Sweet Reading | Wyatt’s World

The newest season of Netflix’s Chef’s Table has begun, this time with a focus on pastry. Feed your readers’ sweet tooth with these delicious offerings.

  • The Perfect Cake: Your Ultimate Guide to Classic, Modern, and Whimsical Cakes by America’s Test Kitchen Eds. (America’s Test Kitchen).
    If Chef’s Table inspires a sojourn into the kitchen to start baking, this trusty guide will aid in the making of all kinds of cakes (and frostings). Noted for its upfront and proven instruction, this volume will confidently hold a would-be-baker’s hand.
  • Room for Dessert by Will Goldfarb; photos by Martin Westlake (Phaidon).
    Goldfarb is one of the featured bakers on Chef’s Table and runs a dessert-tasting menu restaurant in Bali. Here he offers a near stream-of-consciousness tour of his avant-garde creations, each illustrated with a full-page photo by Westlake. The recipe section covers the basics, illustrated with step-by-step stages and narrative instruction.
  • The Perfect Scoop, Revised and Updated: 200 Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, Gelatos, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz (Ten Speed: Crown).
    Corrado Assenza of Italy’s Caffè Sicilia is a gelato master. He’s featured in Episode 2 of Chef’s Table but yet to write a book. Filling in the gap, with attention to a wide range of treats and toppings, is Lebovitz’s newly revised guide to cold sweets. For something more rooted in Assenza’s home locale, try Fabrizia Lanza’s Coming Home to Sicily: Seasonal Harvests and Cooking from Case Vecchie.
  • The Desserts of Jordi Roca: More Than 80 Sweet Recipes by Jordi Roca; photos by Becky Lawton (Peter Pauper).
    Also featured on Chef’s Table and another avant-garde chef, Roca got his start when he was unexpectedly put in charge of desserts at his family restaurant, in turn jump-starting its success as an international dining destination hot spot. Many readers likely missed this cookbook from 2015, but the show might shine a new light.
  • Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi (Clarkson Potter: Crown).
    Tosi, highlighted on Chef’s Table, Episode 1, flipped the world of pastry on its head when she made panna cotta out of milk infused with cornflakes. While this volume is not new, it is a contemporary classic that explores the author’s aesthetic and key dishes. On the show, Tosi details her passion for creative sweets—not fancy expressions—and demonstrates how far determination and skill can carry a career.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at Readers_Shelf@comcast.net

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