This is not a cookbook. No, rather, Cook it Raw (Phaidon) is an art tome of the finest order, wherein the subject is food and the chefs around the world who are elevating it. And specifically the cutting-edge yearly event, birthed in 2009 by Alessandro Porcelli (the book’s editor) and Andrea Petrini, from which the book takes its name, and, up until now, which the public rarely got a glimpse behind the scenes of. The gorgeous coffee-table-ready-collectible documents four Cook it Raw events (in Denmark, the Lapland region of Finland, northern Italy and Iskikiawa Japan) with stunning images (of both the food and the chefs themselves at work) and essays by culinary world luminaries like Jeffrey Steingarten and Anthony Bourdain. The exclusive events, which invite esteemed chefs like Magnus Nilsson, Rene Redzepi, Albert Adria, and David Chang to dream up a meal that takes its cues from the chosen surroundings are, as Bourdain writes in his essay, a chance for them “to learn, to explore, to exchange ideas, and, most interestingly, to fail, gloriously, by creating dishes that have never been attempted before.” And since the chances of scoring an invite to an actual Cook it Raw event remain but a far-off dream for us regular folks, this stunning scrapbook of the occasions will certainly suffice. FIORELLA V.
Available at phaidon.com and amazon.com