Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Zing! by Gorji

Title: Zing! By Gorji - New Mediterranean Cuisine: Bold, Balanced, Simple & Savory

Author: Gorji

Format: Spiral-bound, 175 pages

Pub. Date: January 1st 2014

Source: Word Slinger Publicity

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover with inside spiral binding that lays flat.


Born in Iran, trained as an engineer in Scotland, and chef-owner of an intimate, 10-table restaurant in Texas, Chef Gorji spills the secrets behind his headline-making recipes.

Blending science and Old World "hot and cold" theories, he details unexpected ways to combine ingredients. He won the Texas Steak Cook-off Championship twice with his take on steak with pomegranates! Pure olive oil. Lots of limes. Few batters, coatings, or rubs. No tahini in that hummus. Instead, an imaginative, personal, and highly memorable take on enhancing natural flavors.

With reader-friendly, easy to follow recipes, this cookbook is a collection of his signature dishes that have garnered critical acclaim at his restaurant Canary By Gorji in Dallas, Texas. From Butter-Seared Lamb Brain to Award-Winning Steak, he shows you how to use ingredients like pomegranates and sumac to add flavor to your dishes. He pays homage to French, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, but doesn't define his dishes by nationality. Going against the grain of traditional culinary practices, he uses pure olive oil, not extra virgin, likes shorter cooking times, uses few spices and very little or no sugar.

His gregarious nature and front-of-the house bonhomie are as well-known as his acclaimed menu featuring his innovative New Mediterranean cuisine. When he won the Texas Steak Cook-Off Championship in celebrated blind judgings, he was competing against some of the best chefs in Texas. He says he had a great time cooking and dancing in Hico,Texas at the events and was honored with Texas-sized belt buckles that are his prized possessions-and he learned the two-step! His food has been called "Mediterranean with Texas Twists," and in a state known for its independent streak, his original approach is right at home.



I love, love, love Mediterranean flavors, so I knew this book was a must-have. It's a small little book full of big flavors, and it's something I'll be happy to keep in my kitchen.

It starts with a nice introduction of the chef and his family, giving the book a more personal touch. There's also an intro to ingredients, and some tips for techniques that will come in handy throughout the book. One such tip is an illustrated step by step guide to how to segment citrus. This book is divided into chapters by course.

This book is really bright and colorful, from the recipes to the photographs. Which, speaking of photographs, there are a LOT of them. There is pretty much a picture for every recipe. This is a HUGE plus for me- admittedly, I don't often buy cookbooks if I can't see what I'm aiming for.

The steps are short, concise, and well-explained. There are also good tips sprinkled throughout the recipes, as well as ideas for variations or substitutions, making the recipes more easily adapted to your personal tastes. The measure to grams is in parenthesis on the same page, so you don't have to flip back and forth between a conversion chart. Some of the recipes are really basic (like Roasted Garlic and Feta) and others are more complex (like Butter-Seared Lamb Brain). This makes it good for both new cooks and those with a bit more experience. There's a recipe for any level of skill.

There are a lot of dishes in this book that I'll be making soon, but some stood out to me more than others. The ones I'm most excited to try include Barbeque Veal Ribs with Pomegranates, Braised Baby Octopus with Squid Ink, and Rainbow Trout with Lime and Barberry Sauce.

The only real complaint I have about this is the product placement and self-promotion, but I understand how business works and I can't really blame him for seizing the chance to advertise.

This is a great cookbook full of lots of interesting and flavorful dishes, and is good for any cook, whether a beginner or more advanced. There's lots of pictures, easy steps, and it comes in a neat little spiral-hardcover format.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Photos are a huge thing for me with cookbooks. Can definitely make it or break it for me.