Pros: Simple, back to basics recipes are presented in a beautiful book with delicious results
Cons: For some people, the recipes may seem a little "old school."
I recently had the joy of picking up "The German Kitchen" by Christopher and Catherine Knuth and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. The book's tag line is "Traditional Recipes, Regional Favorites and that is exactly what the book offers the reader. You won't find recipes that require you to source fruits from Asia or strange grains from South America. There are no treatises on how to make a foam that holds up or on the use of hydro-colloids in cooking. What you will find though are recipes with a firm foot in both the German and European tradition.
Yes, the recipes may be a little "old school" but that doesn't mean they are boring. With recipes such as "Sage Pork in Cider," "Seared Fillet of Salmon with Potatoes and Citrus Salad," or "Dark Chocolate with Port Wine Poached Figs," there is something for everyone, even if you think you don't like German food. Mr. & Mrs. Knuth prove that you don't have to be on the cutting edge of culinary scene to be viable and their beautiful book proves this.
Speaking of beautiful, the photography in this book is excellent. Let's face it, we often "eat" with our eyes first. Reading the titles for many of the recipes in this book, you might, initially, be tempted to pass it up and flip to the next page, but then you glance at the picture of dish and you can't help yourself but to stop and investigate the recipe further.
If you have read many of my cookbook reviews, here at ChefTalk, you will know that I am pretty easy to please but difficult to impress, but I have to admit I feel in love with "The German Kitchen" the minute it arrived on my doorstep and I tore open the package. With winter just now beginning to approach, I am excited to spend the next few months, in the kitchen, exploring this book further. So if you are looking for some great, simple, back to basics recipes you can't do much better than "The German Kitchen."
When not reviewing cookbooks for ChefTalk you can find me blogging about food over at www.onceachef.com.