Every new year, half the world makes a “Top Something” list from the year that passed. The other half lists their resolutions. To hit both clichés, my first post will be my “top something” list. And starting this blog is my resolution.
Since I’m not big into ranking, this is not a “top 3 something”, more like just a “3 of..” stuff I discovered, liked or did in 2013. I’m often asked what I think is the best or my top 3 restaurants in a certain city or my favorite cheese. I think that there are a lot of great things and it’s hard to choose just one. Maybe it’s like choosing your favorite among your children but since I don’t have kids, I don’t really know if I could do that or not. (But I do know that I’m a lot more awesome than my brother and completely get why I would be the favorite of my mom.) And anyway, aside from most things being subjective, it also often depends on your current mood/frame of mind.
I will start my “3 somethings” list with these and post more this weekend!
3 books I wish I wrote in 2013
If I could actually have the focus/intellect/discipline/ideas to finish writing a book, these 3 books that came out recently would be the types of books I wish I would create.
50 Shades of Grey. Just kidding. That was on my list for 2012. 😉
Trish Deseine’s The Paris Gourmet
I’ve been a fan of Trish Deseine since I was a student in Paris 14 years ago (yikes!). She doesn’t seem to be known in Asia. You can probably describe her as a Nigella Lawson/domestic goddess of France but she’s actually Irish that’s very Francophiled. I think I identified with her because of that (not the Irish part but the foreigner-living –in-Paris-adoring-their-cuisine-part). Her books are in English with some French words and references. In her previous books, I liked her fresh approach to simple things that make you go…why didn’t I think of that? My flourless chocolate cake recipe which has been a best seller in my restaurants and catering is inspired by a recipe from one of her older books. As she described in her introduction, Paris Gourmet is about the city she loves most and the subject she loves most – food. It’s a guide book about her favorite restaurants, patisseries, specialty shops, markets, recipes, etc. I am just downright jealous that she gets to go around Paris, eating in all these places, as her job! I want to be her when I grow up. Seriously.
I got my copy at a book store in the US and haven’t checked if it’s available in Manila.
Chad Robertson’s Tartine Bread
I have an electronic copy of Tartine Bread which I downloaded on iBooks (also available on Amazon). First of, I want to share that I love downloading e-books and magazines now. I have a lot of friends who say that they love the feel of print but I love having my entire library in my ipad. Even on a trip half-way across the globe, I won’t get bored with the number of books, magazines, games and movies I have. I digress, but if you haven’t tried downloading a book or a magazine, try it!
It’s easy to make bread. It’s hard to make good bread. If I judge this book by the quality of sourdough bread (and food) they serve at Tartine, it is already a winner. But going deeper into the book, you will see the passion/obsession of Chad Robertson for bread. His study, respect and explanation on the principles and techniques of bread-making is so detailed and precise. The discipline and practice of his craft is so admirable and he tries to simplify a complicated subject for a home cook (though I think you have to be an advanced home cook to be able to execute well). Sometimes, you come across a cookbook wherein the author seems so knowledgeable about the topic that it seems like this is all he has been doing his entire life. This is one of them.
Lori Baltazar’s Dessert Comes First
I hate hearing the term “world class” to describe anything. What does that even mean? Like if it’s not so good it’s local class? When I came across Lori Baltazar’s book, I thought…“world-class siya ha”. It’s just that the quality of the print, the photos and the styling, I thought were outstanding and not common in local books. I wasn’t an avid follower of her blog before (though I remember her mentioning my carabao milkshakes many years ago) but after browsing her book, I quickly added her blog to my feedly. I haven’t tried any of the recipes but the essays I’ve read were intelligent and interesting. She seems so cool, I want to be her friend.
I bought my copy at Fully Booked but it’s also available on Amazon…diba world class?