Thursday, August 4, 2011

MasterChef Magazine

I used to subscribe to several— well, many — food and cooking magazines; Gourmet, Food & Wine and a zillion others on and off over the years. And like most gourmands, I dig the hell out of reading cookbooks. In fact, I'll be posting some reviews soon of some of my old faves and new ones, too.

I'm not a regular viewer of Gordon Ramsay's TV shows. I hear he's a terrific chef, but the shouting, drama and humiliation don't appeal to me. I did like a solo show by Ramsay (Gordon's Great Escape) where he toured several Asian countries and cooked. That was a blast!

Recently, I got a copy of a cooking magazine based on his MasterChef show. The publisher (actually, its publicist) referred to this as a "bookazine," and though I'm not nuts about that clunky neologism, the 144-page issue is brimming with recipes, features, profiles and absolutely gorgeous photography — all devoted to food and technique, with a little bit of personalty stuff larded through the text, though thankfully not enough to dominate the proceedings.

Along with Ramsay, fellow MasterChef hosts Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot are featured. (Bastianich, by the way, is business partners with my old pal, Mario Batali. Nice!) And sure, there's little tidbits about their lives and personalities — even something about their moms (Joe's is the famous Lidia Bastianich, no slouch herself!) but not enough to turn this into a pie-eyed celebrity magazine, thankfully.

In addition to those guys, there's a nice piece on crab cakes by ubiquitous food writers Jane and Michael Stern (with recipes, of course), as well as plenty of content from the show's participants, all pretty good chefs in their own right. There's also a helpful recipe index in the back, like all good food magazines and books!

I'll have to run a few of the recipes here. Some are a little too precious and froufrou for me, personally, but there's a bunch that are appealing and relatively straightforward. Pollo Con Futtas looked really tasty!

In any event, it's on newstands now and if you'd like to grab something worth reading and rereading, and will probably get stained by sauce and oil and whatnot from your kitchen while you're cooking some of the things herein, give MasterChef a shot.

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