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Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts Made Simple

Leach, Richard

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 047138738X / ISBN 13: 9780471387381
Published by Wiley, 2001
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

272 pp, hardbound, 1st printing, owner's name stamped all edges, all endpapers, else like new -- no folds, no creases, no other markings, no soiling -- NOT EXLIB, NOT PC. Bookseller Inventory # 8592

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Sweet Seasons: Fabulous Restaurant Desserts ...

Publisher: Wiley

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

"Richard Leach has inspired an entire generation of pastry chefs. He's widely imitated . . . he has single-handedly changed the way desserts look around the country in a lot of restaurants." --Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill
"The first time I encountered Richard Leach's desserts, I became absolutely incoherent. My notes from that meal are garbled and filled with exclamation points."--Ruth Reichl, New York Times
"Richard Leach, the pastry chef, should have his hands licensed as deadly weapons, like boxers." --Bryan Miller, New York Times
Food critics, nationwide, have exalted him. Food Arts magazine dubbed him the "Pythagoras of pastry," in recognition of his revolutionary genius as a pastry chef. Master pastry chefs, everywhere, have tried to imitate him and failed. Now, at last, in this beautifully illustrated guide, Richard Leach reveals the secrets behind his fabulous talent to inspire home bakers as he has professional pastry chefs.
In Sweet Seasons, Chef Richard Leach shares 400 of his building block recipes that can be combined to create 100 of his favorite, original desserts, organized by the seasons--so bakers can take advantage of the freshest available ingredients--and richly supplemented with 113 color photographs illustrating the plated desserts and their assembly. Each recipe is structured so as to allow readers to prepare all or any part of the dessert, based on level of expertise and availability of ingredients. For example, a summer dessert of Warm Peach Strudel with Sweet Corn Panna Cotta breaks down the recipe into its components (e.g., roasted peaches, vanilla crepes, corn panna cotta, peach sauce, honey tuille garnish, etc.) to allow the reader to "mix and match." Throughout, Chef Leach provides useful substitution tips and plating directions, and includes a complete Resource List, which provides sources for ingredients and equipment.
Richard Leach (New York, NY) is Executive Pastry Chef at Park Avenue Cafe. He was named 1997 Pastry Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation and one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Art and Design.

Review:

The delectable treats turned out by Richard Leach--executive pastry chef of the Park Avenue Café and a James Beard Foundation Pastry Chef of the Year--are inspired, distinctive, and daring. In Sweet Seasons, he aims to bring his masterful recipes to home kitchens everywhere.

Known for his striking presentations, Leach states in the book's introduction that he would never be able to make his phenomenal desserts without the help of his staff, yet here he claims to make it possible for home cooks to re-create these masterpieces in their own kitchens. Truth be told, one would be hard pressed to find many home cooks who have the time, the patience, or the chutzpah to attempt dishes like Leach's Citrus Panna Cotta with Warm Poppyseed Cake and Citrus Sorbet. The dish, in its entirety, includes: Poppyseed Cake, Lemon Curd, Citrus Panna Cotta, Sour Lemon Meringues, Citrus Sorbet, Honey Tuiles, Orange Sections, Grapefruit Sections, Citrus Sauce, Cotton Candy, and Sugar Garnish, all of which are prepared from scratch. The good news is that many of the desserts are quite lovely--not to mention impressive--with most of the garnishes left off. For instance, in the above example, the Citrus Panna Cotta--delicately flavored with chamomile tea and lemongrass--is lovely served with a simple garnish of fresh fruit and a drizzle of the warm citrus sauce. If you're in the mood for extra flourish, you could add either the Honey Tuiles or the Sour Lemon Meringues for a little crunch.

A chapter on "Basic Recipes" offers sauces and syrups, cookies, and other garnishes that are delicious enough to turn any cake, pastry, or scoop of ice cream into a dessert worthy of serving to even the most honored guests. Mix and match these with Leach's sophisticated cakes, tarts, ice creams, and fritters, and you'll be sure to impress your guests. Boyd Hagen's lovely photographs are both inspiring and appetizing. If they move you to attempt Leach's presentations in full, more power to you. --Robin Donovan

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