Cooking Inspired: Bringing Creativity and Passion Back into the Kitchen

by | Jun 13, 2014 | Book Reviews

Cooking Inspired: Bringing Creativity
and Passion Back into the Kitchen
The Best of
Estee Kafra
Feldheim Publishers, 2013
366 pages, $35.99
ISBN: 978-1-59826-048-9

It takes a lot of confidence to publish expensive, glossy cookbooks—and pricey ones at that. Food websites have become ubiquitous, and there are numerous kosher websites with enough recipes to last several lifetimes. We noted above the JoyofKosher. com website; Kafra’s beautiful book is inspired by and derives its recipes from So unless one just likes to have the book at hand, or to give a lovely gift, a visit to the website might suffice.

The editors’ premise is that creative cooking does not have to be time-consuming and there are many recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients that take a short time. Needless to say, the recipes in this book may tend to be a bit pricier to prepare but do have a certain cachet. Few home cooks today are serving capon, or even duck—partly, one suspects, because they are four to eight times as expensive as an equal amount of chicken.

Because Kafra is a photographer as well as a writer, there is an emphasis on plating and garnish; the photos of her dishes are beautiful indeed. Not to be missed is her version of Shakshouka and it is clear that like most au courant cooks, she has discovered the absolute necessity of using Yukon Gold potatoes (which don’t turn goopy gray) to make the best latkes. Cooking Inspired has an excellent section on homebaked bread with one gluten-free recipe. Sadly, there are no other gluten free recipes in the book. I guess there are plenty of cookbooks specializing in recipes for celiac sufferers.