The essence of exquisite cooking from the world’s best chefs
©Photography by Manja Wachsmuth - foodphotographersfavorites.co.nz
Where to purchase Vanilla Table. Please check back regularly for more locations.
With the help of 33 outstanding contributing chefs from around the world, including NZ’s Peter Gordon and Al Brown, chef Natasha MacAller has created a truly international compendium of vanilla expertise celebrating this most exotic yet everyday spice.
Vanilla is a universal ingredient — although many imagine it can only be added to cupcakes, custards and confections. In this book vanilla is the highlight of savory dishes as well, such as Island Crabcakes with Vanilla-Grapefruit Remoulade or Slow-roasted Oxtail Pot Pies with Vanilla-Shiraz Gravy! With over 100 recipes, including starters, mains, brunch, bevvies, desserts, cookies and more, each beautifully photographed, Vanilla Table will inspire home cooks and professionals to sample this captivating but familiar ingredient in a range of delicious dishes that will work for cooks worldwide. Ingredients are given in imperial and metric measures, and common names and types of ingredients used in different countries are described.
“The pages are bursting with aromatic dishes from both the sweet and savory sections of the kitchen … while she no longer dances for a living, the flavors and combinations within these pages will soon be dancing on your palate.”
–Peter Gordon, chef and food writer, London
“You expect vanilla in a Hazelnut Bavarois or a Tarte Tatin, but in the Vanilla Table you discover that ingredient in Vanilla Lacquer Duck Leg and Slow-Roasted Oxtail Pot Pies. These are exotic combinations that will expand your culinary palate and titillate your taste buds in a new way. Natasha MacAller teaches us how wonderful, aromatic vanilla can take the mundane to the memorable.”
–Jacques Pépin, The iconic International award-winning chef, cookbook author and PBS-TV cooking show host
"Natasha MacAller's lovely book is a riposte to anyone who thinks that vanilla is 'plain'. From Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'Gold Ingots' to David Lebovitz's 'Quince Tarte Tatin', these recipes bring home the deep warmth and exoticism of the world's favourite flavour. The collection of recipes from some of the world's top chefs, as well as MacAller herself, open up a universe of vanilla beyond that little bottle of essence at the back of the cupboard. MacAller rightly says that vanilla is a 'universal flavour', but one that is too often taken for granted. Vanilla Table reveals hidden intensities in those dark, twisting pods. It inspired me to embark on vanilla experiments in my own kitchen."
Booklist (American Library Association) - April 2015
240 p. Quarto/Jacqui Small, hardcover, $40. (9781909342866). 641.6382.
Vanilla Table: The Essence of Exquisite Cooking from the World’s Best Chefs
Never again will these three words be linked—plain, Jane, and vanilla—after falling in love with all foods vanilla-touched as shown in MacAller’s first culinary collection. A former ballerina seeking a new livelihood, McAller—and her cooking career—soon began trotting around the globe, organizing food extravaganzas and consulting on recipes along the way. She begins her paean with a short treatise on the vanilla bean: where it comes from (Madagascar, Mexico, Tahiti, and Indonesia) and its various formats. The more than 100 recipes follow, separated by starter, main, blue, brunch, and sharing plates, with dessert, cake, cookie, bevvie, and bar-snack dishes taking up the rest of her book. Originally published in New Zealand two years ago, it’s a wondrously photographed and detailed assemblage; determined to make her recipes truly global, she includes metric and avoirdupois weights as well as identifies ingredients by common names in different countries. She’s joined in this vanilla craze by such well-known names as Gale Gand in Chicago, Jonathan Waxman in New York, Nancy Silverton in L.A., and 30 others (all listed and dutifully biographed in one of her appendixes). The dishes are intermediate to advanced; such offerings as fennel flan with orange gelée, cashew foam, and vanilla oil; vanilla lacquer duck leg; the plum study (three different types of plum desserts); and even coronation chicken on squashy poppy buns should probably not be attempted by the novice.
Library Journal – April 2015
Vanilla Table: The Essence of Exquisite Cooking from the World’s Best Chefs. Jaqui Small: Quarto. 240p. photos. index. ISBN 9781909342866. $40. COOKING
Thirty-three chefs—including Yotam Ottolenghi, Sherry Yard, and Gina DePalma—contributed recipes to this elegant collection of sweet and savory recipes flavored with vanilla. Dividing restaurant-worthy dishes into nine course-based chapters, chef and former ballerina MacAller highlights a variety of applications for the popular fragrant pods. Beautifully photographed recipes such as steamed barramundi and fregola salad, crunchy cornflake chicken, and creamy butterscotch pudding list ingredient quantities in three units of measurement and include instructions that assume some basic cooking knowledge. MacAller’s efforts to translate potentially confusing terms (e.g., cornflour/cornstarch, shrimp/prawns) are mostly successful, if occasionally unnecessary. VERDICT With its wealth of savory recipes and intermediate to advanced preparations, this vanilla cookbook will complement sweet titles such as Shauna Sever’s Pure Vanilla.
Miami Herald, Cooks Corner- November 2015
Vanilla is more exciting than it gets credit for
I once scorned vanilla, made fun of those who chose vanilla ice cream over more-exciting flavors, even referred to the blandest person I ever met as Mr. Plain Vanilla. Read more
Review From The House - May 2015
Natasha MacAller: Dancing Chef author of Vanilla Table
A professional ballerina turned professional chef, who has just authored a cookbook in which Vanilla is the star!
Create Amazing Meals - May 2015
Vanilla With Fish? Yes, Please!
Natasha MacAller’s Vanilla Table was born out of her passion for the singular flavor and fragrance of the fruit of the Vanilla Orchid. Read more
PopSugar – May 2015
This is What Gives Vanilla its Iconic Flavor
Vanilla extract adds that extra something-something to our cookies, cakes, muffins, and vanilla beans taste great in ice cream and cocktails, but how much do we really know about the spice other than it’s delicious and classic? Read more
Kitchen Delights - March 2015
Review: Vanilla Table by Natasha MacAller
Vanilla Table, the essence of exquisite cooking from the world’s best chefs, is a culinary celebration of all things vanilla. Read more
Farmersgirl Kitchen – March 2015
Creamy Butterscotch Pudding from Vanilla Table
Do you remember Butterscotch Angel Delight? Well this is nothing like that, it is rich, creamy and sweetly caramel flavoured, a really indulgent treat. Read more
Make it Shabby – March 2015
From the Bookcase: Vanilla Table by Natasha MacAller
If you thought vanilla was boring it’s time to think again. In her new book Vanilla Table, Natasha MacAller proves that vanilla is anything but. Read more