Friday, December 02, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide: My Last Supper: The Next Course by Melanie Dunea

It’s rare that a really good book be followed by an even better sequel, but that just what’s happened here. Melanie Dunea (Precious, My Country) follows up her wonderful 2007 book My Last Supper with My Last Supper: The Next Course (Rodale). And the next course really is terrific.

Here’s the premise: photographer Dunea asks famous chefs to talk about their own last meal. What would it look like? What would it be? Easy enough, right? But the answers: they’re often surprising. And since Dunea is a photographer first, the book is anchored by intensely good photos of the chefs in question. These are featured with the answers of each chef. And the final section of the book features the recipes the chefs talked about in their musing about final meals. Terrific idea, right? And beautifully executed.

So how is this second volume better? Well, that might be an overstatement, because in many ways it’s the same: same format, same questions, same Vanity Fair-style photography (which is to say: fantastic). But where the first book featured 50 great chefs talking about their final meal, the new volume includes a bunch of great chefs as well as some well known food personalities. It makes the whole thing just a little more accessible to a few more people. So Todd English, Bobbie Flay, Emeril Lagasse, Traci Des Jardins (whose truffle-stuffed roasted chicken I can’t stop thinking about), Martha Ortiz, Wolfgang Puck, Rachel Ray and many others. The result is a book that should have a wider appeal than did the first, but with no less panache and style. And with all of that, of course, it makes a wonderful gift for the foodie dreamers on your list. ◊

Linda L. Richards is the editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out and you can see the amazing videos too

Friday, December 2, 2011 at 2:29:00 PM PST  

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