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 Post subject: Zahav
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:15 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:03 am
Posts: 5117
Location: Portland, OR
This is a top reviewed cookbook, hailed by some reviewers as the "heir to Ottolenghi". Zahav is the Israeli-fusion restaurant of Michael Solomonov in Philadelphia, and indeed it is a beautiful and inspirational cookbook for aficionados of Middle Eastern food. With his focus on basic ingredients, Solomonov seems intent on bringing the kind of rigor to Israeli food that Santibanez did to Mexican. There's an entire chapter on tahina, for example.

If only someone had tested the recipes.

Zahav suffers from "restaurant recipe cookbook". Most of the recipes contain major faults stemming from cutting them down from food service quantities/recipes without testing them. Instructions are sometimes vague or hard to follow; water/oil content is off; seasoning quantities are off; recipes for minor side dishes or sauces require three bowls and two pans. Cooking times are largely not given. I made three things from the cookbook, and really wanted the recipes to work, but they just didn't turn out like they do in the pictures.

Zahav is a good cookbook for people who like to read cookbooks, as there are a lot of stories included in the chapters, and in some of the recipe headers. But as a recipe book, it is an "idea" book, and not one whose recipes you can actually make.

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 Post subject: Re: Zahav
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:29 pm 
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I really hate restaurant cookbooks that don't get proper editing for home cooks. They just look slap-dash. Maybe they should spend less on the photographs and more on the recipie testing.


Last edited by BeckyH on Sun Dec 06, 2015 4:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Zahav
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:04 pm 
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Becky,

They spent a lot of time on the copy editing; there aren't typos or missing ingredients. It's just that nobody tried to actually make any of them.

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