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Baco: Vivid Recipes from the Heart of Los Angeles (California Cookbook, Tex Mex Cookbook, Street Food Cookbook) Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 November 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 98 ratings

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Downtown Los Angeles restaurateur and chef Centeno shares dishes inspired by his five Historic Core neighborhood restaurants: Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa Winston, Ledlow, and P.Y.T. The 130 bold, nontraditional recipes here, based on Centeno's Texas upbringing, are organized by flavors and textures. One chapter on flavors (Spicy/Salty/Pickled/Preserved) features 45 condiments (windows into cooks' souls), such as minty pickled red onions with dried rosebuds, dressings of sunflower-miso tahini or limey-fish-sauce vinaigrette, and fresh cheese and yogurt. In another chapter (Earthy/Sharp/Velvety/Savory), sweet potatoes are mixed with aonori mascarpone butter, feta, and honey; another recipe is for an Italian-Armenian hybrid of pork belly with sujuk spices over hand-torn pasta. Flaky/Fruity/Caramely/Tart showcases desserts such as Middle Eastern-inspired pistachio cheesecake topped with matcha sugar and flakey threads of kataifi pastry. The recipe for Centeno's signature bäco (a taco flatbread) is included, and vegetables take center stage in many recipes. Essays reflect Centeno's personal philosophy, from which this vibrant cuisine emerged, and jumbo-size photos show Centeno's kaleidoscopic culinary techniques. Centeno's exciting debut cookbook offers an impressive portrait of a chef who believes taste is tantamount and that options are unlimited. (Sept.)

I can't stop reading Bäco! I had the good fortune to work for and be inspired by Josef many years ago. Now I'm inspired again by this collection of recipes that demonstrates exactly why he is one of the most influential chefs of the New Los Angeles Cuisine.-Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon

Josef 's ability to weave a swath of traditions into forceful and deeply satisfying dishes has made him a pioneer in the resurgence of L.A. dining. Detailed and lyrical-a little Turkish and a tad Tejano-Bäco is the perfect manual for just how he does it. -Patric Kuh, food critic, Los Angeles Magazine

Josef Centeno, chef-owner of five acclaimed restaurants in downtown Los Angeles, comes from mixed heritage--Mexican, Spanish, Irish, French, English, German and Polish. Drawing upon these influences--and others--Centeno's vibrant culinary creations form unusual pairings that layer flavor. Taste is supreme. He and food writer Betty Hallock present an enticing, chicly photographed cookbook that offers 130 bold recipes that pay homage to ingredients, traditions and imagination. Themes on flavor are reflected via nine sections aptly titled with adjectives such as spicy, salty, pickled, preserved; buttery, crisp, tangy, herbal; and flaky, fruity, caramely, tart. Vegetables and vinaigrettes shine, as do spices and herbs. Refined palates will savor recipes for kohlrabi with crème fraîche, mint, lemon and yuzo kosho; Centeno's signature Bäco Flatbread, a gyro-taco-pizza hybrid; and pistachio cheesecake custards topped with matcha sugar and kataifi pastry. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines Discover: Eclectic, multicultural-inspired recipes from a groundbreaking Los Angeles chef and restaurant owner.

When I arrived in Los Angeles 15 years ago, it was clear that Josef 's cooking was leading the charge in terms of inventiveness, technique, and sense of adventure. Unbeknownst to him, he became a mentor to me, and ushered in the next generation of chefs that have redefined L.A.'s food culture. I can't wait to cook my way through this retrospective of his work. -Travis Lett, Gjelina, Gjusta, GTA

About the Author

Josef Centeno is the chef-owner of four acclaimed restaurants in downtown Los Angeles: Bäco Mercat, Bar Amá, Orsa & Winston and Ledlow. Josef's tasting menus at a restaurant called Opus in Koreatown were famously groundbreaking: you could order as many courses as you wanted for $10 each. And when he opened Lazy Ox in Little Tokyo, it was the first restaurant that shifted critical attention to downtown Los Angeles. Betty Hallock is a food writer who formerly was an editor in the LA Times' award-winning Food section. As deputy food editor and a founding editor of the Daily Dish blog, she helped direct food and drink coverage, writing and editing stories about restaurants, cooking, cocktails, business trends, and more.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chronicle Books; Illustrated edition (1 November 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1452154686
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1452154688
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 20.96 x 3.18 x 28.89 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 98 ratings

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alma rosales
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 October 2021
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 3 February 2018
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Trent Vernon
3.0 out of 5 stars Get ready to go online to shop for ingredients!
Reviewed in the United States on 5 November 2017
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48 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baco cookbook
Reviewed in the United States on 18 September 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Baco cookbook
Reviewed in the United States on 18 September 2017
My wife and I have been going to Baco and Joseph's other restaurants since they opened. We have been following Joseph since his Lazy Ox days in LA. His food is always fresh, flavorful, interesting and never disappoints. So when his cookbook came out I had to purchase it. I love the outline and quality of the book.

I was finally able to try out a few recipes (had to decide which to try 1st).

I made the 10 hour Baharat-spiced pork (I made 5.5lbs) with chimichurri (pages 258 & 84). At first I had my doubts about the pork cooking for 10 hours. I figured it might be dry, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how jucy it was!!

I also decided to tackle the Baco bread (page 176) that we love so much. This was very easy and came out so tender and very quick to cook.

To complete the meal my niece gave me a hand with the Caramelized cauliflower flower (another one of our restaurant favorites) (page 132). I was amazed how fast this came together and how flavorful this was. It was the same flavor as the restaurant. I should have made two since we ate almost all of it at dinner.

I used some leftovers to make a very flavorful breakfast.

If you love to cook and enjoy amazing food, this is the book for you. Very straight forward and easy to follow. Highly recommended it.

The pictures don't do the food justice, used my iPhone 7 however, the undercounter LED's give off a weird tint..
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27 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars LA good Mexican food.
Reviewed in the United States on 15 December 2019
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