Recommended Reading: The Big Dish

Cake Bible CoverI remember being fascinated with The Cake Bible as a kid, Rose Levy Berenbaum’s . . . well, cake bible. The title sort of says it all. Anyhow, I “read” the pictures of the beautiful cakes again and again – I read the recipes, too, but I was only eight so I couldn’t really translate from a recipe on the page into what it might taste like. I did reprise her idea for a spun sugar cage, from what turned out to be very imprecise memory, to make my contribution to the Black Fly Pie contest this year. Clearly the book stuck with me.

Black Fly PieNow, 25 years later, I’ve found a cookbook that’s just as fascinating to read: The Big Dish by Barton G. Weiss.

Big Dish CoverThe chef is hugely creative but not (in this book) out of reach. There’s shrimp and grits fries, dim sum dessert, lobster tater tots, and shepherd’s pie parfaits (below).

Shepherd's Pie ParfaitI’ve done enough cooking to guess in the neighborhood of how each recipe might taste. And the guess is: awesome. So even if I mess up the super cool presentations, I trust it will still taste great.

I first got hooked on the Big Dish cookbook from this Publisher’s Weekly article “DigIn – Four Wild Recipes” – so I’d recommend the article for reading first and then the book itself. Enjoy.

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