A Matter of Taste: Inspired Seasonal Menus with Wines and Spirits to Match

by Lucy Waverman, James Chatto
ISBN: 0002006723

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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.

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