A guest rant by Bonnie S. Benwick
Cookbook recipes are undergoing yet another a rethink of sorts. I’m fine with some innovations, like Ali Slagle’s cookbook, I Dream of Dinner. Her recipes feature specific amounts in the method, rather than in the ingredients list.
But a development that really burns my toast has surged in restaurant cookbooks of late. Anyone who has tried to edit restaurant recipes understands the hitch: How to capture the essence of a chef’s dish that had the benefit of many hands, processes, and without presenting its creation as a treatise?
The answer can involve oversimplifying to the point of deception. Editors and collaborators feel pressure to simplify restaurant recipes because otherwise they look too long and involved. When sub-recipe after sub-recipe stacks up on the page, the pages will keep getting turned.
I recently tested restaurant recipes from a few chef cookbooks. A croquette recipe had 14 ingredients. (That’s only one more than [Read more…] about The Subtle Burn of Restaurant Recipes