In his first cookbook, “The Laws of Cooking…and How to Break Them” (Flatiron Books), chef and Food Network star Justin Warner shows how he has reduced all of cooking to 11 basic laws that lay the groundwork for creating successful recipes. The author will appear at the powerHouse Arena in DUMBO for a book launch party on Oct. 15 (7 p.m. at 37 Main St.).
It was Warner’s brainy kitchen confidence that made a lasting impression on Alton Brown, the beloved Food Network personality. As Brown writes in the book’s foreword, “‘The Laws of Cooking…and How to Break Them’ is exactly what I expected…the unexpected.”
In the process of writing his book, Warner researched, tested and pulled apart some of the most classic and beloved food combinations in order to devise what he dubbed the “Laws of Cooking.” “As with Legos, Social Security and the Genetic Sequence, there is a system that governs what makes food tasty,” says Warner. “We know that rich, salty peanut butter (a fat) is complemented by grape jelly (sweet and fruity), and the combination is best experienced when spread evenly between two pieces of bread (the canvas). This primal truth is the Law of PB&J.”
Each of Warner’s 11 laws are aptly named after a classic dish we all know and love — “Law of Pesto” (herbs meet fat), “Law of General Tso’s Chicken” (spicy meets sweet), “Law of Lemonade” (sour meets sweet), and the “Law of Cheese Fries” (sharp meets mellow), to name a few.
In addition to providing recipes, Warner’s book features quirky illustrations and other general kitchen tips.