Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: This is Camino by Russell Moore

Title: This is Camino
Author: Russell Moore
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 13th 2015
Source: Ten Speed Press

Book Description:

A cookbook about the unique, fire-based cooking approach and ingredient-focused philosophy of Camino restaurant in Oakland, CA, with approximately 100 recipes.

After a visit to Camino, New York Times writer Mark Bittman wrote of head chef Russell Moore, "What's important but is impossible to describe is the strength and utter brilliance of his flavor combinations and the downright simplicity of it all. Moore has a palate that cannot be stopped; everything tastes as if it were created to go with everything seasoning it." Camino is no stranger to this kind of praise--the locally beloved but nationally acclaimed restaurant is known and respected in food and chef circles. Since opening in 2008, Camino has become known for its exciting menu (most of the food is cooked in their fireplace) and the tight-knit community of chefs who love the restaurant. This network is a result of the lavish book release dinner parties that Camino hosts for cookbook releases and has made fans of such food luminaries as Yotam Ottolenghi, Sean Brock, Francis Malman, David Lebovitz, and Deborah Madison. In This is Camino, fundamental cooking skills (including open-fire cooking); unique, ingredient-focused recipes that are both sophisticated and pared-down; and inventive flavor pairings marry with lush photography and a stunning package to produce the new must-have cookbook for Camino's many fans and restaurant book lovers.



This is one of the best cookbooks that I've read this year. October is seriously my month for go-to cookbooks in 2015, apparently. I think this is a great book for cooks who want a touch of class added to their kitchen. While I think that it's pretty easy to follow, I don't think this book advertises to beginners though and I can see where one would be intimidated by it.

The recipes are sorted by ingredients, like duck, fish, veggies, etc. Then there are two more sections, drinks and desserts. This organization is a bit weird since it combines both ingredients and courses, but all in all it didn't bother me too much. The instructions are written in paragraph form, but are really well detailed. There's extra emphasis on explanation, making it easier to follow along and make sure that you're headed in the right direction as you proceed with making the dish.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a vegetable person. That sounds terribly unhealthy, and I do eat vegetables daily. But as far as cookbooks go, I tend to just kind of glance through those sections, with no real intention of making any of them. That's not the case for This is Camino. Even the veggie dishes sound and look absolutely wonderful. For me to say vegetables sound good, that's pretty high praise!

There's also a fantastic chapter on how to cook on a fire or grill, which I think is awesome. That's a skill I have not yet mastered, and I really appreciated the insight from professionals.

The photography in This is Camino is positively gorgeous, borderline art. That being said, I wish there were more photographs of the actual food. there's a lot of artsy pictures of ingredients and things like that, but not so many pictures of the final dishes for the recipes. I wish those stats would have been switched around.

I pretty much want to cook everything in this book, but I usually end my cookbook reviews with a short list of my most anticipated dishes, so I've had to narrow it down to a select few, which include Sheep's Milk Ricotta Grilled in a Fig Leaf with Herb Salad and Tarragon Toast, Baked Oysters with Absinthe and Bread Crumbs, and Grilled Duck Wing Confit with Pomegranate, Chiles, and Sesame.

I really, really recommend this book. It's well written, has great photography, and is chock full of recipes that I cannot wait to make. This book is adaptable and vegetarian friendly. This is a book I'll definitely be getting a finished copy of for my kitchen.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

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