cover image Dinner Inspirations

Dinner Inspirations

Faye Levy. Dutton Books, $22.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-525-24814-9

In her latest opus Levy ( Fresh from France: Vegetable Creations ) succinctly charts the history of classic French cuisine through its incarnations in cuisines nouvelle, spa, minceur, nouvelle American, California et al., and sensibly concludes that food is food whether it comes from innovative restaurant chefs or from traditional regional cooks. Her aim is to provide recipes based on both models for the average cook--and she succeeds very well. Few special techniques are needed to prepare these entrees; most can be assembled with basic cooking skills and a bit of advance planning. The book's chapters on poultry, meats and fish each include a brief introduction, and these preambles are perhaps the best part of the volume, for here the author passes on cooking tips culled from years of experience. She also suggests easy-to-prepare side dishes. Although recipes call for fresh ingredients, Levy notes where frozen or canned substitutes can be used. The only possible quibble is that she relies on fresh herbs, and makes no suggestion of how to substitute dried if fresh are not available. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. Major ad/promo. (Nov.)