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Cooking with David Burke

Cooking with David Burke

by David Burke, Carmel Berman Reingold
In this, David Burke’s first cookbook, he presents the innovative and inventive cooking that has made him, in the words of one rival, “the most copied chef in New York.”

The first non-Frenchman to win France’s highest cooking honor, and voted Chef of the Year by his peers in America, David Burke is a true original. Born in America, trained


In this, David Burke’s first cookbook, he presents the innovative and inventive cooking that has made him, in the words of one rival, “the most copied chef in New York.”

The first non-Frenchman to win France’s highest cooking honor, and voted Chef of the Year by his peers in America, David Burke is a true original. Born in America, trained here and in France by such luminaries as Pierre Troisgros and Gaston Lenôtre, he has developed a style all his own, emphasizing the twin goals of taste and beauty.

The Burke style blends the principles of haute cuisine with French country cooking, American regional specialties, and ethnic touches. He has taken to new heights the originally European technique of building a dish, rather than displaying food flat on a plate. He uses ingredients the way a child uses blocks, building, creating layers of food, achieving a remarkable mélange of tastes, colors, and textures.

In presenting this concept here for the home chef, he breaks down seemingly complex dishes into their component parts. He demonstrates that what looks intricate (and fabulous) can be easy to make. His classical training, combined with an artist’s eye and a rich imagination, provides the reader with a genuinely new way of looking at and preparing food.

This is a soup-to-nuts cookbook, from stunning hors d’oeuvres such as Pastrami Salmon, and Parfait of Artichoke, Goat Cheese, and Marinated Vegetables, to dazzling desserts like Three-Layered Mousse Parfait, Red-Berry Sorbet, and Ginger Ice Cream. The heart of the book, though, lies in Burke’s signature main courses, which he builds into delicious dishes wonderful to look at and easily transformable into more ornate delights or simplified into convenient and lighter one-dish meals. Among them: Pan Roasted Monkfish with Green-Onion Sauce and Ziti and  Eggplant Bouquet; Roast Cornish Hens with Saffron Potatoes and Chorizo Sausages; Sirloin Steak with Shiitake-Mushroom Hash and Pickled Vegetables.

Burke is not a go-by-the-book chef. His chapter on flavoring your own oils, vinaigrettes, and sauces reveals a whole new world of intense and delectable flavors. He combines bread crumbs with ground mustard, caraway, poppy, fennel, or coriander seeds to create a remarkable crust.

Burke opens up for the home cook an exciting new way of thinking about presentation (a whole chapter is devoted to the subject). Plates do not have to match, he says. “Some dishes look better on pottery, some on porcelain.” And he sees no reason why the pattern that marches around the perimeter of a soup plate has to copycat the pattern of a plate used for a main course, or even the pattern of the dish next to it.

Introducing a cuisine that both delights and surprises the palate and the eye, Cooking with David Burke is a book full of energy, enthusiasm, and true culinary invention.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Burke's attention to the details of culinary preparation and his instinctive eye for food as art are well-known and reflected in this accomplished book. In his chapter ``Small Things/Large Flavors,'' for instance, Burke discusses pantry basics and batterie de cuisine. Tools and garnishes are detailed first, followed by chapters on ``building a dish'' with fish, shellfish, fowl and meat. Flavored oils, vinaigrettes and sauces merit their own chapter, as do appetizers and small meals. Burke demonstrates his flair for presentation not only in the food itself, but in table setting and ambiance suggestions for the dining room. ``Chili looks best in pottery, fish looks best on porcelain,'' he says. The final chapter on presentation reveals Burke's whimsical approach to trompe l'oeil in serving food: consomm can be served in a brandy snifter, and breadsticks in a vase. Though such notions might suggest an overly refined palate, Burke serves food that is hearty and unpretentious, such as a black bean soup with shrimp and jalapeo jack cheese quesadillas topped with salsa. More ambitious dishes, such as barbecued squab with cheddar corn cakes, onion and pistachio marmalade, and pistachio wafers still appear surprisingly accessible. Directions are clear and succinct, with substituitions offered for exotic or seasonal ingredients. Home cooks who entertain frequently will find this book a trove of ideas, while aspiring professional chefs will get realistic insights into the long hours and hard work required to succeed in food service. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Burke is executive chef of a popular, elegant Manhattan restaurant. With food writer Reingold, he presents his culinary philosophy (including a 20-page bio-graphical sketch) and his favorite recipes. His delicious Pastrami Salmon is here, along with other unusual starters, soups and small meals, entres, and desserts. There are also chapters on flavored oils and sauces and on "small things, large flavors" (fresh-herb wafers, ginger pure). Although some of the recipes call for exotic/expensive ingredients or are time-consuming to prepare, others are relatively easy, and the instructions are clear. For area libraries and other larger collections.
Barbara Jacobs
An innovative cookbook that unfortunately won't attract anyone who wants kitchen time kept to a half hour. Manhattan chef Burke, with the help of coauthor Reingold, submits his creativity to print, expounding upon his build-a-dish philosophy and his theory of recycling. Behind his more than 200 recipes is an insistence on respect for all foodstuffs, as well as a playfulness with ingredients that can't be matched. Who else, for instance, would recommend that bouillon be served in brandy snifters? Or that duck confit rightfully belongs atop barbecued potatoes?

Product Details

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.97(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.03(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

David Burke is the owner of David Burke Group Restaurants in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Aspen.

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