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ISSN 1934-6557

The Sophisticated Gourmet by Noel Tyl (Llewellyn Publications)

A good cook dispenses happiness … It’s a joy of civilized living.

Noel Tyl is a true renaissance man. He is a Harvard graduate, author of twenty-nine books, and one of the foremost astrologers in the world. For over two decades he graced the stage as a star opera singer, and his current lecture circuit takes him to sixteen countries a year. In other words, when Noel Tyl goes for it, he goes for it.

Noel is passionate about good food. Now he shares his talents as a cook and a host in The Sophisticated Gourmet. Whether it's the Greatest Baked Potato in the World, Filet Mignon for an Etruscan Queen, or "Eat-Your-Heart-Out, Belguim" Chocolate Sauce, his recipes for two or more are easy, fast, and thrifty. The book features over one hundred tasty and health-conscious recipes for everyday meals, intimate dinners, and festive occasions.

Written with the intention to increase readers’ confidence and reputation in the kitchen, sprinkled with colorful anecdotes, clever word  play, reminiscences from Tyl’s world travels, The Sophisticated Gourmet lends readers the courage to tackle any dish – even snails, monkfish, and rabbit. From a man who has tackled everything, it also contains problem-solving tips for beginners.  

Festive Feasts Cookbook by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson (The University of Wisconsin Press)  

Challenge: “Imagine being given six months in which to dine with ten exotic figures from history – from any period, with no rules or regulations and no expense spared. That is what I was offered by the British Museum Press, and I have taken full advantage of their offer. No matter that my hosts are now only to be found in the pages of history books and the lays of ancient poets. They proved no less alive and certainly no less fascinating than if they had been here in person. My family and friends were all too happy to taste and sample, sip and savour in their stead.”

Written by Michelle Berriedale-Johnson, adviser the BBC and the English Tourist Board on historical English food, who owns a catering business specializing in the creation of historical feasts, this collection of 50 recipes offers the modern cook ten historical feasts from around the world, recreated from historical sources and thoroughly tested and modernized for today’s kitchen. Drawn from a fascinating range of sources, the recipes are compiled and described in their historical context by the author, an expert in recreating historical recipes. From the lavish dishes of the Mughal emperors to the exotic cuisine of the Aztecs, each menu comes complete with alternative ingredients and serving suggestions.

Festive Feasts Cookbook includes:

  1. The Return of Odysseus: A Homeric Banquet
  2. The 1001 Arabian Nights: Feasting with the Caliph
  3. Dining at the Court of Lucrezia Borgia
  4. Hiawatha's Wedding Feast
  5. Banqueting with Mughal Emperors
  6. The Cuisine of the Aztecs
  7. Dinner with Queen Elizabeth I
  8. Jewish Passover Supper: Centuries of Tradition
  9. An Imperial Birthday Banquet in the Forbidden City
  10. Georgian Christmas with Parson Woodforde

More than a cookbook, Festive Feasts Cookbook is beautifully designed and features sumptuous color pictures of food and feasting, including period paintings, illuminated manuscripts, decorative ceramics, prints, and etchings. With lively introductions that provide a cultural background for the recipes, this book has much to offer those interested in creative cooking within a historical context.

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