Cookbook Review: Cooking in Color
Do you have any people in your life that are so awesome, you keep thinking to yourself, “I should hate this person, because they’re so much more awesome than me,” but you still love them because of their awesomeness?
Meet my friends Jeremy and Adrian, aka The Food Gays.
They are, by any definition of the word, awesome. But they are also generous and kind.
Two years ago, when I was putting the finishing touches on my cookbook, they helped me out a ton, loaning me equipment, and letting me bounce ideas and recipes off of them. They also revealed to me, in secret, that they had just signed a cookbook contract of their own.
Fast forward to today, and their cookbook, Cooking in Colour, is now available in bookstores!
I was very excited to attend their book launch party and finally get my hands on a copy.
So, let me first start by saying this: I think I expected the recipes to be more complex than they actually turned out to be. This is not a criticism. I think good food should be easy and accessible to everyone. I believe that good, fresh ingredients, simply prepared, shine.
If you are a follower of their Instagram (and you should be, it’s freaking gorgeous), you’ll see meticulously styled photos, so I think for some reason the complexity of their photos lead me to believe that their recipes would be complex. But they aren’t.
Obviously, some are more complicated than others. But many of the recipes here are simple, 10 ingredients or less.
What I love about this book, besides the stunning food photography that they’ve become known for, is the creativity of the recipes. As I was thumbing through, I kept thinking “Holy shit! I would have never thought to have put those ingredients together!” And yet, it works.
Apple, Cinnamon and Beet Crumble?? Roasted Raspberry and Beet Sorbet? Sage, Lime and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream?? Fantastic.
The book is divided into fun, non-traditional sections: brunch, cocktails, company, desserts, hand-helds, and a whole chapter on veggies.
In preparation for this post, I made three recipes: Mushroom and Kale Savoury Oatmeal, Blistered Tomato Soup (recipe here), and the Zucchini Meatballs (which in the book they serve as a sandwich, but I decided to serve over pasta).
All three recipes were great. Savoury oatmeal! Great idea. Quick, hearty and yummy, topped with a perfectly-poached egg (it took me two tries to get mine right, though). The only issue I ran into was with the zucchini “meatballs” which stuck to my foil while baking int he oven (the book says “nonstick foil” but I clearly missed that). I actually finished them in the cast iron on top of the stove to get them crispy all over. The blistered tomato soup was my favourite. Simple, yes, but tomato soup is one of my faves, and this one was so flavourful.
There’s a mix of decadent and healthy recipes throughout, and most of the recipes feature vegetables as the star. If you’re vegetarian, there’s lots here for you. I sometimes resist buying traditional cookbooks if they have too many meat recipes, but I don’t feel like this book falls into that category.
Another reason you may want to pick this book up is because it gives a bit of insight into the food styling and photographing process that Jeremy and Adrian have become so well known for. Each page features a shot of the recipe, along with notes about how it was styled, and the camera settings used. Cool, hey?
Okay, so yes, they are my friends, but I really love this book. I can’t wait to try the sage-lime ice cream, and the french toast waffles. I have tons of bookmarks for recipes I look forward to testing.This book is, in a word, vibrant. I feel like Cooking in Color is going to be something I go back to for years to come.
You can order Cooking in Color here: