Daniel Patterson wants you to cook without recipes

The Art of FlavorDaniel Patterson, chef and owner of the award-winning, Michelin-starred restaurant Coi in San Francisco, is also a well-known food writer. In addition to his highly praised cookbook Coi: Stories and Recipes, he has been published in recent years in The New York Times, Bon Appetit and Lucky Peach. Patterson also teamed up with perfumer Mandy Aftel to write 2004’s Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Foods and Fragrance, which exploresan often overlooked element of cooking. The duo has just released a second book called The Art of Flavor: Practices and Principles for Creating Delicious Food

In The Art of Flavor, Patterson and Aftel have a lofty goal: to teach home cooks to be confident in their flavor combinations, rather than relying solely on recipes. “There are a million recipes out there, but hardly any that explain why you’re mixing this with that, or that empower you. This book is about the ‘whys,’ about knowing what your flavor target is, and how to hit it,” says Patterson. 

Aftel and Patterson are experts at orchestrating ingredients, and here they teach readers how to make the most of nature’s palette by learning the four basic rules for creating flavor; introducing a flavor “compass” that points the way to transformative combinations of aromatic ingredients; and explaining the concept of the seven “dials” (salt, sweet, sour, bitter, umami, fat, and heat) that let you fine-tune a dish. 

Jenny will be providing a more thorough review on The Art of Flavor in an upcoming post, which will include a cookbook giveaway, so stay tuned to the EYB blog for more information. 

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