Sometimes all I want in a cookbook is the recipes and I don’t care if there is anything else. That doesn’t happen very often.
Thankfully Tanis has written a book that is much more. It is a wonderful story of his relationship with food and cooking and happens to include seasonal recipes and menu ideas that are inspiring and provide a basis for further creativity.
Seriously, how could I not enjoy the writings of a man with a deep love of those zippered plastic bags that I find useful for everything? While I might not have the chutzpah to travel with my own jalapenos, or perhaps I a knob of ginger would be more me, Tanis has shown me his real kitchen journeys. In Heart of the Artichoke he doesn’t come across as anyone but someone who loves food and cooking and I appreciate that all the more.
What I love more than his essays on his rituals are his menus. It’s not that I often need to serve a multi-course menu, I still struggle to figure out what to pair with my main dish. The suggestions are helpful and I will turn to them often as I grow in this area of my cooking.
The photographs, by Christopher Hirscheimer, are warm and inviting and add a depth which left me hungry and looking around my kitchen for the next step in my own kitchen journey.