A Matter of Taste: Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match|
by Lucy Waverman, James Chatto
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|A Review of: A Matter of Taste: Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match
by Brian Fawcett
Lucy Waverman and James Chatto have been at or near the top of the
food chain in Ontario-or at least those parts of Ontario that are
visible from the wealthy areas of downtown Toronto-for a long time
now. They know what they're doing, they know what they're about,
and what they're about is Rosedale Fusion cuisine. A Matter of Taste
is, therefore, pretty much as advertised-a matter of taste.
The book itself is a coffee-table whopper, beautifully produced and
professionally executed-and not something you'd want to drop on
your foot while you're cooking from it. The authors don't say this,
but it's actually a dinner party cookbook, and the food it features
is the kind that takes all day-or several days-to prepare and all
evening to consume.
The book's menus are organized around the four seasons of the year,
beginning with spring, and each setting takes you from appetizers
to after-dinner aperitifs. Some of the featured menus will tip
amateur chefs on limited budgets and less-than-fully equipped
kitchens over the edge of a nervous breakdown trying to run with
these guys. I found myself growing slightly irritable with the
degree of supervision, particularly when it comes to directions for
the wines I ought to be drinking. This may have something to do
with my habit of drinking wine while I'm preparing food, and realizing
that with the amount of kitchen time their regime requires, I'd
rarely make it to the dinner table.
That's not entirely fair, because high-end menus are what Chatto
and Waverman do, and they're unapologetic about it. I imagine that
many readers will find their micro-managing rather soothing. The
good news is that I also found myself pilfering bits and pieces of
both their menus and recipes alike, so the book is adaptable.