Now that we are settled in our new place in Maryland, I’m using my free time to work my way through my cookbook collection. The most recent addition to it was sent to me by a PR firm promoting Daniel Humm and Will Guidara’s new cookbook, Eleven Madison Park. They sent me a free book so that I could feature it on the blog, but the opinions are all mine.
The first thing I noticed about the cookbook is that it is HUGE. We haven’t unpacked our scale yet, so I can’t say exactly how heavy, but I can say that I did some weightlifting with it (when your life is packed up you need to improvise!)
My kitchen is still coming together, so I haven’t actually made anything from it yet, but that didn’t stop me from sitting down for an hour to page through it and soak up the images. They are absolutely breathtaking, and they make me want to start cooking right away. The techniques in the cookbook are totally new to me, and I’m excited to expand my horizons by trying out the exotic ingredients required, and learning new techniques and skills like buttermilk snow and strawberry confit. I should note that the recipes require a lot of ingredients and the instructions often take up a whole page, even for the Iberico ham thinly sliced with green salad(pictured below).
This is not really my photo, it is a photo of their photo in the book, If only all of my photos turned out like this one. Maybe I should start taking pictures of books more often.
The recipes look challenging and fun, but I am even more excited to continue to study the photos and learn from them. I don’t have any delusions that my food styling is even a quarter as good as theirs, but I am using this book to teach myself some styling skills. These images are so exquisite that even my photos of their photos are better than many of my photos of my food!
Another photo of their photo. Francesco Tonelli is my new hero.
I have no doubt that I will fail a lot when I try these new techniques, but I can’t wait! This cookbook has also inspired me to put Eleven Madison Park, the restaurant, on my to do list next time I’m in NYC (that is, the next time I’m in NYC after I’ve won the lottery) and I recommend it to anyone that likes a challenge or a gorgeous coffee table book. I’ll post another review once I’ve had a chance to try some of the recipes. Wish me luck!