Monday, March 9, 2009

cooking for mr. latte

book review

cooking for mr. latte: a food lover's courtship, with recipes
amanda hesser

cooking for mr. latte is the story of the author's relationship with her man from the first (blind) date through their wedding day. this book came out of a column (food diary) she wrote for the new york times so the chapters are nice and short, the way i like them. after telling the stories about the important meals, she gives you the recipes. there are some things i really liked about this book...and there are a couple things i did not...

  • i LOVE the way she describes food.
    on reading a menu: "pearl's is like a poem that you return to again and again. it never changes, yet each time the words leap out at you with new vitality....when my meal was set down before me at the marble bar, everything else faded away. the shrimp were coated in a generous crust of salt and pepper. fried with their shells on, they crackled under my teeth as the warm, salty juices washed over my tongue."

sigh. :o)

  • the way she described the food made me want to try some of the recipes.
  • i'm also inspired to cook for my family and friends.
  • i like the whole idea of describing how she fell in love with her man and the role of food in her life.

  • i've seen jeffery steingrten on iron chef more than a few times and it seems like she described him accurately: "over the course of a meal, he can be difficult, provocative, witty, amusing and, often, exhausting."

  • the sketches added cuteness like it does in harry potter books. it's a little sneak peak to what you're about to read. izak is a fashion illustrator but he also sketched for the columns and this book.

now, there are a couple things i did not like so much about the book.

  • amanda is inspired by european cuisine...french, italian and spanish specifically. the food from these countries is delicious and has heavily influenced american and california cuisine. the thing is, there's a lot of delicious food all over the world...all through asia, africa and latin america.
  • even though i loved the way amanda described food, i didn't really like her character in the book. she just sounded kind of full of herself. the amateur gourmet and poco cocoa think she's unlikable or snooty but petit foodie thinks she's humble...go figure.

i'm going to try some of her recipes so i'll let write about that later...

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