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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives Up To Its Title
This book takes the core of the authors' previous book "Culinary Artistry" (which contains a list of just about any food you might wish to eat, and the flavors do and do not go with that food), and expands it to include a greater range complementary flavors, based on interviewing chefs and reviewing menus and recipes throughout America, based on evolving tastes since the...
Published on Nov. 11 2008 by Robert Pattison

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half Way to Where I Want to Be
My interest was looking for a book that would not only explain flavours, but also to better explain which flavours work best with what particular food. I wanted specific fruit and spice combinations. Some of that was here and some of it was simply missing.
Published on June 19 2011 by Amazon Customer


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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives Up To Its Title, Nov. 11 2008
By 
Robert Pattison (Toronto, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
This book takes the core of the authors' previous book "Culinary Artistry" (which contains a list of just about any food you might wish to eat, and the flavors do and do not go with that food), and expands it to include a greater range complementary flavors, based on interviewing chefs and reviewing menus and recipes throughout America, based on evolving tastes since the earlier book came out.

The Flavor Bible is better organized in many respects than Culinary Artistry - more food combinations listed, flavor affinities ranked (from "marriages made in heaven" to merely recommended), flavor conflicts better identified, and less of the authors' rather frou frou prose. Classic combinations of multiple flavors are provided as well (use these herbs and oils for Greek, use those for Thai). Chef's quotes provide interesting insights about flavor and technique throughout as well.

If you are an improvisational cook, this might well become the most useful cooking reference on your shelf. Buy this volume instead of Culinary Artistry if you don't already own the earlier book, but if you already own Culinary Artistry, you will want to own this one as well (I grabbed it the day I saw it). Pass on your much used, food stained copy of Culinary Artistry to a new cook.

My main quibble with the Flavor Bible would be that the three-column layout make it somewhat difficult to spot the main food at the head of each list - in this regard, I would have preferred that the authors stick with the layout of the list in Culinary Artistry.

I noticed that at least one flavor conflict (lavender and chestnuts) identified in a chef's quote did not make it into the lists - it might be worth scouring the quotes to look for other affinities and conflicts within the pages of the book for the next edition. They do not list two of my personal favorite flavor pals (strawberries + Drambuie, and cherries + harissa); however, my wife disagrees with me over the latter, so perhaps that is just as well.

A searchable CD-ROM containing the lists would be a valuable enhancement to this text; it would be wonderful to be able to cross reference compatible flavors with the other dimensions of flavor (taste, mouthfeel, aroma, and "the X factor") which are identified in the book, in order to facilitate experimenting with the types of contrasts which often lead to the creation of a successful dish.

None of the foregoing, however, should take away from the scope and accomplishment of this magnificent, ambitious, and highly useful work.

Highly recommended.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Resource Book for the Kitchen, Sept. 18 2009
This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
The Flavor Bible is a great resource for those of us who like to cook without a recipe from time to time. I would say it is not for the beginner cook, who might need step-by-step instructions for creating a meal. The Flavor Bible presents, in alphabetical order, a rich variety of foods and flavours with corresponding ingredients to complement them. Some may be classic pairings and others quite unexpected and inspiring. The pairings are not just from the authors, but are a compilation of the best combinations from dozens of world famous chefs.
This is a perfect book for me, a spice and condiment collector who, once I get these treasures home, wonders what to do with them!
The book is prefaced with two chapters devoted to all the factors that go into how we taste foods, and the rest of the book is an encyclopedia of flavour matchings. I love that it is peppered with quotes and facts from chefs and cooks from around the world.
I look forward to reading Culinary Artistry one day soon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Kitchen Resource!, Dec 6 2014
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
I can't get enough of this book. It is organized alphabetically by ingredient so when curiosity strikes it is easy to find what you are looking for. Many of the ingredients are accompanied by handy tips and all describe taste, weight and volume (i.e. how strong a flavour is) and suggest techniques to use it. The small stories from chefs throughout the book are inspiring and really get the creative juices flowing, not to mention they make me hungry reading them!
The only warning I have is that this is not a great book for beginners. This is not a recipe book and you will want to feel comfortable experimenting and creating new flavours on your own in order to get the most out of it. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen you'll love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good, Dec 31 2013
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
I loved this book, It made enhancing recipes so much easier. It is truly essential for elevating recipes from plain home cooking to restaurant quality flavour combinations. No matter your skill level you should have this in your kitchen.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most useful cookbook for me, April 9 2009
By 
M. Braithwaite "mb" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
This book has been fantastic for me. It is essentially an alphabetical list of ingredients, with each ingredient followed by an alphabetical list of items with flavour affinities, with some identified as especially synergistic. Very easy to use. (Reviewers here that quibble with the organization and want an index must not know their alphabet. It would be like adding an index to a dictionary.) Very helpful for ingredient-driven cooking. I use it almost daily, by choosing an ingredient on hand and identifying affinity items that I also have at hand. From this, Ieither look for a recipe with those ingredients, or simply improvise. I now prefer to improvise.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Flavor Bible knows its way around a kitchen, March 29 2009
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
"How do you know what goes with what?"

Lucille had asked me several times over the Christmas break, as we chatted happily and celebrated Christmas together at my Dad's place in Ontario. Lucille is Joanna's brilliant best friend, a multi-lingual vivacious Italian New Yorker, now living in Montreal. She is a super foody - she loves to talk and she loves great food - we were having fun, and I could she was seriously interested.

I thought of Lucille immediately when I spotted "The Flavor Bible" at a bookstore in Vancouver, several days later. I was amazed and delighted when I started flipping through it - I knew immediately I had to have this book. I bought two copies, one for me and one to send to Lucille.

This book is brilliant! Flavors are arranged alphabetically, and each flavor is examined in delicious detail.

Say you want to do something with Apples, for example. Flip to the section on Apples, and you get such facts as season, taste, function, weight, and volume; a list of cooking techniques, a lengthy list of flavors and ingredients that combine well with apple, Next you get tips and dishes from famous chefs (such as Emily Luchitti of Farallon, or Michael Laiskonic, from Le Bernardin). Finally you get my favorite part, the Flavor Affinities, a deliciously-detailed list (apples + almonds + caramel or apples + cinnamon + dark chocolate + yams, for example). It's so cool! I love it!

Ok, let's try something else, something savory. Foie Gras. Again, a nice list of complementary ingredients - including allspice, Armagnac, cherries, figs, grapes, rhubarb! Dishes like Carrie Nahabedian's Foie Gras with Roasted Plums. Bob Iacovone from the Cuvee in New Orleans, talking about stuffing Twinkies with foie gras (hmm) And of course the Flavor Affinities, including foie gras + strawberries + black pepper. Yum.

And there is more. You can also find these detailed flavor guides listed by regions, with sections such as Portuguese, Spanish, Cajun, or Thai cuisine, including of course those wonderful Flavor Affinities. Being from a German background, I took a look at the 10 different listed Flavor Affinities for German Cuisine. The list - including such favorites as ginger & sauerbraten; dill + cucumbers; cream + paprika + poppy seeds - is quite accurate, definitely convincing me the Flavor Bible knows its way around a kitchen.

Needless to say, Lucille was thrilled with the book, and has been using it daily. I have a standing invitation to stay with her and husband Valmont in Montreal. I must take them up on that!

For a chef, this book will open up cooking opportunities that may have been forgotten, and offer some new viewpoints. For a committed or curious foodie it is an exciting guide to ingredient combination and flavor opportunities. This is a great book, and I am sure you will love it as much as I do!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Half Way to Where I Want to Be, June 19 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (Montreal, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
My interest was looking for a book that would not only explain flavours, but also to better explain which flavours work best with what particular food. I wanted specific fruit and spice combinations. Some of that was here and some of it was simply missing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have, Feb. 14 2014
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
is very very interesting book ,specially if like cook and try new flavours and stuff to jump out of bored every day cooking .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for my culinary friend, Dec 23 2013
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
She opened it up and read aloud multiple entries; she loves the scientific way it lays out everything; it's very clear cut.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Staple on the Culinary Bookshelf, Feb. 12 2014
By 
chameleon (Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs (Hardcover)
This is my 'go to' book for bumping up quick dishes. Provides ideas for flavour combinations in an instant! Great!
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The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
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