Cookbook Review - Dessert FourPlay
When I first saw Johnny’s cookbook Dessert FourPlay Sweet Quartets from a Four-Star Pastry Chef ($35.00 Clarkson Potter) I figured I had a winner of a book, but not a cookbook - just a “lookbook”.
Several weeks later, FourPlay, is still on my kitchen table - not covered in a film of dust as I might have expected, but doused in sugar, caramel and tuile batter. FourPlay turns out to be quite a clever book; it’s a book that you can actually use…
Let’s start back at the beginning.
Johnny Iuzzini is the Executive Pastry Chef of the three-starred Michelin Restaurant Jean Georges in New York. At Jean Georges, Johnny’s desserts arrive as four mini tasters served together. These creations may be inspired by a single ingredient or by the season, each a collection of delicious tastes, textures and techniques.
His desserts in FourPlay follow the same methodology as those at Jean Georges, so, when you look at the pictures in the book you might think that you are set for a visual feast and nothing more. But when you look a little deeper, the chef has written a book that puts the creative ball in the reader’s court. It’s a book of options.
You can choose to recreate one of the many quartets such as the Strawberry FourPlay; Strawberry Soda, Strawberry Ice Cream with Strawberry-Lavender Leather, Strawberry Shortcake with Roasted Strawberries & Strawberry Gelée, Coconut Cream & Crispy Chocolate or follow a simpler route and be inspired by one these components each of which shape up to be a great standalone dish.
I have used several of the recipes in the book over the past few weeks, each of which have been accurate, well written and tasty.
Johnny Iuzzini has published a unique cookbook, one that serves up a magnificent concoction of style and substance - what appears to be a “lookbook” is, actually a cookbook!
Read our interview with Johnny Iuzzini
Click here to buy Dessert FourPlay $23.10 at Amazon.com
Review By Jeremy Emmerson