cover image Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home

Artisanal Cooking: A Chef Shares His Passion for Handcrafting Great Meals at Home

Terrance Brennan, Author, Andrew Friedman, Author, Christopher Hirsheimer, Photographer . Wiley $35 (326p) ISBN 978-0-7645-6822-0

Brennan's first book makes it clear why his New York restaurants Picholine and Artisanal have such devoted followings. Drawing heavily on his French training but also taking inspiration from the full range of Mediterranean cuisine, the chef emphasizes traditional techniques, good seasonal ingredients—and cheerful invention. He breathes new life into classics from Gougères (cheese puffs) to Cheese Souffles, and makes them seem easy to prepare. His fans, however, will thrill to find so many of his signature dishes, including Chestnut-Fennel Soup with Apple Walnut Chutney, Duck and Morel Risotto, and Daube of Short Ribs with Olives and Orange-Cumin Carrots. Cheese plays a leading role in Brennan's repertoire, and he offers a guide to serving and storing as well as an overview of his 36 favorite varieties. An opening section called "The Artisanal Pantry" functions as a roadmap to ingredients and an introduction to the craft of making stocks, chutneys, compotes and flavored butters. Brennan is a skillful teacher whose recipes are models of clarity, with special notes on techniques, embellishments, and the reason behind certain steps. All in all, though cheese lovers may wish for more from the cheese section, this is a mouth-watering read that brings a great chef's energy and intelligence to life on the page. 75 color, 15 b&w photos. Agent, Angela Miller. (Sept. 5)