By LaGayle ~ December 17th, 2010.
Bob Blumer who hosts the shows The Surreal Gourmet and Glutton for Punishment on the Food Network is the author of this fun, attractive, and informative cookbook, Glutton for Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories, and Surreal Etiquette. In many ways, both the book and the author are over the top but in very interesting and fun ways. He has set a number of Guinness World records including flipping 559 pancakes in one hour at the 2008 Calgary Stampede, making the largest bowl of salsa at the 26th Annual Tomato Fest in Jacksonville, Texas, and making the most pizzas in one hour at the 14th Annual Corso Italia Festival in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This book contains some of Bob’s signature recipes including ones that have never appeared in print. Presentation is a huge factor in practically every recipe. Some examples include: meatloaf surprise presented as a cake (two layers of meatloaf and the “icing” is mashed potatoes decorated with cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets), salad prepared in a flower pot topped with edible flowers, faux fries which are actually slices of pound cake presented in a French fry container, coconut shrimp lollypops sticking out of a wedge of watermelon, and the list goes on and on. The pictures that accompany the recipes are fantastic! I love seeing what the dish should look like.
“The first taste is with the eyes.” –attributed to Sophocles
Along with the recipes, Blumer offers numerous tips from what is needed in the kitchen to a reminder to always warm the plates before serving. Since we at Wine Peeps are big advocates of blind tastings, I especially like the fact that in his “Wine 1.0” section of the book he also recommends tasting wine blind.
While I have not yet prepared any of the recipes in the book, they appear to be not only fun but also easy to make. I have already selected several that I definitely want to try. The “Rings of Fire” recipe (onion rings) especially caught my eye since one type of onion he recommends using is the Walla Walla onion for which those of us in Washington State have a special affinity.
If you are still looking for a fun Christmas gift for someone who loves to cook and enjoys experimenting with new ideas in the kitchen, this book would be perfect.
Filed under: Food & Wine, Wine Books