Here at thebacklabel, we keep lots of cookbooks lying around, and why not?
Anything filled with tasty recipes and glossy food porn photography is worth having around. Cookbooks just might be one of the most satisfying ways to fill a bookshelf. That’s why, when that extra special cookbook (the one that hits all the right notes) enters our lives, we feel the need to stand and start an awkward slow clap.
This awkward slow clap is for Justin Warner’s The Laws of Cooking and How to Break Them.
Justin is a young gun who has been featured extensively on the Food Network, who opened up the gone (but never forgotten) Do or Dine Restaurant in Bushwick and who has graced thebacklabel with some god damn amazing recipes over the past few months. From Foie Gras Doughnuts to Cornish Hen, he’s proven that he’s more than capable of turning classics on their heads and breaking old rules to make new ones.
And, in case you couldn’t tell, breaking rules is what this cookbook is all about.
After a foreword by Warner’s mentor and different awesome food person Alton Brown, the recipes in this book are divided up under Justin’s new and improved laws of cooking. Instead of the timeless sweet and savory dichotomy, we’re given “laws” like the law of the hot dog, the law of peanut butter and jelly and (of course) the law of cheese fries.
These are recipes that take some of the core assumptions of cooking, then bend and break them to yield dishes that simultaneously flaunt and obey, critique and complement the very principles that led to their creation. In other words, this cookbook is a whole lot of fun, and should count as required reading for anybody who thinks that they’re an adventurous eater.