Michelin-starred chef Josh Emett brings together more than 300 of the most important classic recipes by 150 of the world’s most acclaimed chefs. Taken together, this is a compendium of the crème de la crème of blue ribbon cooking from the world’s top restaurants in an elegantly designed volume that will stand up to use in the kitchen but be classically beautiful to behold – sure to delight any food lover or serious home cook.
Josh Emett, holder of three Michelin stars and best known for opening Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the London Hotel in New York, has collected the most important classic recipes from the world’s most acclaimed chefs to create a kind of Larousse Gastronomique of the 21st century. These are the best new classics that have emerged during the last 50 years from culinary stars.
Each recipe has been tested by Emett in his home kitchen, and he includes guidance and advice for the home cook– discussing complexity, preparation, key elements, complements for planning a larger menu, and tips of the trade.
Featuring specially commissioned photographs, the book is organized into 12 easy-to-follow sections from basics (stocks, sauces, and dressings), to grains and vegetables, meats, seafood, baking, and more. Each section includes a dedicated introduction with key knowledge element
New Zealand Josh Emett was kind enough not talk with us about his new new book and the learning experience that came about with its writing.
Booksaboutfood.com (BAF)-How did the inspiration for this book come about?
Josh Emett-I wanted to do a book with a difference that celebrated the classic recipes of the world backed by the world’s finest chefs who best represented the dishes. It was always a hugely ambitious project and one that was a real journey for me but we managed to stick to the original concept and idea despite many obstacles. I think that vision is reflected in the outstanding end product.
BAF-What was your criteria for selecting the recipes?
Josh Emett-The recipes had to be true classics, dishes that were firmly engrained in people’s lives and cultures and also stood the test of time. Often these recipes have been tweaked and adapted over the years but the true essence and flavours of the recipe remain.
As an experienced and successful chef in your own right was there anything that took you by surprise/ Any interesting discoveries?
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Josh Emett-There were so many discoveries along the way and with over 300 recipes to cook my way through, I learnt a huge amount. I often cook with what I know so to follow somebody else’s recipe verbatim and recreate the dish was very rewarding but also put me under quite a lot of pressure. There were many times I read recipes and was really not sure if they would work but had to trust them, so I picked up some great tricks.
BAF-In your introduction you said you wanted ‘to create a food bible’. Was it difficult to write such a book?
Josh Emett-Yes it was very ambitious and as a result I think I may have left myself open for follow-up books as it was a real struggle to narrow down the list to just over 300 recipes. I covered many areas of the globe but there are still areas that I didn’t touch. I think what I have achieved though is a timeless reference of some of the world’s best dishes that anyone with a passion for food should cook at least once in their lifetime.
BAF-The book is loaded with numerous beautiful photographs can you tell us a little about them?
Josh Emett-Kieran Scott is a master of his craft. He is incredibly creative and we both had a strong vision from the outset which was to let the dish shine with no props or styling. We used only white or black backgrounds and Kieran had bespoke white and black plates made for the project which really set the scene to ensure there was consistency and strong style throughout. We work really well together. Kieran has photographed all three of my books in my home and as a result he has known my boys since they were toddlers.
BAF-What’s next for you?
Josh Emett-As well as continuing to focus on my restaurants, I have started to film the amazing dishes featured in my book with their contributing chefs, with the possibility of potentially turning it into a TV series.