The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters is, quite simply, a bit of a mess; or so says the Los Angeles Times.
Her encyclopedic new book ‘The Art of Simple Food‘ is more like the ‘Oy of Cooking.’
They aren’t pulling any punches in their review of her newest book.
And instead of being the culinary bible for a new generation that I’d hoped for, it feels like nothing more than a tacked- together collection of sketchy recipes for dishes better presented elsewhere (including, in some cases, previous Chez Panisse books).
They go on to point out many instances in which it seems the book may have errors.
But for one tart, the recipe calls for 3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced, which are somehow supposed to be arranged following maddeningly vague instructions, so that they wind up one-and-a-half layers deep. .
First off, if anyone can tell me how to arrange sliced apples one-and-a-half layers deep, I’ll be very grateful. I gave it my best shot, but after three attempts, I threw up my hands and just arranged the apples as best I could. And when I was done, I still had more than half of them left over. Checking other books (including Lindsey Shere’s splendid “Chez Panisse Desserts,” my pastry bible), I can’t help but think that there were supposed to be three apples, not 3 pounds.
Alice Waters has written some amazing cookbooks, I use them on a regular basis. I don’t think I’ll be adding The Art of Simple Food to my collection.