Also of interest ... four of the year’s best cookbooks
<em>Momofuku</em> by David Chang; <em>The Pleasures of Cooking for One</em> by Judith Jones; <em>Gourmet</em> <em>Today</em> edited by Ruth Reichl; <em>I Know How to Cook</em> by Ginette
Momofuku by David Chang (Clarkson Potter, $40)David Chang may be “the best chef this country has ever produced,” said John Broening in The Denver Post. At his Momofuku restaurants in New York, the 32-year-old Virginia native and son of Korean immigrants playfully “elevates the street food he grew up eating.” The results have been “career-making pork buns,” an “unbelievable” kimchi soup, and a “legendary” ramen broth that takes half a day to make. Those recipes are all in his debut book. Anyone interested in great food will devour it.
The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones (Knopf, $28)This “wise pep talk of a cookbook” overturns the notion that cooking for one is rarely worth the trouble, said Christine Muhlke in The New York Times. Legendary book editor Judith Jones delights in the endeavor’s ritual aspect and her freedom to experiment. A “dyed-in-the-ragg-wool Yankee,” she lets nothing go to waste. So she’s included ideas on how to get multiple dinners from one tenderloin, and tips on how to convince your supermarket to break up those chicken-breast value packs.
Gourmet Today edited by Ruth Reichl (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $40)The recent demise of Gourmet magazine makes the franchise’s latest cookbook “that much more appealing,” said Mary MacVean in the Los Angeles Times. Comparable in size to Gourmet’s big, yellow 2004 tome, this one intends to document “the way people are eating today.” It’s not as comprehensive as, say, Joy of Cooking, but it’s loaded with good ideas for meals that are relatively light and quick, from chicken stir-fry with shiitakes to “Easy Carrot Soup” with toasted pecans.
I Know How to Cook by Ginette Mathiot (Phaidon, $45)Great French cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, said Aram Bakshian Jr. in The Wall Street Journal. The 1,400 “crisply rendered” recipes in this newly translated “kitchen bible” have provided Gallic home chefs with no-nonsense instructions for 75 years. Even with 11 methods for cooking rabbit and 10 for making crepes, there doesn’t seem to be a “second-rate” recipe in it. This is a “pleasant, useful reality trip into a culinary realm too often dominated by the ostentatious and unattainable.”