Book Review: In the Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys

20130612-140524.jpgAfter browsing through it a couple different times in stores, I finally bought the bullet and grabbed myself my very own copy of the excellent new cookbook, In The Kitchen with the Pike Place Fish Guys: 100 Recipes and Tips from the World-Famous Crew of Pike Place Fish and I am SO glad I did!

I am generally not a huge cookbook person because I find I’ll only use a couple of the recipes and then be stuck with it taking up tons of space in my tiny place. So, if I am going to actually purchase a cookbook, it needs to have at least one of the following:

  • a good match for me on lots of recipes – think at least 15
  • lots of instructions about a technique so I can expect to both learn from and reference the book in the future
  • a really good story

I am pleased to report that this book has all three! They’re “World Famous” and I live in Seattle so I’m familiar with them, but for anyone who isn’t, the Pike Place Fish Guys are from the Pike Place Fish Market. There are multiple seafood sellers in the market, but these are the guys with the flying salmon. They’re also famous for being the inspiration for the FISH philosophy because of their amazing energy, service, and retention. But most importantly, they’re really nice guys with a lot of fish knowledge, that they sit down to share with you in this book.

The book begins with a discussion of buying fish and describing their path to becoming a completely sustainable fish market. They describe why it’s important to have a relationship with a fishmonger and why some fish are better than others. Then they talk about some general seafood tips, which range from how to throw a salmon (complete with diagrams!) to how to store and cook fish. I grew up eating and cooking a lot of fish, but I have lots of friends who didn’t. This book is great for both of us as it is very detailed and step-by-step about how to buy, store, prepare, serve, and clean up from anything seafood.

Finally, they get into recipes. The recipes range from simple and quick to Whole Roasted Trout and Asparagus Photocomplicated and all look amazing. While I haven’t made any of the specific recipes yet, I did buy a whole trout on their recommendation and cooked it up according to this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Not Eating Out in New York. As promised, it was economical and delicious. I was initially intimidated by serving the whole fish, bones and all, but it turned out to be incredibly easy to manage as described in the recipe.

Ultimately, this is one book I know I’ll turn to again and again. For those people who don’t live in Seattle, or even in other coastal locations, there are lots of good tips from the Pike Place Guys there as well, so if you’ve ever wanted to cook fish and are worried about whether you can do it – you CAN! Grab this book and get started!