Earlier this year, Slow Food queen Alice Waters released her 12th cookbook, In the Green Kitchen. I recently got my hands on the small hardback tome and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! Since the subtitle is "Techniques to Learn by Heart," the book focuses on teaching culinary basics like washing lettuce, poaching eggs, and roasting meat. The idea is that these simple methods are the building blocks to create countless dishes. The techniques are not shown by Waters, but her friends — Rick Bayless, David Chang, and Charlie Trotter to name a few — from the gastronomic world. To learn more about the book, keep reading.
- It's easy to read with glossy pages and gorgeous photos.
- Each recipe is accompanied by a helpful and descriptive introduction.
- The tome provides an extensive amount of information (how to shuck corn, roast a chicken, bake fruit) that home cooks will use over and over again.
- There's a list of cooking equipment and pantry items one needs to make the recipes.
- Not all of the recipes have photos. In fact, the majority of them don't. There is, however, a picture of each chef that is featured.
- The binding makes it hard to stay open on a specific page.
- The recipes are written in long paragraphs that are hard to follow.
Recipes Within each general theme like "Making Bread," there are lots of delicious-sounding recipes. Here are some I hope to try:
- Grand aioli
- Buttermilk biscuits
- Spaghetti with garlic, parsley, and olive oil
- Sauteed jalapeño corn
- Braised pork shoulder
Imagery: The photos are clear and highlight the pure beauty of the ingredients and dishes. The chefs' portraits really capture the essence of each chef.
Overall rating: As I mentioned before, I really like this book. It's informative and basic, but not boring or overly preachy. It introduces the reader to culinary techniques in a captivating way that seems wildly approachable. The methods are ones that every home cook will enjoy practicing.
Do you have In the Green Kitchen? What do you think of it?