This year, I began writing my first book, and it has stirred up self-analysis, searching my memory for hidden gems that helped shape who I am and how I live today. Part of that journey has involved reading the work of others, and connecting with others who share similar passion for my topic. As I begin writing a small part of my story, using food as a vehicle for sharing hearts, I have loved discovering artists who also pour their hearts into creating warmth and welcome, using the vehicle of food. I wanted to share this cookbook review with you so that you might be inspired, too.
Naomi Pomeroy’s Taste & Technique is quickly becoming a treasured volume, starting before I cooked a single recipe from its well-adorned pages. First of all, as a photographer, I am melting into the images of light-and-dark, earthy and elegant plates of food.
“Cooking should be a pleasure… you can go a long way toward having a better time and making a better meal by simply setting the right mood for yourself as soon as you begin to cook (or even think about cooking).” For me, personally, that means the music, the lighting, the people around me. Naomi shares:
Naomi urges us to let the “real food” inspire our menu: get ourselves to the farmer’s market and see what is delicious straight from the source. She gives permission to streamline what we serve, and for me, this encouragement to avoid complication is permission to let the company, the sweet memory-making, be pre-eminent, the food a background mood-setter for what is most important.
“You must keep in mind the power of simplicity: a salad made with tender Little Gem lettuces needs nothing more than a creamy pistachio vinaigrette” (which she shares in the book).
I love her advice to “invest in a handful of ingredients that might be more expensive than what you are used to,” but in paring back on how much, increase the impact of quality ingredients.
I’m flipping out at the Crème Fraiche Tarts recipe… my mouth is watering at the earthy photo of Caramelized Onions with Anchovies and Olives. I’ve yet to fall in love with cooking anchovies, but this recipe makes me quite sure I will. Hazelnut and Wild Mushroom Pate isn’t intimidating; rather, its rustic photo and streamlined ingredient list, with the unpretentious directions, dare me to put this on the table the next opportunity I have to buy good balsamic and wild mushrooms. Naomi gives me a collection of new classics and suggestions on how to pair them, mixing and matching as the season and the setting invite. She gives me inspiration, and permission to experiment, alongside a dare to learn more and stretch my culinary education.
The structure of Taste & Technique is a cross between a collection of go-to-classic recipes, a primer on time-honored techniques, and a coffee-table book that’s a sensory delight for this photographer-food-lover. And it’s likely this book will stay on our coffee-table, not not be plunked onto the shelves, because I’m enjoying the gentle teaching, the permission to experiment, and the collection of recipes that actually make me want to try them as-is, and then to give them my own flair.
It’s a book I recommend for you, for your best friend, and anyone who wants to get all-in with creating recipes from the heart. Find it here.
(I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.)
Like what you're reading?
Get Sal et Lux updates and resources in your inbox and get my "3 Tips for Meaningful Hospitality" as my gift to you!