Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Food Network Best Of The Best Of…
Published: September 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
On their Food Network show, The Best Of, Cordes and Silverstein travel across the United States, highlighting the restaurants that serve up the best grub in each locale. Divided into seven regional sections, and by state within
those sections, the book is a compressed version of the show, briefly profiling each restaurant, the people who run it and the food that has made it a local favorite. Sidebars contain the hosts' anecdotes about their taping experiences, such as when
Cordes choked on a fishbone or when the crew decided to have a weight-loss contest after eating a few too many rich meals. The book also includes recipes adapted from the restaurants, ranging widely in cuisine, from simple German Potatoes (served at the
Log Inn in Indiana) to a menu of Roasted Maine Lobster, Artichoke Puree and Citrus Salad (from Fleur de Lys in San Francisco). Few of the recipes require more than intermediate level cooking skills (Silverstein, previously in broadcasting, admits that
his only prior cooking experience was "warming up a Swanson's Hungry Man meal"), and most are traditional or local specialties along the lines of Meatballs and Matzo Ball Chicken Soup. The descriptions are written in the enthusiastic, friendly tone that
fans of the show will recognize, though some lines come off as corny (i.e., "It's a frontier fairy tale that we hope will live happily ever after"). This compilation, which is short on photos, doesn't achieve the all-access feel that the show conveys,
but it's a handy reference for travelers who want to eat well on the road.
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Every week, Jill Cordes and Marc Silverstein, hosts
of Food Network's popular show The Best Of, take viewers to unexpected places in search of the best of food, drink, and merriment. From the smallest prairie towns to the biggest cities, from five-star dining rooms to greasy spoons, from Maine to Maui,
these reporters traverse the country, cameras at the ready and forks in hand.
Part recipe collection, part scavenger hunt, part confessional, Food Network Best of The Best Of gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road to discover
why a drugstore in South Dakota sells 3,000 donuts a day or where to find the finest matzoball soup in Iowa. Whether it's a Cordon Bleu-trained chef amidst the slot machines of Las Vegas or the ranch wife who opened an eatery in a one-horse town, the
book, like the show, showcases the breadth and variety of the food experience in America.
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