Cook the Perfect...
Marcus Wareing, with Jeni Wright. . DK, $30 (223pp) ISBN 978-0-7566-2624-2
Wareing, a Gordon Ramsay protégé who heads the kitchen of the Grill Room at the Savoy Hotel on the Strand in London, understands that "there's more to know in a recipe than what's written down." In order to give home cooks a bit more guidance, he presents 80 recipes with added Keys to Perfection—additional images and tips that evoke the science behind each step. (He explains why, for example, it's important to dry the apples on the stovetop before baking them into a piecrust.) A 10-step Charter for Successful Cooking that educates readers on keeping an organized, efficient kitchen is illustrated with photos of the chef and his two young sons at work. He also provides an "All Is Not Lost" addendum with suggestions for how to salvage a dish if something goes awry (e.g., if a fondant cake becomes gritty, turn the chocolate into truffles). The repertoire doesn't comprise the standard classics of Western cuisine, but is an eclectic—and somewhat idiosyncratic—mix. Dishes like Chinese Noodle Soup, Southeast Asian–inflected Steamed Cod with Perfumed Broth, and Middle Eastern–inspired Spiced Eggplant supplement British mainstays like Treacle Sponge Pudding and Creamy Fish Pie. Though Wareing brings his professional sensibilities to the proceedings, his cooking is mostly accessible and unpretentious. Pan-Grilled Lamb Chops with Currant-Mint Sauce, served over Spinach with Garlic and Cream, are restaurant elegant but simple enough to serve at home.
Reviewed on: 03/05/2007