Monday, June 07, 2010

White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses' New Cookbook Debuts Today

A peek inside the book after the jump...
xecutive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses makes culinary history today as the first White House chef to ever publish a non-White House cookbook while still up to his elbows in butter and flour at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Today is the official publication date for the glorious The Perfect Finish, Yosses' new compendium of eighty knock-out recipes culled from his personal repertoire of more than 5,000.

The collection ranges from sophisticated and highly technical treats to simple, yummy delights that even new bakers can easily master. There's a modern flair to many of the creations, with the use of unusual (but these days, easy to source) ingredients, and it all reflects Yosses' long tenure as one of the foremost pastry chefs in America. (Above: Yosses' author photo from the book jacket)

The tome is organized by occasion, and there's even a chapter inspired by Yosses' days running the pastry shop at Bouley, one of the best restaurants in New York. Yosses' warm vanilla cake--one of his signature sweeties--deserves all the praise that's been heaped on the invention, and the recipe is in the book, and entirely doable. The photography is beautiful, and the instructions and how-to's are top-notch, too. There's even advice on how to store and transport the desserts, once they've been made.

The Perfect Finish was co-written with New York Times food writer Melissa Clark, in a years-long project started before Yosses arrived at the White House at the request of First Lady Laura Bush. It is published by W.W. Norton & Company, and destined to be a standard in kitchen libraries.

The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program is hosting a send-of for The Crustmaster and his book on June 22; it's open to the public, and ticket information is here.

And BTW, this isn't just a gushy write-up because your intrepid blogger covers the White House. Thanks to the wonders of review copies, there has been much tossing of butter, flour, olive oil and herbs as many of the recipes from the book were tested at home, and they've all come out just terrific. Highly recommended!

Check out these page previews:

The Perfect Finish is available from W. W. Norton, at Amazon in America, and at your local bookseller. Yosses photo by Marcus Nilsson/W.W. Norton.