Delights & Prejudices by James Beard
Release Date - March 2015 (Reissue)
Open Road Media
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
Here is the cookbook that I'll be happy to say is my choice for "best of" so far in 2015. Yes, this is a reissue, but I'm betting many readers and cookbook addicts have missed it over the years. Delights & Prejudices is more than a cookbook, it's a story, a look at a man who made a name for himself in the culinary world. It's a book that I will be buying for my keeper shelf.
Part memoir, part cookbook, Delights & Prejudices shares Beard's recounts of his childhood. His mother's roles as cooks for area hotels and her progression to eventually owning her own hotel. He also discusses Let, his mother's Asian chef, a woman who helped raise him. Many of the recipes he shares in the cookbook/memoir are Let's recipes.
There are things that really hit home with me while reading Beard's book. First, I totally agree with him that home fries are something that should be so easy for chefs to make, yet so many completely botch them. I cannot count the number of times I've had breakfast in a restaurant and left really disappointed by the home fries. There are other things I learned, such as in his recipe for chicken salad - he separates the chicken and then starts the dark meat first and adds the white meat second.
There's one recipe that really stood out and is my goal for a weekend meal. The Drunken Roast of Pork sounds amazing. It sits in a marinade for a number of hours before it is roasted, and then that same red wine marinade is used to form the gravy. Yum!
Other stand-out recipes include crumpets (far superior to English muffins if you ask me), Parker House rolls, and his Paella recipe. If you want a solid collection of recipes and to learn more about chef who is world-renowned, Delights & Prejudices is a must!