The flap reads, "When the first Blue Ribbon restaurant opened in 1992 in downtown Manhattan, it ushered in a new era in dining, one where reservations aren't taken and delicious food—dressed up or down—comes out of the same kitchen. On a menu suited to satisfy every craving, Herb Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Sage, a favorite with neighborhood regulars, shares equal billing with Beef Marrow Bones with Oxtail Marmalade, the late-night dish most often requested by the celebrity-chef crowd. After seventeen successful years, Bruce and Eric Bromberg, the brothers behind the now nine-restaurant Blue Ribbon phenomenon, share their secrets for exceptional American fare."
Well, I am not from New York, so I cannot say whether or not the Bromberg Brothers have created a "phenomenon," and I certainly had never heard of these guys before, but I can tell you that this is a really nice cookbook.
Blue Ribbon Cookbook, named after the bothers' series of restaurants, has a little bit of something for everyone, covering the categories of main dishes, desserts, veggies, and my personal favourite, brunch. I do love good brunch ideas and recipes! Which is probably why the baking in this book is what appealed to me the most. Beef Marrow Bones with Oxtail Marmalade (page 84) and Seared Long Island Duck Breast with Orange-Cassis Sauce (page 104) and all well and good, but I was more excited about the Blueberry Muffins on page 178 and the Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes on page 177.
The two recipes I made from this book were both total winners: the aforementioned Blueberry Muffins were excellent, as was the Country White Bread on page 203. The bread had a higher salt content than I am used to, but it was a really flavourful loaf with a nice chewiness and a texture reminiscent of an artisan sourdough loaf. It didn't last long!
There are quite a few other recipes I plan on making from this book, including the pancakes (which I will turn into waffles), the Doughnut Muffins on page 182, and the Raisin Walnut Bread (for which I will use pecans) on page 202.
Lots of good stuff to choose from in Blue Ribbon Cookbook, and the pictures are so mouthwatering, too. There is also a handy chapter entitled "Building Blocks" which features recipes for stocks, sauces, and condiments. The sandwich chapter also looks very promising - who doesn't love a good sandwich? At $43 CAD this book is a tough sell, though, as it is relatively slim at just over 250 pages. There are definitely some great ideas in here, however, especially if you're into more high end recipes.
Will it stay on overtaxed kitchen shelving unit? Oh yes!