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Centro Cooks: A Celebration of the Seasons

by Barbara Prevedello, Richard Swiecki, photog.

Originally published earlier this year in an edition of one as a 50th birthday gift for Toronto restaurateur Franco Prevedello by his wife Barbara, Centro Cooks is a beautiful celebration of uptown Toronto’s Centro and the sinfully decadent style of food that has made it famous. Stuffed with lustrous colour photographs by Richard Swiecki, and dripping with superb seasonal recipes by Centro’s chef Marc Thuet, Centro Cooks makes you hunger for a dinner reservation. Ragoût of Lobster and Rabbit Fillet in Summer Truffle Essence; Cream of Pumpkin Soup Served with Smoked Salmon; Medallions of Veal with Crêpes and Chive Jus; Niagara Peach Crème Brûlée: all very tempting recipes; you may, however, need a bank loan for the groceries. One quibble: Thuet says to cook salmon “through.” His mentor, Anton Mosimann, chef at London’s Dorchester Hotel, in his book Fish Cuisine, states: “It is always best to cook fish only lightly.” Mosimann is certainly correct; fish cooked through becomes dry.

Regardless, Centro Cooks is delicious. Succulent wine suggestions from manager Tony Longo; an amusing narrative entitled “A Day in the Life of Centro”; a gourmet shopping guide; and a useful glossary all enhance the recipes nicely.