View Full Version : Concious Cuisine by Gary Neff
01-14-2004, 10:15 AM
I received this cookbook as a Christmas gift and was wondering if anyone else has it. If so, have you had a chance to try out any of the recipes yet? Which ones would you recommend? I've marked quite a few pages but have not yet had the chance to actually try them out.
01-14-2004, 12:49 PM
You lucky girl, I have drooled over this book in the store for so long now and just can not afford it. Please post anything that you try and like. SOmeday............ I will put it on my wish list once again next year.
01-14-2004, 01:00 PM
I will try to post a review of the recipes I try! I had not even heard of this book until I got it, to be honest. I had asked for Jamie Oliver, but apparently they were all out and this was my gift givers pick:-) It looks like a good one!
01-14-2004, 01:03 PM
Ummmm...could you explain the book title to me, please? Personally, I prefer my cuisine to be at least UNconscious, and preferably dead, before I will eat it.
01-14-2004, 01:22 PM
That made me laugh....here's a short description I copied from Amazon...(oh, and I spelled conscious wrong, ooopps!) Don't know if that really explains the title..
"Conscious cuisine" is what Neff calls the food he cooks at Miraval Spa near Tucson, AZ, among the top spa resorts in the country. Here he presents dozens of recipes for the sophisticated but healthful food he serves-one of the major reasons for the spa's popularity. Dozens of color photographs, many of them full page, show off the gorgeous presentations that add to the appeal of Neff's boldly flavored dishes.
01-14-2004, 01:27 PM
Ok, me again...(can you tell I'm VERY bored at work today????) I kept reading the Amazon review of the book and came across this review by a reader. I'm definetely going to try the Saffron-Chive sauce to find out if it has the same effect on me
I consider myself to be something of a gourmand as well as a health-conscious individual, so when I read the book's subtitle, "A Harmony of Flavors for a Life in Balance," I knew I had to uncover the secrets contained within its covers.
My first attempt at the "Layered Spinach, Wild Mushroom, and Carrot Mousse" produced a colorful hodgepodge of mashed vegetable matter that was quite tasty but not quite glossy-magazine presentation quality. I tried again with the "Dauphinoise potatoes" and produced a gelatinous mix, but this was my own fault as I let the potatoes overcook.
Undaunted, I tried my hand at the saffron-chive sauce, and well-nigh got it perfect. As I was pouring this ambrosial delight over some long-grain rice, I thought I heard a small scream of protest. I thought nothing of it and tucked into my meal with gusto, as it was a very tasty sauce. Strange thoughts flooded my mind while I was eating, but since this happens quite often, I ignored the strange images and words flashing through my head.
As I was putting away the dishes, I thought I heard someone say, "I wish you hadn't done that." "Hadn't done what?" I asked. "Eaten me." Now I was seriously freaked. "Where are you!" I yelled. "Where do you think? Swimming in your burning stomach juices!" It then dawned on me that I was following the recipes of no ordinary cookbook. It was then that I realized that my cuisine was actually conscious, just as the book had advertised. Having never eaten another fully conscious being before in my life, at least, not while it was still conscious, I tried to justify myself to the slowly digesting saffron-chive sauce: "But you're food! You're supposed to be eaten! That's the whole point of your existence!" "So you define me by my utility? What do you do that makes you so much better than food? Food that nourishes, sustains life, and gives pleasure? Do you do all that?" I did not realize food could be so philosophical or so argumentative.
I spent the better part of that evening engaged in the most stimulating conversation with the saffron-chive sauce until my digestive enzymes and bile salts reduced it to its molecular components, at which point that chirping, saffrony voice lost cohesion and disappeared into my bloodstream. As nourishing as that sauce was, I could not help but shed a tear at its demise, especially since I came to appreciate its insightfulness, sensitivity, and gentle humour. The passing of the sauce so traumatized me that I could no longer eat food of any form, and have now taken to consuming inorganic matter. Although I am sure the human body was not meant to digest rocks and mud, the physical sensation of fullness, no matter how empty nutritionally, reminds me of the fullness of the saffron-chive sauce - its sparkling witticisms, unqualified compassion, and unconditional love that extended even to its executioner, and whose loss leaves this good earth a sadder, lonelier place.
01-14-2004, 01:55 PM
i was just watching a rerun of Cary Neff's guest stint on Sara's Secrets an hour ago.. let's face it, it's spa cuisine. i have nothing against him nor that type of cooking per se, but all of the spa cuisine i've ever seen or read about leads me to think that "spa" is short for "spartan." actually, i suspect that "spa cuisine" may in fact be an oxymoron.
i admire CN's premise, as he explained it on the show, but i do a lot of that already with the food i prepare, just in more satisfying (to me) ways.
01-14-2004, 02:47 PM
april bride love the excerpt from amazon and thanks for posting what appeals to you. looking forward to some new items.
Holly in KC
01-14-2004, 07:51 PM
Don't have it, but after checking it out at Amazon.com, am really looking forward to your reviews! Please do let us know how your first (and second, third, etc) recipes from this book turn out!
01-14-2004, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the clarification, aprilbride! I still think that is a silly name for a cookbook, but I hope the food is good. Love the quote you posted - that reviewer is my kind of person.
01-16-2004, 06:36 PM
i have had the pleasure of staying at miraval about 4 yrs ago and ate the cuisine of chef neff. it was not in any sense spartan. it was soo sooooooo delicious my mother gained 5 lb in 5 days! he emphasizes vegetables, spices etc to really emphasize flavor over high fat content. but i can personally attest that his cooking is excellent and not what you would think of as spa food or diet food. my mother sister and i all loved it. in fact i was quite sad to see he is no longer at miraval as we considered his cuisine to one of the highlights of our stay.
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