JARED’S NOTE: We’ll be cooking from this book all week here at Al Dente with recipes beginning on Tuesday. In the meantime, scroll to the bottom and enter our giveaway for a copy.
There is a canyon-like divide between food blog and food community. On the food blog side, you have institutions like smitten kitchen, Two Peas & Their Pod, The Kitchn, and to a smaller degree, Al Dente. Cross the spanse to food community and you enter places like Serious Eats or Food52. These are the spaces where content is among the, but not the only, reasons why people visit. These communities are destinations where people can share, get advice, and, well, do whatever it is that people on online platforms do.
Regular visitors to Al Dente know of my affinity to Serious Eats, however today we are focusing in on Food52. Founded by all-world food writers Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52 is part-recipe box, part-purveyor and part-community. And now, Food52 is part-publisher, having recently created its own imprint under the Ten Speed Press flag.
Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook, released on April 7, 2015, is a collection based on Kristen Miglore’s Genius Recipes column from Food52. The impetus of the column was a search for recipes that change the way we cook: Alice Waters‘ ratatouille, Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi‘s hummus, meatballs from New York red sauce mecca Rao’s.
In the book’s foreword, Hesser and Stubbs write “We’ve cooked thousands of recipes together, and when you cook that much, you begin to develop an eye for the crucial distinctions that make a standout recipe — an exemplar. These are the recipes that inspire you to change how you make a standard dish, that become the recipes you cook for the rest of your life. These special recipes would crop up from time to tie, and after a while we could see they belonged in a category all their own: genius recipes.”
This book is more than just a compilation. It’s a Rhino greatest hits album of recipes that span two or three decades. Tom Colicchio’s chicken stock, Steven Raichlen’s salt-crusted beef tenderloin grilled in cloth, fried asparagus with miso dressing from Nobu Matsuhisa. Entries come from institutions like The Silver Palate, Momofuku, and Northern Spy. It nods to the past with James Beard’s strawberry shortcakes, and present with Serious Eats’ Managing Culinary Director J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
The Book:Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook
The Author: Kristen Miglore Cover Price: $35.00 Pages: 272
The Publisher: Ten Speed Press Publish Date: April 7, 2015
Usability Factor: High
Buy for: Someone who appreciates cooking but doesn’t have room for more than a few cookbooks. This might be the perfect wedding present cookbook.
DISCLAIMER: This book was provided by Ten Speed Press, via its Blogging For Books program, for this review.