear instructions will make even a novice cook comfortable, and yet it’s got a lot of great little tips for the experienced home chef. Add this gem to your cookbook collection, you won’t be disappointed!
I received this book through the Blogging For Books program in exchange for this review . No other compensation was received, and all opinions are solely mine.