The Flavor Bible
A couple of weeks ago someone asked me about my favourite cookbook, and I straight away said: oh that’s easy, my flavor bible! It truly is the one book that has thought me the most about cooking, and it’s the one book I use all the time when creating new recipes. It’s allowed me to try out flavour combinations I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.
So how does the book work? It’s fairly easy, the book is an alphabetic list of ingredients – not all are there but so far I haven’t come across an ingredient I wanted to know more about and couldn’t find it. For each ingredient then you’ll find some short information first, for example what season you can eat it in or the techniques you need to use took make it (cook, fry, ..) then you’ll see a list of other ingredients that go well with it, and for some ingredients you’ll then also find flavour combination suggestions, anecdotes or quotes.
The way I mostly make my recipes is I’ll be looking at what ingredients are in season right now (based on some seasonal calendars I have and what’s available on the farmers’ markets), then I’ll think about what I want to make with it, what goes well with it and if I then get stuck coming up with ingredients I have a look in the flavor bible. Or sometimes it might be that I’m using an ingredient for the first time and just have no idea what would go well with it.
I truly believe anyone who is interested in cooking should have some type of flavor bible in their cookbook collection as it’ll help you become more creative, put together well-balanced meals and so on.
Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe–it’s knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. Drawing on dozens of leading chefs’ combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating “deliciousness” in any dish.
Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. Readers will learn to work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients; experiment with temperature and texture; excite the nose and palate with herbs, spices, and other seasonings; and balance the sensual, emotional, and spiritual elements of an extraordinary meal.Seasoned with tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from America’s most imaginative chefs, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an essential reference for every kitchen.
You’ll learn to:
- explore the individual roles played by the four basic tastes — salty, sour, bitter and sweet and how to bring them into harmony;
- work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients by discovering which flavors have the strongest affinities for one another;
- brighten flavors through the use of acids from vinegars to citrus juices to herbs and spices such as kaffir lime and sumac;
- deepen or intensify flavors through the layering of specific ingredients or techniques; and
- balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of cooking and serving an extraordinary meal.
About the author
Cited as two of a dozen “international culinary luminaries” along with Patrick O’Connell, Alice Waters, and Tim and Nina Zagat (in Relais & Chateaux’s L’Ame et L’Esprit magazine), the award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written several groundbreaking books chronicling and celebrating America’s culinary revolution. What to Drink with What You Eat, Becoming a Chef, Dining Out, and The New American Chef were all winners of or finalists for Gourmand World Cookbook, IACP, and/or James Beard book awards.
In March 2007, Page and Dornenburg were named weekly wine columnists for the Washington Post. Karen Page is a graduate of Northwestern and Harvard Business School. Andrew Dornenburg studied with the legendary Madeleine Kamman at the School for American Chefs and has cooked professionally in top restaurants in New York City.
Hardcover: 380 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (16 Sept. 2008)
Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 3.5 x 26 cm