Cookbook: Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food
Author: Jody Williams with Julia Turshen
Photography: Gentl + Hyers
Number of Recipes: appr. 165
Number of Single Serving Recipes: appr. 18 w/ several 2 serving recipes perfect for halving
Paper Type: Matte
Binding: Hardback (the iBook version is equally good)
Photograph to Recipe Ratio: Excellent at appr. 90%
Dear Jody Williams:
Not many people read every word of a cookbook. Most are content to lazily flip through the pages, espresso in hand, mouths watering at the food photography. Reading a cookbook has become a lot like online dating – it’s all in the photography, the proverbial “Is he tall? Good looking? Athletic?” It’s a shame really.
I greedily anticipate the arrival of each new cookbook, hungry for the recipes within, learning from the photograph of the finished products as much as the recipes themselves. How does the author see this recipe? Sprinkled with fresh thyme? Over medium egg running lazily on the plate, yoke bright as the morning sun. I read every word, savoring the descriptive narrative as much as the recipes. It’s where you learn about the author’s vision. How they work in the kitchen.
In reading Buvette, I could see you at the stove, layering herby cheesy flavors between two rustic crusts of bread to create the perfect Croque Monsieur. I could see the heat of an Espresso machine brouillante in a pan of lightly scrambled eggs. Freshly baked croissants beside you, antique spoons with blood red raspberry jam and creamy butter ready to paint the flaky layers within its golden shell.
I see you as a gastronomic teacher vintage in black and white tones, surrounded by company, conversation focused on culinary lessons about the perfect tisane, a flavorful homemade vinaigrette, simple desserts dancing across a teacup saucer. Afterall, best dishes are shared with friends in small bites.
Nothing is out of bounds in your restaurant, even the chandelier haphazardly concocted of vintage silverware, antique instruments, shiny silver and polished charm. Small, inviting, classy and warm all at the same time. My favorite stop in New York City. My favorite memory captured within the pages of a treasured autographed cookbook. Clocking in as the 3rd most expensive cookbook I’ve ever purchased, it had a lot to live up to – Would it be worth the money? Would I ever bake any of the dishes housed within? With 7 recipes to choose from, am I even a fan of artichokes? Would I become a fan if I sampled these tasty outtakes on an unfamiliar vegetable?
I can honestly say it was worth every penny. And while I may not approach all of my newfound recipe friends hidden within, I am comforted and content with what few recipes I have tried. They were perfection in taste and visual appearance. Lovely adventures in eating from your table to mine.