Book Review: Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur's Cookbook by Janice Poon

An extremely interesting read and even if you never cook anything from it, it is still a worthy purchase for Fannibals.
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Hannibal was one of the most beautiful yet disturbing shows I have ever seen. One of the most beautiful aspects of the show was Hannibal's food creations made from his victims. Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur's Cookbook was created by Janice Poon, the show's food stylist.  The recipes offered in the cookbook are not for the novice chef. While being gorgeous, most are pretty complicated requiring patience and perhaps some cooking lessons.

The cookbook is broken into the following chapters: "At Home with Hannibal", which offers tools and techniques; "Breakfast"; "Appetizers"; "Mains - Meat"; "Mains - Fish and Vegetarian"; "Soups; Salads and Side Dishes"; "Desserts and Drinks"; "Achieving the Hannibal Look"; "The Food Stylists Locker", which features tricks and tips along with a peek into the mind of Hannibal as the inspiration for the culinary creations; and "How to Hannibalize your Table".  Along with the recipes and behind-the-scenes information, there are sketches Poon used when presenting her ideas to the show creators, a foreward from Hannibal himself, Mads Mikkelsen, who actually did a lot of the cooking, and an afterword from the show's culinary consultant chef, Jose Andres.

The book is as beautiful as the show, offering pictures of the final products. The recipes range from the somewhat simple "Protein Scramble", which results in a stunning croissant presentation, to the extremely challenging "Broken Teacup Parfait", which involves making white chocolate teacups from balloons. She even shares how to home-cure your own ham. Knowing my own culinary skills, I am likely to only make one of the cocktails.

protein scramble.jpgThe recipes from the show offer the episode number and behind-the-scenes information on the creation of the dish along with stories from making them on the set. When watching the show, I never considered all of the effort that went into creating the amazing food. I had no idea they had a food stylist and culinary consultant. Showrunner Bryan Fuller would provide them with the script to elicit ideas for what Hannibal would be cooking based on the body parts involved or who he was serving his victims to.  It was an extremely interesting read and even if you never cook anything from it, it is still a worthy purchase for Fannibals.

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