Book Review: THE FLAVOR BIBLE

THE FLAVOR BIBLE

Drawing on dozens of leading chefs combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg present the definitive guide to creating “deliciousness” in any dish with “The Flavor Bible”. Thousands of ingredient entries cross-referenced and organized alphabetically, provide a treasure trove of spectacular flavor combinations. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is frequently named a must-have book for modern bartenders, bar chefs and mixologists, appearing on SeriousEats.com‘s 2014 list of Favorite Modern Cocktail Books, Eater.com‘s 2013 list of the Best Cocktail Books, as well as Cocktail.About.com‘s list of the Best Cocktail Books of 2008.

FEW WORDS ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Today’s guests are Karen A. Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Cited as two of a dozen “international culinary luminaries” along with Gael Greene, Patrick O’Connell, Alice Waters, and Tim and Nina Zagat (in Relais & Chateaux’s L’Ame et L’Esprit magazine), Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written groundbreaking books chronicling and celebrating America’s culinary revolution that have won every major gastronomic book award, including the Georges Duboeuf Wine Book of the Year, Gourmand World Cookbook Award – Best in the World, IACP Cookbook of the Year, and the James Beard Book Award for Best Writing on Food. Their books have been credited with global influence spanning the fields of cuisine, culinary education, restaurant criticism, food and drink pairing, and mixology, and are available in multiple languages (including Chinese, English, French, German, and Russian), cumulatively selling the better part of a million copies.

        Karen A. Page & Andrew Dornenburg

TESTEMONIALS

“One of the 10 Best Cookbooks in the World of the last 100 years.”
ALEX MUNIPOV
FORBES
I think THE FLAVOR BIBLE should be in every kitchen today… It’s a perfect book … Beautifully written … I take my hat off.
MICHEL ROUX
Chef, OBE
“It may be the best food-related book ever…An essential book. It’s like the Rosetta Stone, except it’s been left by the world’s great chefs for cooks who know the basics.”
TYLER NEMKOV
WESTWORD

BOOK TAKEAWAYS

CHAPTER I: Flavor = Taste + Mouthfeel + Aroma + The X Factor: Learning to Recognize the Language of Food

In the first chapter we are getting familiar with the flavor and everything it consists of. We learn about taste, aroma, mouthfeel and the x factor. In retrospective, taste is what we perceive with our taste buds, aroma is what’s perceived with the nose, mouthfeel with the rest of the mouth and the x factor is what’s perceived by the other senses (heart, mind, and spirit).

CHAPTER II: Great Cooking = Maximizing Flavor + Pleasure By Tapping Body + Heart + Mind + Spirit: Communicating via the Language of Food

The second chapter is all about how to choose the best ideal food/ingredient/meal/cuisine for whatever moment in time you find yourself in.

CHAPTER III: Flavor Matching – The Charts

The final chapter is a reference guide which takes up majority of this book. Here you can find any ingredients you need (they are listed alphabetically) and see what compliments them. Everything that’s listed in bolded all-caps with an asterisk are the top 1-2% of recommended flavor pairings; bolded capitals are flavor pairings the chefs considered highly recommended; bolded are frequently recommended and non-bolded listings are flavors that at least one chef recommended. Besides ingredients and cuisines there are other identifiers like Season, Botanical Relatives, Tips & Techniques, Flavors to Avoid, Weight and Volume.

OVERVIEW

This is an encyclopedia of ingredients, that’s 340 pages long, with hundreds of entries and thousands of suggestions that are a “natural” match for preparation in dish with this lead ingredient. Along the way there are comments on the seasonality of the ingredient, its primary taste, tips and techniques. For example, if we take avocado, we get information what goes with it (arugula, bacon, basil, beans, bell peppers, chicken, crab,…), also the entry for avocado suggests some recipe combinations such as avocado + crème fraiche + grapefruit.

Authors Karen and Andrew assembled a stellar panel of 30 culinary experts who have picked these “natural” pairings. The executive chef at Gramercy Tavern, the owner of Blue Hill, a pastry chef from Babbo, another pastry expert from Jean Georges, and one from Le Bernadin, the chef at The Herbfarm in Seattle, and the chef from the late, great Chanterelle in New York City are just some of them. These contributors made independent assessments of their ideal flavor combinations which authors took and assembled in the book.

Book overall rating:
3.5/5