19 new cookbook releases take you around the globe with recipes from some of our favorite chefs, restaurants, bars, and hotels.
Mexico From the Inside Out
BY ENRIQUE OLVERA
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Mexican chef Enrique Olvera changed the way people—and especially Americans—think about Mexican food. His first English-language cookbook is, like his restaurants, a fusion of tradition and innovation. In the first part of the book, inspired by his groundbreaking Mexico City restaurant Pujol, we see how he plays with classic Mexican dishes, reinterpreting them and pushing them forward into new territory. The pages are a parade of colorful, geometric, tightly composed plates: There is marinated bass filet with pineapple purée (Olvera's take on tacos al pastor); there is eggplant barbacoa with isthmus purée and pickled flowers; there is a fried frog leg tamal.
Home cooks might want to turn directly to Side B, where Olvera shows off his more relaxed approach to Mexican cuisine—here is a chef who loves tamales and chilaquiles as much as he loves bone marrow confit. There are recipes for pambazo (a bread dish with pepper sauce and potatoes), fried eggs with bean salsa, and Cosme’s famous cornhusk meringue and corn mousse, perhaps the most-Instagrammed dessert of all time.
Throughout both halves, plenty of space is given to explaining each dish, its inspiration, and its evolution; the book is equally a portrait of Olvera the person and Olvera the chef. Whether or not you’re the sort of cook that wants to attempt purslane noodles or candied pork with almond mole, Olvera’s book is worth owning—even if just for a look inside one of the more creative food-minds of our time. —Laura Sant
Mexico From the Inside Out (Phaidon); $60 at phaidon.com.