By William King & Rick Schafer
Arnica Publishing, $29.95, 187 pages
The Vintner’s Kitchen will likely be bought widely as gift item by Oregonians. Dedicated Oregon cooks may buy it for themselves. For others this is not a remarkable or even very useable cookbook. Author chef William King praises Oregon wine industry until it embarrasses readers. King has written and assembled many good recipes from appetizers to desserts, unfortunately, most are written by professionals and only the most dedicated home cooks are likely to follow them. There are simple, traditional recipes (not much to do with Oregon vintners): beef stroganoff, osso buco, tamale, enchilada, chocolate mousse, to name a few. For others you will be spending serious time finding ingredients and in the kitchen (razor clams, green garlic, Oregon white truffle oil). These recipes are more in the professional chef’s arena and full-page photo illustrations will intimidate you instead of helping visualize your final product. Layout of recipes is excellent and recipe writing is good. To follow wine pairings or wine in recipes exactly, you will be at loss and no substitutes given (e.g. Archery Summit 1998 or 2001 Red Hills Estate Pinot Noir). Even small recipe errors slipped in. The index is not user-friendly. King included Internet sources for hard-to-find ingredients.
Reviewed by George Erdosh