December 19, 2009
Posted by on
Cooking Fearlessly: Recipes and Other Adventures from Hudson’s on the Bend
by Jeff Blank, Jay Moore with Deborah Harter
Publisher: Fearless Press (September 1, 1999)
ISBN 10: 0967232309
ISBN 13: 978-0967232300
Hudson’s on the Bend is a creative restaurant slightly north of Austin. It’s owned by two creative chefs named Jeff Blank and Jay Moore. By all reports (I’ve never dined there), it’s a stylish, forward-thinking restaurant known for its willingness to exotic ingredients like rattlesnake, emu, et.al.
This book is a colorful and delightful paeon to the restaurant. The cover gives you a good idea as to the humorous and eye-popping nature of the book. With lots of original and a bold visual graphic style that first seems garish but ultimately adds to readability, the great thing about this book is the humorous approach the authors take to prod the reader to take some chances. You don’t see this often in cookbooks and it’s refreshing.
They tell the stories behind the creation of the dishes, dishes that sometimes are birthed through mistakes, happy accidents or thinking “out-of-the-box”.
The flavor profiles are layered, consonant and bright; the plating is striking. And the authors give plenty of leeway for the reader to modify the recipes to make them their own and they give some flexibility with suggestions should you not be able to get rattlesnake, armadillo or antelope.
A quote from a Buddhist monk opens the book appropriately.
In this food
I see clearly
the presence of the entire universe
supporting my existence
One of the most enjoyable cookbooks that I’ve obtained in a while.