“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love cook-books and those who don’t.” – Sara Waxman
Speaking to the cook-book lovers, we enjoy the vicarious thrill of reading through the ingredients of a Recipe and knowing that we have them all in our cupboards, finding that we understand every term and every nuance described in the Instructions, and finally, seeing a glorious Photograph of the recipe we have just made–in our mind.
I stopped acquiring cookbooks some years ago when, like many of us, I became an empty-nester. Besides, I feel that many new cook-book writers have begun to take home cooks for granted by publishing esoteric recipes and complicated procedures.
Until now. Chef Bruno Feldeisen gives home bakers a gift with his new book, Baking with Bruno, A French Baker’s North American Love Story. You may know him as a judge on the CBC Great Canadian Baking Show. And he has partnered with a renowned Canadian hotelier, Henry M. Wu, whose hobby is food photography, though the quality of his art is much more than that of a hobbyist.
A good cup of coffee in hand, I make myself comfortable and begin to read Baking with Bruno, cover to cover. It is Bruno’s ode to his journey, where a French baker from a world of very defined culinary rules, explores a new land where the food possibilities, techniques and tastes are boundless. I met Bruno on his arrival in Toronto about thirty years ago, and right from the start the food writing community recognized that we had a creative genius in our midst. His Introduction gives us an insight that answers his question, “How Did I Get There?” If baking is your hobby, you can seriously consider the list of items in Chef Bruno’s Pantry as your next shopping list (most items are standard) and his Tools of the Trade exist in all our kitchens. From The Fundamentals through baked delicacies from the world over that we will recognize as part of our Canadian culinary playbook, I spend a few hours reading, imagining, and saying to myself, “I can make that.”
With a new-found enthusiasm, I enter Amazon in my laptop search bar and click on baking utensils. These lovely recipes deserve some shiny new baking pans. I am happy to share a few recipes (see below) that I plan to bake within the next very short while.
Published in Canada: whitecap.ca $34.95
Sara Waxman, OOnt, is an award-winning restaurant critic, best-selling cookbook author, food and travel journalist and has eaten her way through much of the free world for four decades, while writing about it in books, newspapers and magazines. She is the Editor in Chief of DINE and Destinations magazine.