Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.



  • No categories


The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes 

By Chris Schlesinger & John Willoughby

(Ten Speed Press, 2014)






Readers will be relieved to learn upon opening The Big-Flavor Grill, the ninth and newest collaborative cookbook by food connoisseurs Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, that grilling is easy.

Continue reading “The Big-Flavor Grill: No-Marinade, No-Hassle Recipes – Review” »

The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook

(Hearst Books, 2013)




Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook


The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook is all you need to make the most wonderful time of the year a roaring success. The gorgeously illustrated tome is loaded with recipes for foods that you really want to make and eat, from “Showstopping Roasts” to “Sideshows” like whole-grain apple-fennel stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with pancetta and rosemary. Cocktail recipes are fantastic like Holiday Spritzers, Ruby Bellinis and Holiday Champagne Punch.

Continue reading “The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook – Review” »



Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog

By Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry

(Victory Belt Publishing, 2013)






Beyond Bacon

Paean to Pork

Many people try to divorce the food they eat from the animals that provide the sustenance. Beyond Bacon is not for them. In this self-described “love letter to pork,” pictures of lively little piggies prancing through fields are followed by whole page, full-color photos of butchers attending to lumps of fat and muscle. With diagrams of cuts, nutritional analyses of brains, hearts and bone broth and a how-to guide for rendering your own lard, not much is left to the imagination here.

Continue reading “Beyond Bacon – Cookbook Review” »

The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes

By Tony Conigliaro

(Ten Speed Press, 2013)


The Chemistry of Cocktails

When it comes to instructional books, we often hear the word “art” thrown around — the art of filleting a fish, the art of screenwriting, the art of whittling — but not many are quite as literal as molecular mixology master Tony Conigliaro’s The Cocktail Lab. Not only is the book’s presentation an aesthetic delight, from the retro cover with metallic accents to the clean layout of text and illustration, but each photo is a still-life portrait of the featured cocktail, making it almost as delicious to consume visually.

Continue reading “The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes – Review” »



Fifty Shades of Kale

By Drew Ramsey, M.D. and Jennifer Iserloh

(HarperWave, 2013)




Fifty Shades of Kale

Kale juice, crunch kale chips, kale Caesar salad on restaurant menus … kale is the new black! We got the last confirmation that people are indeed crazy for this cruciferous veggie when our local Latino grocer started selling the Tuscan variety alongside queso de Oaxaca and homemade tortillas.

Fifty Shades of Kale takes kale to lofty new heights via recipes that sneak it into anything from pizza and fajitas to chocolate dessert and Campari cocktails. Whether you are already one of its devotees or still need to embrace this shade of green, you will love the practical recipes including huevos rancheros; black bean soup with fresh lime; and mushroom and kale risotto; and might even be tempted by the kale Pisco Sour and The Lacchiato — yes, it’s a kale macchiato!


Continue reading “Fifty Shades of Kale – Review” »

The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods

By Olivia Dupin

(Fair Winds Press, 2013)

The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods by Olivia Dupin

The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods by Olivia Dupin

Naturally Gluten-Free Foods approaches going gluten-free with enthusiasm. People who have to avoid this wheat protein for health reasons, not because it’s a trendy weight-loss approach, will be happy to find simple recipes for familiar foods which are, as the title promises, naturally sans gluten. So you won’t need obscure health food store ingredients or expensive, hard-to-find substitutions.

The book begins with the story of author Olivia Dupin’s own struggle with gluten intolerance and an explanation of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Several chapters offer practical information, including descriptions of symptoms, lists of foods to avoid and lists of naturally gluten-free foods, as well as suggestions for handling various tricky situations – from cravings to social awkwardness – and clarifications about terminology that kitchen beginners may not recognize.

Continue reading “The Complete Guide to Naturally Gluten-Free Foods – Cookbook Review” »

The New Persian Kitchen

By Louisa Shafia

(Ten Speed Press, 2013)

The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia

The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia

In The New Persian Kitchen, Louisa Shafia draws on her Iranian heritage to create modern dishes that blend Old World Persian cuisine with contemporary farm-to-table cooking. The book’s 75 recipes combine time-honored Iranian ingredients like pomegranates and pistachios with non-traditional foods such as amaranth and quinoa.

Continue reading “The New Persian Kitchen — Book Review” »