Thursday, March 12, 2015

Bringing Back The Shout Out Posts! This One Goes Out To Karen Page and Her New Book "The Vegetarian Flavor Bible"!

Remember my Shout Out posts, a special section of my blog where I give "props" to others who have done amazing work in the field of food, nutrition, writing etc...?  Well I haven't done one in awhile and the prefect opportunity came up this month, so here it goes.....

I was BEYOND excited to be contacted by Karen PageTwo-time James Beard Award-winning author of THE FLAVOR BIBLE, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, DINING OUT, CULINARY ARTISTRY, BECOMING A CHEF, THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO WINE and now THE VEGETARIAN FLAVOR BIBLE, along with her husband, author and photographer Andrew Dornenberg.  It was a great honor to be asked to review their latest book The Vegetarian Flavor Bible and post about it on my blog as part of a her Virtual Book Tour in celebration of National Nutrition Month this March. 

After I accepted, I could hardly wait for my book to arrive and once it did, I dove right into it!! Let me begin by saying there was A LOT of greatness to explore.  The book is a hefty 554 pages and all of it is useful and interesting information. The introduction begins with a heartfelt account of the author's decision to adopt a vegetarian, plant-based diet after losing both her father and step mother to cancer. She then goes on to describe her approach to this eating style calling upon both her nutrition and culinary expertise thus giving sound and really creative recommendations.

Then the first chapter, For the Love of Plants: Vegetarianism Through the Ages, discusses the history of vegetarianism with a very detailed and thorough timeline of key events relating to this diet from 3000 BC  all the way up to the present. It is filled with all kinds of exciting facts and tidbits that were very enlightening and inspiring.

Chapter 2, Maximizing Flavor: Creating a New, Compassionate Cuisine, reviews 5 key trends that Karen believes will mark the evolution of a "new compassionate cuisine" over the next decade, which are:  vegetarianism, health, globalization, gastronomy and flavor.  We should all be so lucky and grateful if these 5 concepts continue to take off and influence ways of eating throughout the world and I love her examination and explanation of them all.

The real heart and majority of the book, the literal piece de resistance, is Chapter 3- Vegetarian Flavor Matchmaking: The Lists.  Here the reader is presented with an overwhelmingly useful, detailed and thorough A-Z list of many, many ingredients and foods from A (starting with Acai) to Z (ending with Zucchini blossoms).  You will get so much information about each item listed, such as flavor descriptions, key facts, pairing and cooking suggestions and even substitutions.  These lists can be a springboard for creativity and encouragement to try and experiment with a new food/ingredient in the kitchen and they give fresh and fun twists on things that may be familiar to you already as well. 

I can't even begin to describe how much is in this section, you will just have to pick up a copy and be wowed for yourself!  I am confident that this book with be a learning tool for me to use, a sort of kitchen counter encyclopedia,  as I continue on my journey of recipe development and food blogging. Another thing I look forward to is sharing this book with my daughter as she grows, creates cooks and blogs with me in the kitchen, as I am sure she will enjoy using it as well.

So a big shout out to Karen and her husband to creating this amazing piece of work and a huge thank you to them for allowing me to read and share it. 


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