This elegantly photographed volume is edited by cookware-emporium and catalogue czar Williams, of Williams-Sonoma fame, with recipes by sisters Marianne Comolli, Elisabeth Scotto and Michele Carles ( France the Beautiful Cookbook ). They have exercised obvious restraint in keeping the recipes from becoming too equipment-dependent, though a nicely photographed spread of cookware and appliances tastefully promotes Williams-Sonoma products. Many of the recipes are quite formal, from a terrine of Mediterranean mixed vegetables to new potatoes with tapenade to fish tartare, though more casual offerings also put in an appearance--mini pizzas with spicy meat topping and sesame shrimp. The book is apparently meant to be marketed to the international English-speaking community; the recipes include both U.S.- and U.K.-standard measurements and accommodate national language differences, such as by parenthetically placing ``aubergines'' next to eggplants and ``courgettes'' next to zucchini. Yet while catering to the international market makes good business sense, this format can be confusing--especially when certain items seem to fall through the cracks of precise translation. For example, the recipe for mini pizzas with mozzarella doesn't specify what type of black olives to use (though the accompanying photography suggests the pungent kalamata or nicoise versus the common, canned California black), and the blue cheese tartlets recipe calls for ``the robust flavor'' of spinach or Swiss chard (both mildly flavored greens) to balance ``the tang of blue cheese.'' (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1999 Release date: 05/01/1999 Genre: Nonfiction
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