Cookbook Reviews | October 15, 2012

starred review star Keller, Thomas & others. Bouchon Bakery. Artisan: Workman. Oct. 2012. c.400p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781579654351. $50. COOKING

Keller’s acclaimed restaurant cookbooks (e.g., The French Laundry Cookbook ) give dedicated cooks a chance to re-create his cuisine at home. Here, with executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel and head baker Matt McDonald, he demystifies the baked goods and confections served in the five Bouchon Bakeries. The book tells readers exactly what they’ll need to succeed, from the spherical molds used to shape Cream Puffs to the unorthodox equipment used to generate steam for crusty breads (river rocks, metal chain link, and a Super Soaker water gun) to the brand names of preferred ingredients. VERDICT As impressive as it is exacting, this gorgeous book is a master class in professional pastry. Highly recommended.

Ottolenghi, Yotam & Sami Tamimi. Jerusalem: A Cookbook. Ten Speed: Crown Pub. Group. Oct. 2012. c.320p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781607743941. $35. COOKING

London chefs and business partners Ottolenghi and Tamimi both grew up in Jerusalem (the former in the Jewish west, the latter in the Arab east). Drawing on their childhood experiences for inspiration, they’ve updated traditional recipes (e.g., Falafel, Tabbouleh, Lamb Shawarma) to suit the lifestyles and preferences of modern home cooks. Though it isn’t comprehensive, the book includes a wealth of historical and cultural information. VERDICT Ottolenghi’s Plenty , a collection of innovative vegetarian recipes, was widely considered one of the best cookbooks of 2011, so expect demand for his latest.

starred review star Presilla, Maricel E. Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America. Norton. Oct. 2012. c.864p. illus. photogs. index. ISBN 9780393050691. $45. COOKING

Presilla ( The New Taste of Chocolate ) is a Cuban-born chef and renowned culinary historian who won the 2012 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic. Her latest, a bible of Latin American cuisine, presents more than 500 recipes for both authentic and modern dishes, from adobos and sofritos, to popular empanadas, tamales, and ceviches, to the less familiar cachapas (corn griddle cakes) and picadillo (a seasoned beef hash). Expertly blending history with travel narrative and memoir, Presilla brings Latin American food culture to life. The comprehensive treatment makes it difficult to isolate information about individual countries, but most readers won’t mind. VERDICT An indispensable reference. Highly recommended.

The following titles are reviewed in the October 15 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Brandon, Pam & others. Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans. Univ. of Florida. Oct. 2012. c.352p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780813042282. $28. COOKING

Lemlin, Jeanne. Simply Satisfying: Over 200 Vegetarian Recipes You’ll Want To Make Again and Again. The Experiment, dist. by Workman. Nov. 2012. c.368p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781615190621. pap. $21.95. COOKING

Lindholm, Leila. Hello Cupcake! New Holland, dist. by Sterling. 2012. c.128p. ISBN 9781780092317. $14.99. COOKING

Perelman, Deb. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook. Knopf. Oct. 2012. c.368p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780307595652. $35. COOKING

Smith, Michael. Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen: 100 of My Favorite Easy Recipes. Pintail: Penguin. Oct. 2012. c.288p. photogs. index. ISBN 9780670066919. pap. $25. COOKING

Sobol, Gianna & others. True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps. Chronicle. 2012. c.224p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781452110868. $29.95. COOKING