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From Barnes & NobleOur Review
Having grown up on California-Mexican food, I've always been reluctant to acknowledge that Mexican cooking could go beyond the familiar burritos and tacos that I loved. These drippingly delicious snacklike foods were so satisfying that I never felt the need to venture further into the cuisine. Rick Bayless, one of America's most brilliant chefs and a staunch proponent of classic Mexican cooking, has written his latest cookbook, Mexico One Plate at a Time, for people just like me. It was written because, as Rick recently told me, "most (North) Americans aren't at all familiar with the real cooking of our next-door neighbor Mexico, and I realized that we would have to take a big step to become acquainted with their classics -- like we began doing with Italian food about 25 years ago."
"Is this a book that Mexicans will also enjoy?" I asked. "Most definitely," answered Rick. "In Mexico One Plate at a Time we cover a broad spectrum of the classics of Mexican cooking -- the types of food that people know from one end of the Republic to the other. These are all recipes that would make a Mexican's mouth water at their mention."
Being a cookbook writer myself, I was particularly taken with the layout of Mexico One Plate at a Time: and I think that it will also have great appeal to home cooks. With each recipe, we are given an informative introduction, then the absolute best recipe possible, followed by Rick Bayless's contemporary take on the recipe, and finally a Question and Answer section that brings together any queries that the recipes might have provoked during testing. This came about, said Rick, because "I have spent over 25 years studying Mexican cooking, visiting the country, and reading cookbooks (some of which go back to the 1800s). All of this studying has made it possible for me to understand how to put together some perfect dishes. Sometimes we tested a recipe over 20 times, as I wanted to make sure that anyone cooking from Mexico One Plate at a Time would end up with the exact dish that I had created in my kitchen."
For Rick Bayless, one of the most exciting sidebars to this cookbook is the fact that it is the companion to his new 26-part PBS television series of the same name. Mexico One Plate at a Time began broadcasting in midsummer in some areas but will be seen on almost all public television stations by the late fall. In the series, as in the book, we see Rick (sometimes accompanied by his daughter, Lanie) in Mexico visiting markets, street stalls, restaurants, and home kitchens, and then we find him in his own backyard (often literally) re-creating the dishes he has discovered.
Both the series and the book, Mexico One Plate at a Time, for the first time truly bring the cuisine of this warm and friendly nation alive in the American kitchen. Rick Bayless has done a masterly job. This is a book that I will read for pleasure and cook from when I want to experience flavorful, fresh, and honest food. I believe that it will be a significant addition to the American cookbook library.