Tag Archives: College Station

Book Review: The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking With Chef Tai

Disclosure Statement: Big Grey Horse Media was provided The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking With Chef Tai for reviewing purposes. While this product was sent to us without charge, our opinions are honest. We thank Savory Publishing for sending us this lovely cookbook to review.

There are so many wonderful things to be said about The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking With Chef Tai. Chef Tai Lee has some truly appetizing recipes packed in this book. I can guarantee anyone could find something to like in this book. Everything just seems so decedent and over the top. The beautiful presentation of the food within the pictures only enhances the delectable recipes. This is definitely a fine dining cookbook that you would break out to make a great impression for a dinner guest. Chef Lee also includes suggested wine pairings for those who are ignorant or unsure.

Something that really touched me about this book was the background of Chef Lee. Since I love cooking, my first question is always the inspiration behind a chef. I think it was a lovely idea for Chef Lee to include this for not only his devoted fans of Veritas Wine and Bistro, but the new fans who will discover this high class cookbook. Chef Lee included a thank you page to commemorate his staff. I love seeing staff celebrated because a restaurant, especially one as high end as Veritas Wine and Bistro, cannot operate effectively without a great staff to back up the chef.

Since this is a fine dining cookbook, I would not recommend this to a beginner. There is a certain level of technique one needs to acquire before getting a handle on these recipes, especially some of the specialty ingredients. However, the writing of the preparation, or method as Chef Lee calls it, is easily understandable for a novice and above level of experience.

The biggest problem with this cook book is the lack of navigation. Part of the problem is the cookbook’s lack of index and table of contents to easily guide a cook through the book without having to flip through every page. There is also no division of sections nor any page numbers. The book is just an entire run on of recipes with no break into what category of recipes you may be entering next. The stars next to some of the ingredients have no footnote of where to find them, whether within the book or outside. I also have yet to find the recipe for the Shiitake Mushroom Demi. These are big problems because it doesn’t allow the cook to complete parts of a dish.

My overall take of this cookbook is that it’s more of a draft than a final product. With some basic editing tweaks this cookbook layout could become just as great as the recipes themselves.

Chef Tai Lee’s New Cookbook Fires Up Texas Kitchens

The Veritas CookbookWe’ve been graciously asked to review Chef Tai Lee’s new cookbook, “The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking with Chef Tai (Savory Books).” It’s definitely our pleasure to review any book, as everyone at Big Grey Horse Media is an avid reader. Ask us to review a cookbook from a well-known Texas chef? Icing on the cake, baby.

Haley Campbell, marketing manager at Savory Books, reached out to me earlier this month. “The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking with Chef Tai” is one of the publishing house’s newest titles. Savory focuses exclusively on cookbooks featuring top chefs and restaurant owners from around the country. Lucky for Texans, Chef Tai happens to be one of those amazing chefs and he’s conveniently located in College Station.

Since Haley contacted me, the new cookbook’s arrived and is being devoured. It’s a beautiful book – there’s not doubt that Chef Tai put tons of work into his recipes. The photos are drool-worthy, too. Perfectly plated foods that scream: EAT ME NOW!

A little background on Chef Tai is necessary at this point. It’s always interesting to know where your favorite chef came from and how he became famous. I am particularly interested in how folks end up in Texas, especially when they aren’t located in one of the big cities. While I don’t have all the answers yet, we do plan on making a trip to interview Chef Tai. We’re very excited to meet him and see his restaurant.

Veritas Wine Bar and Bistro, located in College Station, Texas, opened in 2007. The restaurant’s won numerous awards including the Reader’s Choice Award 2013, Open Table Dinner’s Choice Award 2009-2013, Best of Brazos Award 2008-2013, and the Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence 2007-2010. I think these awards speak to Chef Tai’s love of cooking and how much he cares about the experience Veritas’ patrons will have.

The Veritas Cookbook: Cooking with Chef Tai (Savory Books)” blends Asian, French and American foods (can you say tasty?). I’m not spilling the beans…yet…but this cookbook is packed with recipes you’ll enjoy making in the privacy of your kitchen. While it’s a treat to eat out and have Chef Tai prepare these foods for you, there’s nothing like recreating a dish just like a famous chef.

So are you ready for foodie fun?

We will publish our book review this coming week. Hang tight and see you then!