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The Family table Cover  
Title: The Family Table, Recipes of Moments from a Nomadic Life Authors: Jazz Smolett-Warwell, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jake Smollett, Jussie Smollett
Photographs: Ray Kachatorian and the Smollett family
269 pages; Hardcover
Publisher: William Morrow / An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Price $29.99 USA $36.99 CAN

Reviewed by Chef John Vyhnanek

I wasn't surprised that I didn't know who the authors of The Family Table, Recipes and Moments from a Nomadic Life were. As a chef, I don't watch cooking shows or the Food Network because most professional chefs like me think that they don't represent what is considered to be an accurate potrayal of chefs.

But after a bit of research and chiding by some foodies, I was up to speed and ready to review this cookbook. Picking it up I found it to be quite substantial in weight but not so heavy that I couldn't easily flip through the pages. The pages themselves are of very high quality paper and the food photographs are stunning in most cases. I can tell you that most shots were styled to look a certain way, for a dramatic yet homey appeal for the readers. The authors aren't professional chefs, but they seem to be very good cooks who enjoy good cooking.

A little about the authors:

Erin Jensen, USA TODAY Published 12:13 p.m. ET Aug. 19, 2016 said---
"Siblings are a recipe for ‘Smollett Eats’ success
There’s something to be said about the family that braises together. And there are few modern families that have stayed together quite like the food-obsessed Smolletts.
The six siblings, who starred in the short-lived ABC comedy On Our Own in the mid 90s, have reunited for Smollett Eats, a Food Network series."
      ----------
Michael Starr, August 18, 2016 | 8:18am, New York Post said---
"‘Empire,’ ‘Underground’ stars reunite for family cooking show
This family acts together — and eats together.
Food Network’s new six-part series, “Smollett Eats,” features the six Smollett siblings cooking and baking in episodes pegged to family gatherings.
For the uninitiated, the Smolletts have a special TV history: Not only did they all star in the 1994 ABC sitcom “On Our Own,” but Jussie, 33, and Jurnee, 29, have found great success — Jussie on Fox’s “Empire” and Jurnee on WGN America’s “Underground.”"

The book is all about family and family cooking and showcases a lot of pictures of the siblings and their children, perhaps too many in my opinion. Since this is a book of self-promotion and marketing of their series, you just have to accept that.

The recipes in the book are well written and easy to understand. Some creative meals can be made using the recipes that will wow you and your guests, and others are really simple good foods for a family get together. WOW recipes include the Fried Lobster Pasta with Vodka Sauce, Chicken Taco Lasagna and Croissant French Toast. Family friendly recipes, of which there are many, included such items as Teriyaki Salmon, Family Collard Greens and Peach Cobbler, to name a few.

I prepared three recipes, the Asian Skirt Steak Skewers, Spicy Smoked Gouda Twice Cooked Baked Potatoes and Family Collard Greens, plus the Coconut Macaroons for dessert. Each recipe was a success and was liked by all who came to dinner; my family of friends enjoyed the Smollett's recipes so much that they all said they would buy the cookbook---and you should too!

 goodcooking.com likes this book---

Asian Skirt Steak
Twice Baked Potatoes
xCollard Greens
Coconut Macaroons

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