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Cookbook Review: Tyler Florence Fresh
Celebrity chefs have started a new trend lately; they are leaving behind their ubiquitous, mainstream, traditional and once popular dishes and focusing more on Eco-friendly, healthy, local and sustainable recipes. Jamie Oliver has shifted his focus the past several years to making school meals healthier and more sustainable for students across the country and in Europe. Bobby Flay has recently released Bobby Flay Fit on Food Network. Now Tyler Florence is jumping on the bandwagon. Or perhaps he started it.
Tyler Florence Fresh opens with a sermon on sustainable eating by the superstar chef. He emphasizes the use of fresh, seasonal ingredients and classic, clean cooking techniques. He blasts high fructose corn syrup and genetically modified foods. There is even a brief history of the questionable ingredients in the introduction.
Chef Florence has obviously done his homework. He states many facts throughout the book, such as; "America eats 31 percent more packaged foods than any other country" and "Ninety percent of the money America spends on food every day is spent on packaged and processed food". He reminds us of the fact that not only do these types of foods make us fat and sick, but also contribute to more and more landfill waste each year.
The book is organized by ingredient as opposed to course. This way the reader is encouraged to base their meal decisions on what looks good and is fresh at the market. There are 85 recipes in the book, and each is accompanied by a beautiful, well-designed photograph. There are also several essays spread out throughout the book, ranging from "Anchovies" to "Dehydrating".
At 244 pages, with the 85 recipes and the incomparable photos, as well as the obvious passion by the talented chef and author, the book is actually a steal at the $35 list price. Most cookbooks released lately with this much perfection are priced much higher.
Kudos, Chef Florence. I look forward to more.