Clarkson Potter, $25.00, 320 pages
When a passionate chef becomes an author, the love of their craft shines through in their words. Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbor are chefs and authors who love food. In their book Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work, they explain the way and how of cooking. The book is divided into two parts. The first section, titled “Ideas for Everyone,” is full of hints and tips for those of us who are everyday cooks. “Ideas for Professionals,” the second section, describing techniques geared toward restaurants and chefs. Topics include cooking with liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Have you ever wondered how bars get their onion rings so crispy? Using carbon dioxide in beer and tempura batters gives food a light and crispy texture. That trick will work in your pancake batter too. Aki and Alex understand food on a molecular level. They explain why certain foods work well with others using scientific reasons. If that interests you, then you’ll enjoy their descriptions before each recipe. For those of you who want to get to the recipes, dive right in, and remember that these authors are chefs, so their recipes are the best of the best.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin