Monday, December 30, 2013

Cook Fight

Cook fight : 2 Cooks, 12 Challenges, 125 Recipes : an Epic Battle for Kitchen Dominance pits New York Times food writer Kim Severson against fellow food writer and friend Julia Moskin in a spirited series of culinary challenges - not only testing ingredients but the very core of their friendship. The blame lies with office mate and
restaurant critic Frank Bruni. Considering that America was adjusting to an economic downturn, Julia and Kim were each asked to plan a small multi-course dinner party serving six for $50. Bruni would select the winner. The dinner party challenge soon mushroomed into 11 more delicious chapters including a sampling of comfort food, a picnic, a Thanksgiving menu and a mouth-watering bake-off.

As friends go, Julia and Kim are yin and yang. Julia (named after Julia Child) is New York born and bred with time out for a significant stint in France. Kim has lived everywhere else in the country including Alaska. Julia was raised Jewish, Kim Catholic. Julia is allergic to exercise. Kim is athletic. Julia is straight, Kim gay. Julie drinks martinis and manhattans. Kim, a recovering alcoholic, abstains from alcohol. Their opposite backgrounds led to an intense friendship grounded in the overriding realization that, in any given situation, they would never cook the same thing.

Both excellent writers, Kim and Julia enhance each chapter with personal and professional culinary chatter - food preparation, food memories, and food history to accompany the beautifully illustrated recipes. Who won? Bruni couldn't decide and neither can I. But I do know that Cook Fight is the perfect companion to the culinary year ahead.

Happy New Year!

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