Emeril is probably the best-known food personality in America today, and in this latest offering, he draws on the signature dishes of his eight (soon to be nine) restaurants and their chefs to provide a cookbook sure to please his legions of fans. Spreading his philosophy and history in the introduction, he entreats the user not to be put off by the complexity of many of the recipes, but to use the components and mix and match the dishes. The first chapter, "Basics," contains the building blocks of many of the dishes, ranging from the customary stocks to Hard Boiled Eggs and Roast Duck. Subsequent chapters are structured in the usual manner ranging from appetizers and first courses through desserts. Each dish is attributed to its restaurant or chef and results in a range of styles and inspirations. Some knowledge and skill is required (more, perhaps than in his previous books): there's the Warm Watercress Salad with Stir Fried Beef and Kimchee, where the Kimchee is made 24 hours in advance, as well as the Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Herbed Potato Cakes, Granny Smith Apple Butter, Citrus Fennel Salad, and Salmon Roe. It is within these components that the real strength of the book lies, where dressings, sides and garnishes add polish and sophistication that inspire the home cook to greater heights and confidence.
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