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The Art of Flavour: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food

Daniel Patterson, Mandy Aftel

6 Reviews

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Cookery by ingredient

Two masters of composition - a chef and a perfumer - present a revolutionary new approach to creating delicious, original food.

'Mandy Aftel's latest work with Daniel Patterson is a masterpiece on the science of cooking from an olfactory and culinary perspective through the same lens. This book is a must for any chef or cook looking to find new inspirations and a deeper understanding of the way flavours work together.' Pratap Chahal (@thathungrychef), Flavour Bastard, Soho, London

'Am counting down the days till your book arrives!' Nigella Lawson

Daniel Patterson, a chef, and Mandy Aftel, a perfumer, present a revolutionary new approach to creating delicious, original food. Aftel and Patterson are rock stars in their respective fields: Patterson has won two Michelin stars for his San Francisco restaurant Coi and numerous James Beard and other food awards, and his new path-breaking co-venture Loco'l is attracting national interest; Aftel has been profiled in the New York Times T Magazine and other publications and is constantly featured and quoted in magazines and blogs.


In a world awash with cooking shows, food blogs and recipes, the art of flavour has been surprisingly neglected. The multibillion-dollar flavour industry practises its dark arts by manipulating synthetic ingredients, and home cooks are taught to wield the same blunt instruments: salt, acid, sugar, heat.

But foods in their natural states are infinitely more nuanced than the laboratory can replicate - and offer far greater possibilities for deliciousness. Chef Daniel Patterson and natural perfumer Mandy Aftel are experts at orchestrating ingredients, and here they teach readers how to make the most of nature's palette.

The Art of Flavour proceeds not by rote formula but via a series of mind-opening and palate-expanding tools and concepts: using a flavour 'compass' to find the way to transformative combinations of aromatic ingredients; pairing ingredients to make them 'bury' (control) one another and 'lock' (achieve an alchemy that transcends the sum of the parts); learning to deploy cooking methods for maximum effect; and the seven 'dials' that allow a cook to fine-tune a dish.

With more than sixty recipes that allow the cook to grasp each concept and put it into practice, The Art of Flavour is food for the imagination that will help cooks at any level to become flavour virtuosos in their own right.

From The Flavour Bible on, flavour has been a particular focus of recent interest, but no one has Patterson's and Aftel's unique perspective on it, their combined expertise, or their winning blend of ideas, information, recipes and cooking and perfuming lore.

The Art of Flavour is a thinking person's cookbook that uses recipes to instil principles for creating delicious food at home, larded with fascin

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Praise for The Art of Flavour: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food

  • An amazingly thorough and holistic investigation into deliciousness. It serves as a brilliant guide, pushing you to trust your senses and experiment with food, and offers a multitude of recipes to draw upon for inspiration.

  • This fascinating book, by Michelin-starred chef Daniel Patterson and perfumer Mandy . . . helps you transform combinations of aromatic ingredients and learn methods that will help you fine-tune dishes - Choice Magazine

  • Daniel Patterson and Mandy Aftel have written a sophisticated and totally harmonious guide to understanding flavour and taste. I admire their collaboration in this homage to the senses, as well as their practical approach to cooking with both freedom and restraint.

  • This book will change the way you understand flavour and will give you the tools to be courageous in the kitchen. The Art of Flavour had my head spinning with fascination and inspiration.

  • I learned a lot about my own cooking habits in The Art of Flavour. After many years as a cook, I usually choose, combine, adjust, blend and season ingredients in an impulsive, instinctive way when I cook a dish, relying on some innate knowledge I have absorbed throughout the years I've spent in the kitchen. I have discovered the Cartesian logic behind my practice.

  • In this wonderful book, Patterson and Aftel demonstrate that cooking well is a personal, exciting process,

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Daniel Patterson

Daniel Patterson was born in Massachusetts and moved to California in 1989, where he now has three restaurants: Coi (2006), Plum (2010) and Haven (2012). At Coi, Patterson mixes modern culinary techniques with local and cultivated ingredients to create highly original dishes that speak of place, memory and emotion. It is an approach that has won him two Michelin stars and a worldwide reputation for pioneering a new kind of Californian cuisine. Patterson is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Lucky Peach, Food & Wine and other publications.



Peter Meehan is a food writer and co-editor of quarterly food journal Lucky Peach. He has written for many magazines, including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and The New York Times, and he has collaborated on a number of cookbooks.

Maren Caruso is a San Francisco native who specializes in food photography. Her work has appeared in more than 75 cookbooks and numerous magazines including Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Sunset Magazine, Cook_Inc., and Food & Wine. She won the 2013 One Eyeland Photography Award for Fine Art Photographer of the Year.