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Green, Aliza (text) with Steve Legato (photogs.). The Fishmonger’s Apprentice: The Expert’s Guide to Selecting, Preparing, and Cooking a World of Seafood, Taught by the Masters. Quarry: Quayside. 2011. 208p. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781592536535. pap. $24.99 with DVD. COOKING
Of foodstuffs, the preparation of seafood from catch to table may be the most unfamiliar to the consumer. James Beard award winner Green (coauthor, ¡Ceviche!) expands upon her authoritative and encyclopedic Field Guide to Seafood in a tremendously clear-cut visual guide to choosing, cooking, storing, cleaning, boning, and filleting finfish and other seafood. Close-up pictures and explicitly detailed step-by-step directions are delivered by master fishers, buyers, mongers, and chefs and turn what could’ve satisfied alone as an excellent technique guide into a buoyant explication of how to respectfully and sustainably navigate an industry marred by pollution, overfishing, and a general lack of product awareness, all of which is frequently reprocessed into skepticism and fear. The accompanying DVD contains downloadable recipes and video versions of the technique how-tos. VERDICT The “fish to fillet” photography may not be for the squeamish or for animal rights advocates (though more humane cooking alternatives for lobsters and crab are offered), but this is an absolutely indispensable technical resource for seafood cooks and aficionados. Highly recommended.