ISBN : 9781580089289
Condition : New
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Amazon.com Review Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2008: The dishes at Grant Achatz's award-winning Chicago restaurant Alinea are entirely new, yet what diners taste often resurrects their most cherished food memories. Achatz has said that flavor is memory, and of all the ways in which Alinea appeals to the senses, it's flavor that he has harnessed and reinvented in a kitchen that never rests on its laurels. (Although, Achatz has employed everything from smoking oak leaves to cinnamon torches to impart flavor, so who's to say that laurel branches are out of the question?) For a menu as ambitious as Alinea's, its cookbook incarnation is as clear a window into a chef's creative process as you could hope for, buttressed by stunning photography and thoughtful essays from Achatz and food literati Michael Ruhlman and Jeffrey Steingarten, among others. This doesn't mean necessarily that you'll cook from Alinea often, or perhaps ever: the 600 recipes are composed precisely to show that any motivated cook can recreate Alinea's dishes at home, but to do so may be missing the point. What makes Alinea remarkable--and unlike any other cookbook on the shelf--is its passionate insistence that there isn't just one recipe for being a cook. --Anne Bartholomew A Conversation with Grant Achatz Amazon.com: Can you describe what sets Alinea apart from other restaurant cookbooks? Grant Achatz: We took the approach that we will present exactly what we do in the restaurant without concessions. That means that while we scaled the recipes to 8 servings, we did not convert to teaspoons or cups. This assures us that the recipes are tight and sound because we have made each of them a thousand or more times. Equally important is the fact that every single finished dish is pictured in the book. I always find it frustrating to read a great recipe and then not see the finished product. I understand that usually cost factors into showing only a portion of the recipes in picture form, but we decided that we had to take pictures of everything and we did. I also think because the creative team involved in making the book is the same that has made Alinea what it is, the "feel" of the book exemplifies that of the restaurant. This is truly important when taking on a project of this scope, the hope is that the reader felt an Alinea experience without dining here. We wanted the book to capture the essence, the spirit of the restaurant, and I think we accomplished that. Many cookbooks set out to simply highlight recipes, we wanted more. Amazon.com: When you started developing the book, did you have other cookbook models in mind? How did you want yours to be different? Achatz: We wanted the book to mirror the restaurant and its philosophy in a consistent manner. We looked at various other books to set different bars--one for the aesthetic, one for the quality of the printing, others for their clarity in recipes--then we decided what we didn't like in other books and went about finding solutions. For example, giant ingredient lists at the top of a page are often frustrating when you begin to go through the recipe. So we eliminated the overall ingredient lists and placed the ingredients right next to the instructions on how to make that sub-recipe. We think that makes a ton of sense and simplifies making the recipes a great deal. We were encouraged by pretty much everyone to explain each and every dish in a header--something most books do--and realized that they all start sounding the same. At one point we started reading headers from ten different books and they were interchangeable. So we got rid of those and put the over-arching explanations and technique descriptions in the front. Amazon.com: You designed a website to complement the cookbook. How do you hope cooks and chefs will use the site? Achatz: Ideally a community forms where home cooks, professional chefs, and our staff can interact with each other as a community interested in pushing the culinary arts
Specification of Alinea
|Language||English: Published; English: Original Language; English;|
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