Book Review: The Barcelona Cookbook

Book Review: The Barcelona Cookbook

A celebration of Food, Wine, Life—and Tapas!

By Sasa Mahr-Batuz, Andy Pforzheimer, with Mary Goodbody

Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, 2009

Mahr-Batuz and Pforzheimer own the award-winning Barcelona Wine Bar and Restaurants in Connecticut, and in this lavishly illustrated publication (with photos by John Blais) they detail 115 signature recipes from the eateries, and retail numerous stories about their restaurants and how they approach capturing the spirit of Barcelona in the American Northeast.

Of course, it is the recipes that will most interest FM's readers — especially the chapters on hot and cold tapas (the restaurants' signature offering), main courses and desserts — but there are also extras such as a discussion on how to throw a tapas party that may help with preparing a special theme dinner.

Perhaps the best thing about the recipes is that most are fairly simple, like authentic ethnic dishes made by real people often are. Most recipes have only a short list of ingredients, many of them simple things (olive oil, spices, butter, etc.) found in most kitchens. It's the combinations and preparation that make the results so delicious.

As with most books of this type, a certain amount of self-indulgence is inevitable. Beyond that, though, most foodservice directors will find valuable content to apply in their operations.