Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cookbooks: Savory Baking by Mary Chech

The title is misleading, and not in a helpful way. It offers the idea that this will be yet another book on being a better baker. The fact is, Savory Baking (Chronicle Books) is so much more than that.

You don’t need to read very far to understand what I’m saying. White Cheddar-Zucchini Pancakes. Hazelnut Waffles. Buckwheat Blinis with Warm Bing Cherries and Crème Fraiche. Fig and Rosemary Spread. Caprese Salad. And, yes: some of these things are meant to go with other -- baked -- recipes. And, yes: there are more baked items in Savory Baking than not. But still, it is a book beyond the expected, filled with tempting savory versions of a lot of recipes that are quite often sweet.

Author Mary Chech was named one of the top ten pastry chefs in North America. She is an award-winning pastry chef and cooking instructor. That combination shows both in the innovation she brings to Savory Baking as well as the clear and sensible way she tells us to make her creations.

Savory Baking includes recipes for every meal of the day, plus snacks. This is beautiful, well-conceived food, temptingly styled and photographed, clearly shared and quite beyond expectation.



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