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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Best Cookbooks of All-Time

Jean-Georges Vongerichten Eschews Escoffier, Admires Ali-Bab

Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their top picks of all-time.

Chef: Jean-Georges Vongerichten

The Book: Gastronomie Pratique by Ali-Bab (a.k.a. Henri Babinski), 1923

“A scientist and philosopher, Henri Babinski, wrote it more than 100 years ago, and was way ahead of his time,” Vongerichten says. “He gives every technique from making raspberry lemonade to vinaigrettes to soufflés. He even shows you how to make oysters en gelée using natural gelatin—gelatin made from boiled pig’s feet, not gelatin leaves or agar-agar. Everything he did is so technical and precise, it’s amazing. Everyone always cites Escoffier, but Escoffier just codified a cuisine that already existed. This was something new, and much more interesting. It’s hard to find, though; I wish someone would bring it back into print.”

Related: Recipes from Cookbook Legends
Cookbook Gifts
Best New Vegetable Cookbooks

F&W Book Club

How to Make Pumpkin Ice Cream and Sweet Onion Crack

Bountiful: Todd Porder and Diane Cu

In this series, food writer, wine lover and cookbook obsessive Kristin Donnelly test drives the most fun and inspiring new books that come across her desk. The Book: Bountiful, aimed at fans of the White on Rice Couple blog. Gardeners. Anyone with a CSA or who shops at farmers’ markets. Flexitarians. And people who love personality-driven cookbooks. Read more >

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F&W Book Club

Bountiful's Rebellious Kale and Chicken Egg Rolls

Here, F&W Digital Food Award winners Diane Cu and Todd Porter of White on Rice Couple, preview their first cookbook, Bountiful, which drops on October 15. Read more >

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Cookbooks

Cookbook We Can’t Wait to See: Jamie Kennedy’s Book

Canadian chef Jamie Kennedy

Chef Jamie Kennedy; courtesy of Joanna Dickins

I’m obsessed with Toronto, which is why I’m thrilled to hear about the upcoming cookbook that Ivy Knight, the editor of the terrific site Swallow, is working on with one of Canada’s very best chefs, Jamie Kennedy. READ MORE>

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Editor Obsession

Saved by the People's Pops Cookbook

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People's Pops popsicles

© Bethany Bandera

The insane heat that’s been turning New Yorkers into raving lunatics (more so than usual) has one positive outcome: I’m motivated to perfect my popsicle-making technique. The new People’s Pops cookbook (er, freezebook?) from the Brooklyn-based popsicle makers of the same name is providing me with the tools to keep cool.

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Recipes

Superb New Everyday Recipes

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The Daily Feast by Esther Rose Graber. Photo © Good Books.

The Daily Feast by Esther Rose Graber is unlike most books that cross my desk at F&W. It's not by any of the cooks du jour—celebrity chefs (with or without a ghost writer), urban farmers, hunters or highly successful bloggers—but by seven women who love to cook: a mother, five daughters and one daughter-in-law, all with Pennsylvania Mennonite and Amish roots. More on their amazing recipes>

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Mario Batali

Mario Batali's $1,200 Lunchbox Fund Cookbook Party

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Alan Cumming Comes to the Lunchbox Fund Party

Larry Busacca by Wire Image


A recap of Lunchbox Fund Mega Party featuring Chuck Close, Michael Stipe, Salman Rushdie and amazing cookbooks from Mario Batali. Read more here > 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recipes

Nigel Slater's Blackberry Focaccia

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Blackberry Focaccia

© Justin Chapple
Blackberry Focaccia

When it comes to focaccia, most people are familiar with savory versions like Pisaladiere, a version topped with anchovies, olives and caramelized onions. This week, the F&W Test Kitchen tested an unusual dessert variation—Blackberry Focaccia (left) from Nigel Slater’s forthcoming cookbook, Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard. This blackberry-studded, confectioners' sugar–dusted focaccia is substantial and just barely sweet. Slater recommends cutting it into thick wedges and eating it when warm, but we loved it just the same in smaller squares, which we served with steaming cups of tea. Slater's cookbook won't be out until April, but this savory focaccia from the F&W archives, topped with caramelized onions, pear and blue cheese, is a good variation to try for Super Bowl Sunday

 

 

Recipes

Bobby Flay's Phenomenal Chicken Cutlets

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

© Justin Chapple

Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain in New York City features a rich special every Thursday: chicken cutlet, American triple cream cheese, Southern ham and arugula. The deconstructed version of classic chicken cordon bleu also stars in Clarkson Potter's fall release Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain Cookbook. Our test (left) came out golden brown and unbelievably juicy. But what elevated the dish were the toppings—lusciously creamy cheese (we used Camembert), salty country ham and a fresh peppery arugula salad. The recipe is in Bobby’s book, but if you don't have it yet, here’s a lovely riff on chicken cordon bleu from our own Test Kitchen Supervisor, Marcia Kiesel: Cheese-Stuffed Chicken Cutlets with Mustard Sauce.

Related: Super Bowl Recipes

Cookbooks

Salty & Sweet Caramels from San Francisco’s Miette

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Warning: Test Kitchen Tease snapshots may cause cravings, lip-smacking and an unshakeable desire to cook.

Fleur de Sel Caramels

© Justin Chapple
Fleur de Sel Caramels

San Francisco’s modern and positively charming pastry shop Miette makes caramels that are perfectly chewy and firm. It’s a signature texture that Miette’s owner, Meg Ray, achieves by cooking the caramel mixture to the exact temperature of 246 degrees before pouring it into a baking pan to set. This week in the Food & Wine Test Kitchen, we couldn’t resist making the Fleur de Sel Caramels (left) from the shop’s very first cookbook. As promised, the caramels had just enough bite to keep them from being too sticky to savor. With a generous sprinkling of super-fancy French sea salt, the candies were the perfect balance of salty and sweet. If you’d like to try making them for yourself, you will need to pick up a copy of Miette (published by Chronicle Books in June), but until then, surprise your holiday guests with these buttery-good Chocolate-Dipped Vanilla Caramels from our own Senior Recipe Developer, Grace Parisi.

Related: Homemade Christmas Gifts
Christmas Dinner Ideas
Christmas Desserts

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.