November 18, 2010

Inaugural Blog Tour: Wild Food From Land and Sea


Wild Food From Land And Sea via the wonderful blog, Kitchen Kat.

More and more, we find ourselves in awe of the quality, depth and variety of places on the internet talking about books. Thus, we’ve decided to take a year-end look at how those places talked about our titles. (Read the kickoff.) The point is to feature not only the titles we proudly published in 2010, but also some of the great writing about those titles from around the internet. In some cases the writing may only mention our book. In these instances the posts would of course have to be extraordinary.

One of the aspects of the blog tour we’ve enjoyed most is finding our books on blogs that serve subjects beyond the literary world. It is interesting to see how a topical book resonates within the realm of its subject matter. This is reflected in the posts on Dave TompkinsHow To Wreck A Nice Beach and B.R. MyersThe Cleanest Race. In the case of today’s blog we have a food writer writing about Wild Food From Land and Sea by Marco Pierre White. It doesn’t take much however to wander away from the review of our book and find some of the blogger’s delicious recipes (like this one for persimmon buttermilk pudding) and product reviews (like this one on designer salts), which form the bulk of the blog’s content.

Wild Food is the essential guidebook to the culinary ideas and recipes of chef Marco Pierre White, whose kitchen trained the likes of Mario Batali, Heston Blumenthal, and Gordon Ramsay right down to the backroom pyrotechnics and fiery personality that are now hallmarks of the celebrity chef.

This is not lost on today’s featured blogger. Food writer Kathy Hunt, whose blog Kitchen Kat just posted (as in yesterday) a wonderful review of Wild Food, narrows in on the functionality of the book. Not many food blogs routinely review cookbooks, which is something I’ve always found odd. Not so in this blog’s case.

What I adore most about this book is how uncomplicated White makes cooking. Clear, step-by-step directions ease me through the trickiest-sounding dishes. If I can steam fish and cook mushrooms and potatoes, then I can prepare a cappuccino of mushrooms with crayfish tails and chervil. Know how to stuff and roast a chicken? Then I’ve got the skills needed for roast herbed chicken with chanterelles. It’s that easy.

It is easy to dismiss a master chef’s cookbook, especially one renowned for being the “original enfant terrible” as Kathy Hunt refers to him in her post, as being “too difficult.” One of the most charming aspects of White’s book, which is pointed out in the above quote, is the overall ease with which the recipes can be executed. You need fundamentals, sure, but once you have them you can execute these culinary masterpieces.

Slight confession: I knew of Kathy Hunt’s blog because I may or may not (okay, may) have been fortunate enough to have a recipe featured there. Warning: That one’s not for the faint of heart.

Paul Oliver is the marketing manager of Melville House. Previously he was co-owner of Wolfgang Books in Philadelphia.