Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page have created a masterpiece of culinary work with What to Drink with What you Eat
. This book is destined to be the definitive guide to matching foods to beverages for many years to come, not only for consumers but also restaurant professionals. Anyone that calls himself a food lover must have this book.
Dornenburg and Page are the James Beard Award-winning writers of a host of other great culinary books including Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry, Dining Out,
and The New American Chef
. This husband and wife team has devoted their lives to the restaurant experience and we, as readers, have been extremely fortunate to share that experience through their books. Delightful to read, their books are encyclopedic and authoritative in information. Their research is intense and they go directly to the source, the chefs themselves.
What to Drink with What you Eat is just as intense and informative as their other works. This book, however, stands further apart because it so much needed. Its an old problem, what to drink with your meal. Its a hard question, sometimes, even for professional restaurateurs. A wine or other beverage that doesnt match the food can ruin the taste and turn something that was extraordinary into a total disaster. Its like putting ketchup on a Kobe beef steak.
What to Drink with What you Eat
solves this conundrum. Yes, there are other books on what wine to drink with dinner, loads of them, but none with such scope and authority as this one. Dornenburg and Page use the knowledge of more than 70 top wine experts (including 10 master sommeliers), chefs, and other food connoisseurs to create an encyclopedia of food and beverage pairings covering more than 1,500 categories.
The first section of the book covers some food-beverage pairing principles: balancing components, thinking regionally (things that grow together go together), selecting and serving. Everything is easy to understand with lots of quotes from famous chefs and other experts. The important thing to remember is eating is fun and the point of matching food to drink is to increase the enjoyment of the experience.
The rest of the book is devoted to matching food and drinks: the first part suggests drinks for each food category and the second part suggests foods to go with your chosen beverage. Youll find more than wines listed, too. Beer, spirits, coffee, tea, and wine are also covered. There are a variety of choices for each listing with highly recommended suggestions appearing in bold caps and classic pairings appearing with an asterisk (*).
Also included in the book are pairing menus from some of Americas best restaurants like Alinea, Mary Elaines, and Chanterelle. Another fun thing is a chapter on what beverages food experts would take if stranded on a desert island. Some greats like Daniel Boulud, Traci Des Jardins, and Rocco DiSpirito share their thoughts.