C Food
By Robert Clark and Harry Kambolis
Published by Whitecap Books 2009, hardcover, $40; 165 pages

This starkly beautiful book hides a number of elegant yet accessible recipes, rare for something coming from a top-rated chef of a top-rated Vancouver seafood restaurant.

It’s C’s style to challenge, surprise and even put off, something the book does in spades. When I first began leafing through it, I thought the photos were strange, not like the yummy pictures you’ll see in many other books. They are artfully lit, mysteriously arranged, and it’s sometimes difficult to separate what is food and what is prop. (more…)

Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant
By James Walt
Published by Douglas & McIntyre 2009, hardcover, $45; 250 pages

I’m hungry and dinner is still several hours away.

I’ve been reading Araxi Executive Chef James Walt’s cookbook and drooling over photos of some of the dishes by photographer John Sherlock, who could make Dayglo KD look good (did I say I was hungry?).

Araxi is easily Whistler’s top restaurant, a judgment reinforced by that master of judgment, Gordon Ramsay, who has declared it the best restaurant in Canada. The book’s timing is good, as the world turns its attention to February’s Olympic Games, with Whistler playing the role of beautiful princess to Vancouver’s brawnier prince. Let the Games begin. Araxi is ready. (more…)