When you need a recommendation for a place to eat, who do you ask? The experts. This is the guiding principle behind the artful new cookbook Today’s Special.
The book’s editors asked 20 superstar chefs—José Andrés, Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, Ana Roš, and Marcus Samuelsson, to name a few—to each select five emerging chefs they admire. Those 100 up-and-comers in turn provide multicourse menus of signature dishes, complete with recipes and photos that will induce hunger pangs in readers.
The results are spectacularly diverse—both in terms of the chefs’ heritages and cuisines—and include such mouthwatering offerings as prawn banga from Michael Elégbèdé of Ìtàn Test Kitchen in Lagos, Nigeria; chilled beet and tomato soup from Danielle Alvarez of Fred’s in Sydney; ceviche from Carla Perez-Gallardo and Hannah Black of Lil’ Deb’s Oasis in Hudson, New York; steamed abalone from Takayoshi Watanabe of Teruzushi in Kitakyushu, Japan; black-eyed pea ice cream with dark chocolate and crepes from Jeremy Chan of Ikoyi in London; and many, many more.
A few of the subjects will already be familiar to Hemispheres readers (Flynn McGarry, Monique Fiso), and some of the dishes are nigh unpreparable (kangaroo tonnato? Braised brown bear paw? ), but just about every page will have home chefs sharpening their knives and globe-trotting gourmets updating their restaurant bucket lists.
Today’s Special serves as a reminder that global fine dining was at its peak before the pandemic struck, and it stands as a beacon for the nights out we’ll enjoy again soon. $60, phaidon.com
Next Up: Louisville’s New Southern Cuisine