By Nathan Lyon
343 pages, $35.00

Recipes for Fresh and Seasonal Dishes

“So, grab your sauté pan, and a handful of fresh seasonal ingredients, because together, we’re going to be cooking some amazing food.”

Though a beautifully produced large-format cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh is rather disappointing. It repeatedly emphasizes purchasing fresh and seasonal produce from farmers’ markets, but the recipes are neither original nor exciting enough to inspire a cook to dash out for ingredients. Most of the included recipes can be found in any good cookbook (i.e. meatloaf, vegetable stew, hummus, beet salad).

Author Nathan Lyon starts the book with a list of recipes listed by course and continues with a good introduction on kitchen tools, staples and a shopping guide. “How to Choose and Store” is a 12-page section that lists common produce in alphabetic order and how to properly store each item. Lyon divides the main body of the cookbook into four sections by season plus a fifth entitled Chocolate. The recipes are good, easy to follow and many list a link to bonus material related to that recipe on Lyon’s website. Each section is preceded by a list of recipes which a nice tool to help chefs pick a dish to make. Unfortunately, the book’s layout is poor. Some recipes spill over to the next page which proves inconvenient for the cook. The brief index is not cross referenced. It is no more than a simple recipe index.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,