THE ARROWS COOKBOOK: Cooking and Gardening from Maine's Most Beautiful Farmhouse Restaurant
Artfully combined, fresh ingredients require little flourish to produce good recipes. In 1988, Maine restaurateurs Frasier and Gaier planted the garden and opened the restaurant to prove it. Simple recipes designed to showcase the flavors and aesthetics of fresh-grown produce fill their cookbook featuring dishes inspired by the one-acre garden that supplies their restaurant. The book, a tribute to purity and simplicity, is organized by season—each section includes an essay or memoir, food-preparation suggestion, gardening tip and, sometimes, a tidbit of culinary history. The recipes are concise and thoughtfully written. The ingredient combinations are generally innovative (morels, gruyere) but never rare, so cooks in Ohio can use the book as easily as cooks in San Francisco or Maine. In keeping with their philosophy, Frasier and Gaier have written recipes that highlight, rather than overwhelm, any key seasonal ingredients. Unfortunately, the essays, tips and culinary histories lack the sophistication and logical cohesion of the recipes. While these writings may contribute, in a vague way, to the overall "experience" of the book, the tips and histories tend to be reiterations of relatively well-known information. Yet this volume is filled with recipes home cooks will want to prepare for friends. Includes photos and illustrations. (June)
Forecast: With recipes as sophisticated as those offered regularly in Gourmet or Food & Wine, the book should be guaranteed the same success that the Arrows Restaurant has enjoyed for years.