The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen Hardcover – Sep 2000
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Peter Berley was introduced to macrobiotic cooking by a Japanese acupuncturist during the 1970s. His appreciation for this new and, at that time, slightly radical way of eating and cooking led to a career as a vegetarian chef. Berley started simply, hosting small dinner clubs; by 1992, he was executive chef at a strictly vegan restaurant in New York, Angelica Kitchen. In his first cookbook, Berley shares unique color and flavor combinations to demonstrate both the visual and toothsome possibilities of creative vegetarian cooking. But at the heart are the staples. A chapter on salads lists dishes by season--to encourage the reader to take advantage of seasonal fruits and vegetables. An assortment of bean recipes provides imaginative uses for chickpeas, white beans, black beans, and lentils. Bread recipes are complemented by a variety of tapenades, pestos, and herbed oils. Desserts include the expected pumpkin pie but also temptations such as Pear-Cranberry Crisp and Chocolate Mousse. Through it all, Berley proves that eating the vegetarian way can offer as much in cuisine as it does in health. --Teresa Simanton
From Publishers Weekly
A chef for seven years at the Angelica Kitchen, New York City's hip vegan restaurant, Berley focuses on how the act of cooking can nourish one's life in this (mostly) vegan cookbook. Emphasizing home-cooked meals as opposed to gourmet feasts, Berley articulates the principles and techniques behind each recipe. Based on fresh and seasonally available ingredients, the cookbook reads like a valentine to Berley's grandmother, who cooked and baked using foods from her organic garden. Although dashi, miso and tofu are becoming more familiar to American cooks, other ingredients he calls for, such as spelt, kombu and nabe mono, aren't as well known. It's impossible to appreciate Berley's world without making several special shopping tripsAthere's always that one ingredient you can't get at the grocery store. Berley includes instructions for broths, roll pastas and bake breads using "wild" yeast. Following his recipes to the letter requires tremendous amounts of time, as well as patience. But his recipes reward: Roasted Red Peppers are sweeter and more luscious than anything bottled, Basil-Almond Pesto is sublime for having freshly peeled almonds, and Corn and Vegetable Chowder evokes a perfect summer afternoon. For vegans, vegetarians and interested cooks seeking to explore seasonal vegetarian cuisine, this book is a must have. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I bought this years ago and its appeal has never faded. It is not the most used book on my shelf, but it is perhaps the best resource. Content is still relevant years after its publication. Last week, I received some artichokes in my CSA box and found myself reaching for this for some good ideas.
If you only buy one vegetarian cookbook, this may be the one to get. It is certainly the most comprehensive!
My only issue with the book is the index should be more fleshed out. There is nothing worse than trying to find something in a cookbook with chipotle paste all over your hands. #;@]
If you've never been to Angelica Kitchen (now or during the 7 years when Peter was executive chef), then this book will be a revelation -- a truly inspired, lucid, and masterful handbook for preparing what is arguably the best-tasting, healthiest cuisine in the world.
While many vegetarian cookbooks (and most vegetarian restaurants) seem stuck in a 1970's time-warp, Peter has created a cuisine which is truly modern, because it is so far ahead of most anything currently practiced -- yet at the same time is accessible, sensible, and practical.
The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen is a must-have for any level of cooking skill, and for any kitchen (vegan, vegetarian or not).
My only regret is that Amazon's rating system has a maximum of 5 stars.
Most recent customer reviews
A few months ago I was a total 'newcomer' to the world of vegetarian, vegan and macrobiotic cooking. The whole idea of starting on this new culinary journey was very overwhelming. Read morePublished on July 26 2003 by Penny Behnes
This is the ultimate cookbook for anyone who loves the art of cooking and is willing to bond with food in order to create delicious labors of love. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2002 by Rachel C. Teuer
I previously rated this book 4 out of 5 stars, but I've decided that was wrong. This book deserves every star I can give! Read morePublished on April 10 2002
Peter Berleys new book is a godsend. Not only for vegetarians and vegans, but for any chef who wants to meet the demands for healthy cuisine in the mainstream. Read morePublished on Nov. 30 2000 by Frank Giannantonio
I am not a vegetarian but like to eat that way some times because it seems like it should be healthier. But I've been disappointed in a lot of the vegetarian food I've tried. Read morePublished on Nov. 19 2000 by J M
Whether your a vegetarian for life or for the weekend, the recipes in this book are sure to please everyone. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2000 by Michael Perrine