By Olivier Dupon
Thames & Hudson, $60.00, 288 pages
Here we have a cookbook for bakers which is the quintessential coffee table book: gorgeous, large format with outstanding professional food photography yet it is totally impractical for home bakers. The New Pâtissiers will remain on the coffee table and has no place on the cookbook shelf. It consists of a collection of pastry recipes by thirty-seven pastry chefs from around the world.
“…with the intention of finding and sharing recipes from some of the great pastry chefs of our times.”
Author Olivier Dupon personally interviewed every one of these chefs, wrote a few paragraphs about them and their careers with quotes, and included two or three of their professional recipes. He also included a full-page photo of the final result of each and a few smaller photos. The book design is outstanding yet this pastry book is impractical for the home kitchen – the recipes are elaborate and few non-professionals would be able to reproduce any. Occasionally you come across something familiar, like key lime pie. Yet not many would go through collecting the long list of ingredients and the twenty-four steps of preparation before assembly. Each recipe rates difficulties from one to five, preparation time and equipment needed. Brief headnotes are nice and many recipe names are weird: Loneliness Transformed from Anxiety into Calm. Give this book a pass.
Reviewed by George Erdosh