A well-stocked pantry is essential for any home cook. In his new cookbook My Perfect Pantry, chef Geoffrey Zakarian shares recipes and lists of his 50 favorite ingredients to keep on hand. As culinary director at New York’s Plaza hotel and a judge on the Food Network’s Chopped, the author has plenty of wisdom and expertise to enlighten readers.
My Perfect Pantry starts with a list of must-have spices and seasonings along with descriptions of each ingredient and suggestions for use and storage. For example, he explains the differences in flavor of the various types of mustard seeds and explains how to choose the best vanilla beans. The rest of the book is dedicated to the 50 essential pantry ingredients. Each ingredient has its own section, which includes a description of the ingredient as well as a variety of recipes that include the ingredient. For example, the “gelatin” section includes recipes for Perfect Herb Mayonnaise, Classic American Meat Loaf, and Blackberry Panna Cotta.
The book has a pleasantly informal yet knowledgeable tone, with a few personal reminiscences sprinkled among the pages. Every recipe has a gorgeous, full-color photograph. The list of pantry staples ranges from pine nuts to baking soda and from honey to pasta, with creative ways to incorporate the ingredients into recipes.
My Perfect Pantry will be one of my go-to cookbooks in the years to come. I appreciate the variety and versatility of the suggested ingredients. As a longtime cooking enthusiast, I learned new recipes for familiar ingredients and discovered ingredients that I have yet to try, such as white anchovies. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook.
FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.