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A Chef for All Seasons
ISBN 1580082343 / 9781580082341 / 1-58008-234-3
Publisher Ten Speed Press
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Do we need another by-the-seasons cookbook? Yes, emphatically, if it's Gordon Ramsay's A Chef for All Seasons. Ramsay, a rugby player turned U.K. superchef, has done a rare thing: he's created a chef's cookbook of impeccable yet unfussy food that's truly approachable. A quick look at the recipes--Corn and Green Onion Risotto, Asparagus Soup with Fresh Cheese Croûtes, Monkfish with Creamy Curried Mussels--reveals not only Ramsay's cognizant palate but also his singularly direct approach. Though many of the dishes aren't meant for weeknight cooking, a sufficient number, including Spring Pea Soup and Roasted Cod with Garlic Pomme Purée, are easy to put together and would make impressive fare for relaxed entertaining. Most cooks, and all food lovers, will delight in Ramsay's book.
The chapters, each devoted to a season, begin with illuminating explorations of relevant ingredients. Spring's curly parsley, for example, is ideally blanched, puréed, and mixed with mashed potatoes. Recipes follow, each illustrated with color photos. The winter selection is particularly satisfying and includes Quick Casserole of Squab and Loin of Pork with Choucroute and Mustard Cream Sauce. Desserts aren't neglected; such sweets as Roasted Autumn Fruits, Panna Cotta with Raspberries, and Mille Feuille with Lavender will surely please those who try them. With an extended section on basic, step-illustrated techniques and core recipes (Ramsay's Peach Chutney is almost worth the price of admission by itself), the book is a truly welcome addition to the seasonal--and everyday--cooking canon. --Arthur Boehm [via]