Comments: Chef David Burke's goal is to take American comfort food dishes and present them in three ways – with the traditional or near-traditional recipe, jazzed up as a chef might do it, and, with any leftovers, as a unique second-day preparation. Thus Eggs Benedict becomes Canadian Bacon Potato Cake with Poached Eggs and Spicy Tomato Salsa for the contemporary update, and Bacon, Potato, and Eggs Strudel for the day-after meal.
A Cobb Salad becomes a Stacked Chopped Cobb Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette and a Spiced Cobb Salad "Summer Roll" with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce. The Tuna Steak Provençal can be transformed into Tuna Steak au Moutarde with Miso Vinaigrette and Shititake Dumplings, leaving for the leftover dish Tuna Niçoise Salad Hash.
The book includes recipes for breakfasts, appetizers, soups, salads, poultry, beef, pork, lamb, fish, shellfish, a meatless main course (only macaroni & cheese, since the chef's experience really has to do with center-of-the-plate proteins), and desserts.
Many (most) of the dishes look wonderful. The problem, of course, is that this is a chef's cookbook. Many recipe will be beyond the abilities of most home cooks. Who will make all three variations of a single dish? Our guess is, almost no one.
Still, there is a great deal of practical information in this book, presented in a very straightforward and conversational way. You can learn a lot from this book. Indeed, we gave it a ranking of excellent – it's just not for most people!