Chef and restaurateur David Burke is known for his innovative and playful cuisine, from a pretzel-crusted crabcake at David Burke Townhouse on the Upper East Side, to the cheesecake “lollipop tree” dessert at the outdoor David Burke Garden in SoHo.
But even top chefs need a little inspiration.
We asked Burke, who has also participated cooking shows including Iron Chef America and Top Chef Masters, to share some of his favourite cookbooks with us.
He kindly obliged.
In Casual Cooking, Palmer brings a sophisticated twist to simple dishes. With his instruction, you can impress your dinner guests with Whole Roasted Salmon with New Potatoes and Leeks and Baked Wild Mushroom Salad. For something more family-style, whip up a platter of Linguine with Eggplant Ragu.
As an added bonus he'll teach you to turn many of his recipes, like his Perfect Roast Chicken, into delicious leftovers like Chicken Noodle Soup or Aioli Chicken Salad.
Whether open-flame grilling or hot-oven cooking, High Heat provides flexible recipes for any season. Malouf teaches you to 'maximise flavour and minimize fuss' in recipes like Flank Steak with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic. You can even learn to make Caramelized Cauliflower Soup or Nectarine and Almond Crostadas over the flame.
Malouf's recipes are suitable for the whole family and come without an endless ingredients list, making for an all-around successful execution.
Lidia Bastianich's book is ideal for novice and intermediate chefs looking to expand their cooking knowledge. She teaches you how to make ravioli from scratch and what you need to perfect a meat sauce.
Recipes range from pasta dishes such as Long Fusilli with Mussels, Saffron, and Zucchini, to her take on scallopine with sautéed lemon slices, garlic slivers, capers, and green olives. Stories chronicling her discoveries as a chef since immigrating to America entertain the reader throughout the book.
Recipes in Australian chef Matt Moran's cookbook stem from his own home cooking, but the dishes are still full of complexity. The book is divided into nine chapters and features everything from Canapes to Seafood.
Alongside vibrant photographs, Moran instructs you how to make inventive dishes like Citrus-cured Salmon with Fennel and Orange salad.
After a string of bestselling cookbooks geared toward ambitious chefs, Keller returns to simpler fare in Ad Hoc. The book features over 200 recipes that are perfectly suited for family-style gatherings, such as roasted spring leg of lamb or chicken pot pie.
With step-by-step instructions, he'll teach you to 'perfectly shape a hamburger, truss a chicken, or dress a salad.' Ideal for kitchen novices and experts alike, recipes throughout the book put a playful twist on American classics.
James Beard Award-winning chef Takashi Yagihashi explains 'noodle nuances' in his authentic guide to Japanese noodle dishes. Takashi explores the different uses for fresh and dried packaged noodles, teaching you about the ingredients while guiding you through recipes.
The book of 75 recipes is technical enough to include everything from Aje-Men to Zaru, but practical enough to include kid-friendly dishes too.
Of the renowned Chicago chef's 14 cookbooks, this is the one that 'helped to launch a thousand taste sensations.' Charlie Trotter, who is self-taught and never went to culinary school, provides the dedicated chef with complex recipes for inventive dishes.
High quality photographs are set alongside the recipes with long ingredient lists. While not for the beginner, those who try out the recipes are sure to impress.
This is the book for home chefs on the search for some intellectual stimulation in the kitchen. The book by the famed 'Top Chef' siblings focuses heavily on the scientific nature of cooking, delving into 'the art and craft of modern cooking.'
Ingredients are organised into 20 'food families' and large colour photographs are featured alongside every recipe in VOLT ink.
Stephanie Izard, the only female winner of Top Chef, presents more than mere recipes in her book. She'll teach you to make desserts like Quince and Fig Cobbler with Vanilla Mascarpone, but will also show you how she pairs beer and wine with her meals and where she finds her 'cooking muses.'
The Girl in the Kitchen features over 100 of Izard's recipes and is full of inspiration for aspiring chefs.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Burke's own cookbook, filled with what he calls 'contemporary classics' - favourite dishes that chefs can innovate with added twists.
He devotes a portion of the book to 'Second Day Dishes': Recipes that build on each other. Traditional Broiled Shrimp with Scampi Butter and Tomato-Rice Pilaf can be turned into Sautéed Shrimp with Spinach-Lasagna Roll and Crisp Spinach, and then further transformed into Shrimp Fried Rice and Sausage the next day.
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