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The Opera Lover's Cookbook: Menus for Elegant Entertaining [Hardcover]

Francine Segan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2006
Great music and great food make an exhilarating duet. Taking her cues from the world’s most beloved operas, food diva Francine Segan has composed a cycle of menus that are sure to have your family and friends shouting, “Brava! Bravissima!”

Each chapter of Opera Lover’s Cookbook presents a culinary performance—an elegant five-course dinner, a brunch, a dessert party— scored to a particular operatic motif or keyed to the work of a renowned composer. Operas set in Spain—Carmen, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni—are the exotic backdrop for a tapas fiesta. The far-flung locales of Puccini’s La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Turandot inspire an eclectic international buffet. A rustic Italian dinner is orchestrated to the strains of Verdi’s Traviata. And Gilbert and Sullivan, of course, provide the overture for an English-style pub supper.

Sumptuously illustrated with photographs of featured dishes and lavish productions mounted by New York’s Metropolitan Opera Company, Opera Lover’s Cookbook also dispenses advice on home entertaining and on setting the scene with stunning table decor. Its more than 125 recipes include appetizers and hors d’oeuvres; soup, salad, fish, and pasta courses; main dishes; sweets; and thematic aperitif, cocktail, and after-dinner drinks.

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Product Description

About the Author

FRANCINE SEGAN is a noted culinary historian and food writer who has appeared on hundreds of national TV shows; the Food Network, Discovery, and History Channels; and NPR. She is the author of The Philosopher’s Kitchen and Shakespeare’s Kitchen. Segan lives in New York City.

MARK THOMAS is a photographer in New York City specializing in food, lifestyle, and travel photography. His work has appeared in STC’s Endangered Recipes, and he recently completed four books for Williams-Sonoma. Thomas’s work also appears regularly in Bon Appétit.

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5.0 out of 5 stars elegant & chic June 23 2011
By joujou
Format:Hardcover
this is a great, wonderful cookbook, allowing us to step back into a world of elegance and beautiful music. The recipes are easy to manage and the tips/suggestions round out the perfect event for family & friends. Kudos to Francine Segan from an opera loving chef.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Natural Synergy Between Opera and Food Realized in Sumptuously Presented Cookbook Nov. 10 2006
By Ed Uyeshima - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The connection between opera and food is such a natural that food historian Francine Segan has a field day with the lavish format of her eminently entertaining cookbook. Each chapter reflects a specific operatic work or theme (e.g., Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess", German opera) or the overall work of a legendary composer like Puccini and Mozart. From that basis, Segan offers the appropriate menu, whether it is a casual brunch, a formal five-course dinner, or in the case of Mozart, a collection of delectable sweets like Figaro's Orange Cake or Linzertorte Music Bars. The tastiest-looking recipes include the tapas inspired by Bizet's "Carmen", including Serrano Ham with Drunken Melon and Melty Manchego with Spicy-Sweet Tomato Jam, and the down-home, "Porgy and Bess"-inspired dishes like Maple Buttermilk Biscuits and Butternut Squash "Hash" with Southern Comfort.

There are over 125 recipes included, all meticulously chosen for their compatibility with the music, and Segan offers such relevant facts as how Mozart's Don Giovanni offers tapas-like nibbles throughout Act I as a means to divert attention from his philandering. In true Food Network fashion, she also provides entertainment and presentation tips to complete the picture. Moreover, to fortify the opera connection, she enlisted world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming to write the foreword and baritone Gerald Finley to act as a wine sommelier for some of the recipes. There is also a nice collection of archived photographs from past Metropolitan Opera performances to see the specific inspirations for the food, as well as loads of trivia and historical facts about the operas themselves. Mark Thomas provides the stunning culinary photographs. This book is obviously most ideal for opera lovers who aspire to become the next Martha Stewart.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Booze, not chews Jan. 17 2008
By S. J. Osburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book was given to me as a gift by a friend who knows that I love opera and food. I'm going to have to pass this book on, however. The recipes are impractical, goofy, and have a kind of playing-with-the-food quality to them. Every chapter starts with a long series of cocktail recipes. You get the feeling that this book is really about drinking. And these are STRONG cocktails, from the look of the recipes!
Many of the ingredients for the recipes might be hard to find even in a big city (I live near Washington, D.C.).
To give you some idea - I have a Michel Richard cookbook, and even though this great chef requires a huge amount of slicing and reorganizing of ingredients, his cookbook is more practical and realistic than this one!
But the pictures are nice, both the food pictures and the opera photos.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High End Noshing Aug. 14 2011
By Burgundy Damsel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
With chapters arranged around operas, this book is a practically a series of dinner parties in one book. Gorgeous enough to grace your coffee table, it's filled with fun trivia about famous shows and lists everything you need from pre-dinner cocktails through dessert to have a themed party based around your favorite shows.

If you're not an opera fan, it's still worth paging through the suggestions for some unique and decadent recipes. Some of the ingredients are hard to find or quite expensive, but there are plenty of recipes anyone can do. If you're looking for something different, this is a great choice!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for any Opera Lover & Cook! Dec 23 2013
By madeusbooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Got this for my dad, I know he is gonna LOVE it. Only bad thing I have to say is the book cover was slightly damaged in the box. But, GREAT CHOICE!
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous book! Aug. 18 2010
By Maddalena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is so gorgeously photographed, you want to eat IT. I want to make the cake on the cover!
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