Every so often a cookbook comes along that wishes it were a television show. Brown's latest effort actually is a television show, or rather, a marathon of all 80 episodes from the first six seasons of his Food Network hit. Egotistical yet thrifty, Brown interviews himself in the introduction, describing this work as four hundred pages of liner notes. And that is sadly accurate. For all its girth, there are merely 140 recipes, ranging from chocolate syrup to butternut dumplings with brown butter and sage. That these entries appear sequentially exemplifies the book's biggest problem; it is organized by TV episode number, causing readers to repeatedly visit the index to make sure they're not missing anything. The roast turkey is toward the beginning of the book, for example, but the turkey salad is hiding out somewhere in the middle. Recipes that never made it into the show! are promised, but good luck identifying them, and is that really a bonus? Accompanying each meal is a chart labeled, Knowledge Concentrate. These contain the fun, quasi-scientific facts that are the author's bread and butter (The higher the egg-to-dairy ratio, the firmer the custard). The remainder of the pages are cluttered with photo strips, sketches and squiggly lines, lest you get bored and turn on the tube.(Oct.)
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