cover image Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking

Taming The Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking

Ben Ford and Carolyn Carreno. Atria, $34.99 (274p) ISBN 978-1-4767-0639-9

Those with an appreciation for large get-togethers will have a field day with Ben Ford’s guide to toothsome feasts in this impressive and occasionally daunting collection of epic dinners centered around a main (often meaty) dish that range from the expected (a whole roasted pig that’ll feed 70–80) to the inspired, such as an epic Wood-Fired Paella served with an assortment of shellfish, chorizo, pork confit, and rabbit meatballs. Many of the chef’s meals (Ford is the owner and executive chef of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City, Calif.), such as sturgeon grilled on a cedar plank, a fish fry, or grilled burgers and brats, start out simply enough, but are blown up to block-party proportions in this inspired presentation. His fish fry, for example, calls for a cast-iron cauldron capable of containing 10 gallons of oil, and a clambake requires a fire permit in addition to a 59-gallon oak barrel (instructions for building your own are provided). But once readers have sourced the required materials, they’re off to the races, as Ford’s practical step-by-step instructions and timelines are clear and to the point. Even if readers never attempt a meal at Ford’s level, they’ll likely find that a couple of his dishes, like his Cheddar Cheese Loaf with Artisanal Ham or simple Charred Leeks, deserve a turn. Agent: Janis Donnoud, Jans A. Donnaud & Assoc. [em](May) [/em]