December 29, 2015
Hartwood by Eric Werner & Mya Henry
My rating: 4 of 5 spoons
Hartwood is as much a work of art as a cookbook. From the cover, all through the pages (about 300 of them!) the absolutely gorgeous photography draws you in. This is a book you can enjoy just curling up in a comfy chair and immerse yourself in. At some point, however, you want to start cooking. That is a little harder. Many ingredients are used that if you don't have access to a well-stocked Latin American grocery could be a little harder to find, and there are no substitutions given. That said, there is so much in this book! Lots of information on building flavors, chiles, fruits, drying herbs and more start you off on the right foot, before heading into chapters titled The Larder, The Market, The Sea, The Land, Desserts, and Drinks.
Ultimately, Hartwood is a cookbook about a restaurant. These are the dishes you would eat there, and they've given you the gift to try to re-create them in your own home. That is quite a gift. If you've ever been to Hartwood, or if you long for the flavors of the Yucatan, this is definitely the book for you. If you want an armchair trip, this is not a bad choice, either. Give it a try!