Published on June 22nd, 2006 | by Greg0
A Lovely Phaidon Duo
Phaidon is, of course, one of our favorite presses- always something interesting, and always beautiful. We have two to report on- quite different books, but both worthy of a careful look!
First off, check out The Silver Spoon, apparently Italy’s best-selling cookbook for fifty years. A couple of thousand recipes divided into 14 chapters, and quite stupendous in depth and breadth. Of course, there are some problems with ingredients that are unavailable here and with some strange measurement listings, but overall the volume is well worth the $25-40. The Silver Spoon is probably the best Italian cookbook out there, with details, pictures, and loads of variations and a decent selection of menus and helpful hints. The sauce section, especially, stands out! There is no section on breads oddly, which is acceptable because so many cookbooks focus on breads exclusively, but the remaining recipes for frog (5) and shellfish (a dozen or more) and plenty of things you’ll never make or have but are fun to imagine (what the heck is squab?)
And if you have room left on your coffee table, use it for the hefty yet light selection simply titled Shigeru Ban (by Matilda McQuaid). Hefty in both weight and price ($75, not uncommon for a great architectural book of this sort), light in its approach to the Tokyo architect who uses forms and materials in a refreshing way. Broken up into sections based on the materials used (bamboo, even paper), there are plenty of sketches and designs here that explain an approach and method better than most architecture classes! Well laid-out, and as usual with Phaidon, quite sturdy, it’s a worthy eponymous tribute.