Wednesday, September 28, 2011

From Blog to Book ...

"Try This ... Traveling the Globe Without Leaving the Table" by Danyelle Freeman HarperCollins Books 292 pages $16.99

Freeman is the founder and editor of She has serious chops when it comes to running with NY restaurateurs such as Drew Nieparent, Bobby Flay and that woman who passes herself off as a chef, cook Rachel Ray. EVOO indeed.

Freeman covers British, Chinese, Cuban, French, Greek , Indian cuisines and a bunch more. Interspersed are bits of advice on such as dating and dining out (she equates what and how the date orders with probable bedroom behaviors,) why manners matter (self-evident) and managing a reservation at a hot site (keep calling back, they may have a last minute cncellation.)

Her chapter on French cuisine irritated me becaue all she did, really, was describe dishes on the menus of famous New York French restaurants. I am not in NY. I have no desire to go to NY and eat French food when I can fly four hours longer and eat the real deal in Paris.

Her chapter on Italian cuisines runs on for far too long describing pasta shapes. The Thurs. Writers would call it "laundry list" writing.

I think the premise - "traveling the globe without leaving the table" - is misleading. I'd expected at least one recipe per country. Dish descriptions galore; recipes, none.

The best thing about this book is the cover which depicts national dishes displayed as their country of origins' flag. Italy: a pile of basil, then slices of round mozzarella, then a row of sliced tomatoes. Very imaginative. Claire Naylon Vaccaro knows what she's doing as a cover designer. Kudos to her, if not the author.

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