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With his wife Deann, celebrity chef Bayless-well known for his Chicago restaurants, television appearances, cookbooks, and grocery store products-appeals to his fans with this collection of Margaritas, Guacamoles, and Snacks. Despite the three-pronged subtitle, most of this book is devoted to seasonal cocktails (e.g., Classic Margaritas, Agua Fresca Cocktails, Tequila Dessert Cocktails). Twelve unconventional Guacamoles (e.g., Guacamole with Watercress and Sesame, Brown Butter Guacamole with Porcini and Crab) and eight Vegetable and Nut Snacks serve as accompaniments. VERDICT A niche title that will please craft-cocktail enthusiasts. Readers are unlikely to find fancier guacamoles elsewhere (one is topped with an agar-set gel that's cut into "Blackberry-Mezcal Jewels"). (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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In the first chapter of his last cookbook (Fiesta at Rick's, Norton, 2010), there was no hiding Bayless's love of tequila. So it is not surprising to find that a full 75% of his latest work is a tribute to tequila-based cocktails, be it the classic margarita, fruit and herb-based variations thereof, modern tequila cocktails, or dessert drinks. There are 35 beverage options in all, with recipes provided for both straining by-the-glass and pouring by-the-pitcher. Why a November release for a drink synonymous with summer? Perhaps because Bayless is out to prove that the margarita is a drink for all seasons, going so far as to offer variations pegged to the calendar. An apple-habanero margarita is deemed appropriate for the fall while a version for winter involves pineapple puree and crushed chile, garnished with the Mexican root vegetable jicama. Of course, proper space is given to the traditional margarita, with meditations on the appropriate lime and the ideal cube of ice. The calendar again comes into play with a chapter entitled "A Year of Guacamoles." Bayless serves up a recipe for each month, from an almond-grapefruit guac to a brown butter guacamole with porcini and crab. A brief selection of fruit, vegetable, and nut snacks brings the reader to an assumed conclusion, yet Bayless cannot help throwing in another eight pages at the end dedicated to the joys of his favorite liquor. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.