Creating the professional flavor and flair
Your Place or Mine: Cooking at Home with Restaurant Style,
Web posted at: 4:42 p.m. EDT (2042 GMT)
By Wendy Wolfenbarger
(CNN) -- "Your Place or Mine" is what restaurant dreams are made of -- complex flavor challenges to the palate, exotic ingredients, entrees stacked high, teetering on the verge of indulgent collapse.
London chef Jean-Christophe Novelli doesn't revamp his restaurant recipes to make it easy on the home cook, but he does show how to make the artful creations yourself, from deep-frying herbs to firing up crème brulée.
Novelli, head of the Novelli Restaurant Group of five establishments, does offer pared-down basics that can be used as building blocks for more daring dishes. "Pea Soup with Pancetta" is transformed to "Pea and Cured Foie Gras Cappuccino Soup" with additional time and energy.
However, the book's pull is in its presentation. Although the cookbook is light on recipes, each dish is backed by a color photo, some with step-by-step make-it-grand photos that many books ignore. Since presentation often makes restaurant food seem so imaginative and unattainable at home, secrets seem to be revealed.
Written directions give tips on the smallest of details, from dribbling sauce on the outskirts of a serving dish to delicately crossing the legs of a quail on a garnish.
This isn't a beginner cookbook; multiple steps (often 12 or more), gourmet shop equipment (timbale molds) and hard-to-find ingredients (quail eggs) make it a fantasy wish book for many. But it allows readers an in to a reachable realm of high-end cuisine.
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