The Flavor Bible

The Flavor Bible


A global bestseller, THE FLAVOR BIBLE  is available in Chinese, English, French, German, and Russian editions

The Flavor Bible Awards

2009 James Beard Book Award Winner
Best Book: Reference and Scholarship

2010 Nautilus Book Award Winner – Silver
Category: Food/Cooking/Nutrition

Cooking Light: Top 100 Cookbooks

The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity,
Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs

by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Photography by Barry Salzman

(Little, Brown; Fall 2008)

On the heels of the authors’ pioneering 1996 work on flavor composition CULINARY ARTISTRY which received little media attention and wasn’t nominated for a single award, yet was spurred by strong word-of-mouth to sales of 100,000+ copies  THE FLAVOR BIBLE (2008) has been more readily embraced by professional chefs and home cooks, not to mention dietitians and mixologists, all around the globe as a comprehensive reference of contemporary compatible flavors that inspires their creations. Named by Forbes as one of the 10 best cookbooks in the world of the past century, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is available in English and has been translated into other languages including Chinese, French, German, and Russian. In addition to winning the 2009 James Beard Book Award and the 2010 Nautilus Book Award, THE FLAVOR BIBLE appeared on numerous lists of the year’s most outstanding culinary books, including those compiled by “Today,” “Good Morning America” and People magazine as well as, Austin Chronicle, Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks, Chicago magazine,, Fresno Bee, Metroland, Restaurants & Institutions, San Francisco Chronicle, Sarasota Herald-Tribune,, South Bend Tribune,, Tucson Citizen, Vancouver Sun, What’s Up Anapolis, and many others.


“One of the 10 Best Cookbooks in the World of the last 100 years.”

—Alex Munipov, Forbes


“One of 10 must-have cookbooks [along with CULINARY ARTISTRY].”

—Sarah Gleim, editor, Southern Living


“[One of 19] must-have food books [of all time].”

—Ellen Rose, Good Food on KCRW Radio / NPR


“Required Reading: 20 Best All-Around Cookbooks.”

—Powell’s Books


“[One of] 50 Chefs’ Favorite Cookbooks.”



“One of the [50] best Cookbooks of the Decade: 2000-2009.”

—Brad Parsons, cookbook editor,


“[One of the] Top 100 Cookbooks of the Last 25 Years.”

Cooking Light magazine


“One of the most important cookbooks of the past 30 years: 1980-2010.”

—David Strymish,


I think THE FLAVOR BIBLE should be in every kitchen today….It’s “a perfect book” … “Beautifully written” … “I take my hat off.”

—Legendary chef Michel Roux, OBE


One of my 3 indispensable cookbooks….Very simply, it helps me be creative but original.”

—Carla Hall, co-host, The Chew


One of the Best Cookbooks of 2008.”

—Sara Moulton, ‘Good Morning America’


“Amazing…[and one of the Best Cookbooks of the Year].”

—Sandra Lee, ‘Today’


An instant kitchen classic [and] amazing reference.”

—Barnes & Noble


It has no real peer.

—Kitchen Arts & Letters in New York City

“This is the single most useful book in our kitchen.”

—Shauna James Ahern, Gluten-Free Girl

“Few food books in recent memory have excited me as much as this one.”

—Claudia Alarcon, Austin Chronicle

“A whole new way to think about food in the sort of conceptual way chefs do.”

—Meredith Arthur of, on the James Beard Foundation Blog

THE FLAVOR BIBLE offers something that is rare and precious:  true originality.”

—Rose Levy Beranbaum,

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an amazing new book.”

—Anthony Dias Blue, WCBS Radio

“Culinary genius….A must-have.”

—Keren Brown, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Blog

“Most great chefs that you love and admire do see [THE FLAVOR BIBLE] as their Bible.”

—Louisa Chu and Monica Eng, Chewing the Fat on WBEZ/Chicago NPR

“An extraordinary book. I recently added THE FLAVOR BIBLE to my cookbook collection, which numbers more than 1,000 volumes…It has immediately become one of my favorites (and definitely my #1 favorite in English).”

—Barb J. Cohan, pastry chef, Paloma Fine Dining in Philadelphia

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is … the Holy Scripture of flavor pairings … Anyone can be a Food Network star with this sacred text in hand.”

—Kelly Cook,

“This dynamic duo writes some of the best reference books around. THE FLAVOR BIBLE brings it all together under the banner of flavor.”

—The Cookbook Store in Toronto


—Nicholas Day,

“A classic.”

—Emily Dwass, LA Weekly

“Erudite, magnanimous, chaulked with years of inspiration.”


“A masterpiece.”

—Michael Gelb, New York Times bestselling author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Discover Your Genius

“A gospel…A wealth of inspiration…It’s a book to provoke cooks and chefs to greater creativity, classic and avant garde.”

—Gael Greene,

“With this season’s THE FLAVOR BIBLE, [the authors have] confirmed their position as masters of the gustatory universe.”

—Ron Holden, The Examiner

“One of the best cookbooks I’ve ever encountered.”

—In Good Taste in Portland, OR

“Sets down in print what has often been believed inexpressible.”

—Mark Knoblauch, Booklist

“Starred review…A unique resource…Wonderfully inspiring and immensely useful.”

Library Journal

“Contains the most useful culinary lists ever assembled.”

—Michael Natkin,

“It may be the best food-related book ever…An essential book.  It’s like the Rosetta Stone, except it’s been left by the world’s great chefs for cooks who know the basics.”

—Tyler Nemkov, Westword

“[THE FLAVOR BIBLE] resembles none of the foodie culture’s memoirs or cultural histories or cookbooks…It’s more like the I Ching. Open it randomly, and it will open you up to an array of possibilities in your culinary future.”

—Emily Nunn, Chicago Tribune

“A must-have reference for all kitchen shelves — mine is right next to Joy of Cooking.”

—Kirsten Ott, The Sunday Paper

“With all due respect to every published cupcake book (and there are a lot), THE FLAVOR BIBLE (without a single cupcake recipe) is my favorite cupcake book.”

—Stefani Pollack,

“Starred review…Readers will find themselves referring to this handsome volume again and again.”

Publishers Weekly

“One of my favourite cookbooks of this century.”

—Joe Saumarez Smith, Cooking Index

“A seminal work…Destined to become a classic.”

—Lucinda Scala Quinn, Martha Stewart Living Radio

“An amazing book…I think it’s their best work yet.”

—Steven A. Shaw, Executive Director, eGullet Society

“Sure to be a classic kitchen reference guide for years to come…The best and most useful culinary reference book of the year.”

—Amy Sherman,

“Top 10 Cookbooks for Your Christmas Gift List.  #1: THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an invaluable resource.”

—Michele Thompson,

THE FLAVOR BIBLE…is the best cooking reference book ever.”

—Heather Tone, librarian, Missoula Public Library

“Head and shoulders above the rest…I think it is going to join The Silver Spoon [Italy’s bestselling cookbook of the past 50 years, which has sold more than 2 million copies] as a classic cookbook.”

—Matthew Wake, founder, Books Books Books, the English-language bookstore in Lausanne, Switzerland

Eight years in the making, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a landmark book that will inspire the greatest creations of innovative cooks and chefs by serving as an indispensable guide to creativity and flavor affinities in today’s kitchen.

Cuisine is undergoing a startling historic transformation: With the advent of the global availability of ingredients, dishes are no longer based on geography but on flavor. This radical shift calls for a new approach to cooking as well as a new genre of “cookbook” that serves not to document classic dishes via recipes, but to inspire the creation of new ones focused on imaginative and harmonious flavor combinations.

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is your guide to hundreds of ingredients along with the herbs, spices, and other seasonings that will allow you to coax the greatest possible flavor and pleasure from them. This astonishing reference distills the combined experience of dozens of America’s most innovative culinarians, representing such celebrated restaurants as A Voce, Babbo, Blue Hill, Cafe Atlantico, Chanterelle, Citronelle, Gramercy Tavern, The Herbfarm, Jardiniere, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, The Modern, Moto, and The Trellis.

You’ll learn to:

  • explore the individual roles played by the four basic tastes salty, sour, bitter and sweet and how to bring them into harmony;
  • work more intuitively and effectively with ingredients by discovering which flavors have the strongest affinities for one another;
  • brighten flavors through the use of acids from vinegars to citrus juices to herbs and spices such as kaffir lime and sumac;
  • deepen or intensify flavors through the layering of specific ingredients or techniques; and
  • balance the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of cooking and serving an extraordinary meal.

Seasoned with tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from the country’s most respected chefs and pastry chefs, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an essential book for every kitchen library.

  • amazon
  • barnes-noble
  • indiebound

“What Flavor Is Your Bible? 1 Dominick Cafe is the kind of place where food cognoscenti and theatre diva’s mingle. Food writers Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg stopped by with a preview copy of their latest cookbook, THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Is it the greatest cookbook ever? It definitely deserves a spot on my kitchen shelf next to The Joy of Cooking! Read Andrea Strong’s review of the book on The Strong Buzz.”

—1 Dominick (October 1, 2008)

“This. Book. Is. FABULOUS. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. So many of you say you don’t know what foods go together if they’re not already wrapped up in a frozen burrito. This book takes out every single ounce of guesswork. It looks at every ingredient you can think from the most basic to the most exotic and lists out the best ingredients that go with it. It even has the absolute best pairings bold and in big capital letters so you CAN’T GO WRONG. Not only does it talk about ingredients, it talks about methods of cooking. For example, what’s the best way to prepare that bag of carrots in your fridge? Boil? Saute? Raw? THE FLAVOR BIBLE tells us that you get the best flavor out of carrots when you roast them. I mean for real, how awesome is that kind of knowledge! You’ll be unstoppable!! They’ve already done the experimenting (and messing up) for you, and by they, I mean crazy awesome chefs from all over the place. Seriously, y’all, this book is a savior for any of you who want to throw dinner together but just don’t know what should be thrown. You’ll wonder how you ever cooked without it.”

—Kendra Adachi, MYFIRSTKITCHEN.NET (May 21, 2009)

“Chances are the chef at your favorite fancy restaurant has studied the work of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE…”

—’Afternoon Shift,’ (October 16, 2013)

Since we bought [THE FLAVOR BIBLE], back in October, I’m pretty sure it has been opened every single day. I tried to take a beautiful photograph of it, but there’s no taking away the smudged fingerprints and dented corners. We are often holding this book in our hands. Years ago, this book would have intimidated me. There are no recipes. Every food is in alphabetical order, rather than being organized by type or style of cuisine. Before I met Danny, I would have looked at this book and put it away. But he has taught me how to cook from feel, from experience, rather than from recipes alone. (I still use recipes, most of the time, but now they are only starting points, a gun going off toward the sky. I’m not nearly so straight-backed examining them, as I was before.) For that reason, this book is invaluable….He’s the jazz musician. I’m the grammar teacher….That’s why this book works for him, and more and more, for me now too. Say you bought some ramps at the farmers’ market (they’re coming here soon), in your eagerness to celebrate spring. But when you are home, you realize — you have no idea what to do with them. Look up ramps in this book. What you’ll find is a list of other foods that go particularly well with ramps: asparagus, bacon, butter, carrots, chicken, chives, cream, cured meats, etc. Some of the foods are in bold, meaning they go particularly well with ramps: Parmesan cheese, pasta, new potatoes. Hm. What to make? Well, Danny has taught me to think creatively. It’s April, so we want something light, not like the pot roasts and meatloaf nights of February. What’s for dinner? What about rice pasta with roasted asparagus, sauteed ramps, prosciutto, and Parmesan cheese? Or, grilled halibut with black pepper-ramp puree? Or warm polenta with morel mushrooms and a creamy ramp sauce? Actually, I’m hungry again. Those are all just ideas from looking at the ramp section of this book….”

—Shauna James Ahern, author and host, GLUTEN-FREE GIRL (April 7, 2009)

“Santa’s Bag Is Full of [10] Books for Cooks This Holiday Season: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Few food books in recent memory have excited me as much as this one — perhaps because it really isn’t a cookbook at all. Instead of prescribed, carefully measured recipes, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg give us an insight into the minds of ‘America’s most imaginative chefs’ to inspire the reader to create new dishes based on imaginative and harmonious flavor. In their introductory chapter, they explain the formula: Flavor = taste (what is perceived by the taste buds) + mouthfeel (what is perceived by the rest of the mouth) + aroma (what is perceived by the nose) + ‘the X Factor’ (what is perceived by the other senses, plus the heart, mind, and spirit). Then they break the formula down further into individual components (sweet, sour, temperature, piquancy, pungency, etc.), flavor affinities, function, seasonality of ingredients, and — just as important — the essence of the moment (‘Why do you need or want to cook in the first place?’), which together create the ultimate goal of ‘deliciousness.’ They follow with carefully organized charts for every ingredient, type of cuisine, and culinary term imaginable, indicating taste, flavor function, commonly used cooking techniques, tips, flavor affinities, and incompatibilities. All this invaluable information is interspersed with comments and insights from acclaimed chefs such as Monica Pope of t’afia (Houston), Maricel Presilla of Zafra (Hoboken, N.J.), Traci Des Jardins from jardinière (San Francisco), Homaro Cantu from moto (Chicago), Michael Lomonaco of Porter House (NYC), and José Andrés (cookbook author and TV personality) that help explain why and how they create their culinary masterpieces. Give this book to someone who loves to cook; chances are they’ll reward you with a fabulous meal prepared with you in mind.”

—Claudia Alarcon, AUSTIN CHRONICLE (December 5, 2008)

“Beets At the Root of this Honey and Tarragon Cocktail: All Things Considered’s Found Recipes series isn’t just about food. It’s about drinks, too — including those that require a valid form of ID. And the best cocktail is one that’s well-balanced, according to bartender Chad Phillips. It will “leave you feeling completely satisfied and better about your life than the second you sat down at my bar,” he says. Phillips tends bar at the Social Club at the Surfcomber Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. On the Miami bar scene, he’s known for his culinary and creative approach to bartending. One of his favorite inventions is a unique beet-infused gin cocktail he calls the “Beet Me in St. Louis.” He created it for his fiance on her first Mother’s Day and says he drew inspiration from their relationship. Early on, the two had bonded over a shared love of Beefeater martinis and beets. “I really wanted to encompass our relationship in a glass,” he says. To make the infused gin, Phillips skinned and chopped fresh red beets and put them in a jar with the gin for three days. “Then I had this beautiful beet gin and no idea really what to do with it,” he says. So he turned to THE FLAVOR BIBLE. “[It’s] essentially a cookbook that lists all of the flavor pairings of different ingredients and how they go together,” he says. While paging through the book, Phillips discovered that beets go well with honey, ginger, lemon juice and tarragon, so he set to work on a cocktail that used those flavors. He says he perfected it on the first try. “I went home that night and I made it for my fiance,” he says. “She loved it. … It just kind of coats your entire mouth with happiness and all the way down. It’s just beautiful.”

ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, National Public Radio (May 30, 2013)

“I got [Page and Dornenburg’s] WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT as a gift last month, devoured it, and immediately ordered THE [FLAVOR] BIBLE. I haven’t been disappointed. The book is a treasure trove of information for advanced cooks who want to think about flavor pairings that are both ordinary and extraordinary….There’s not a single recipe for the novice cook, but if you know how to handle your proteins, grains, and plants, you’ll be overwhelmed by the sheer intensity of the possible ideas inside, many of which come from the best chefs of this generation. I’m averaging about three pages an hour because I’m constantly testing ideas against my mental palate — a remarkable pleasure.”

—Chris Amirault, PhD, Director of Operations of eGullet Forums, on EGULLET.ORG (January 29, 2009)

“Cooking the Books with Ellen Clark. In December, PW talked to cookbook buyers at the major chains about their outlook for the holiday season, and despite the gloomy pall cast over retailing in general, many of the buyers seemed optimistic. The week after Christmas, we caught up with Borders cookbook buyer Ellen Clark for an anecdotal recap. Overall, Clark said, ‘[Cookbooks] did really well for us. I think we did better last week [the week of December 22] than was expected.’ Clark ran down the hits and surprises of the biggest cookbook shopping season of the year. PW: So which cookbooks performed best this holiday season?… Were there any pleasant surprises? EC: There were some books that we had expected to do well, but nowhere near as well as they did. One is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, who are very well-respected chefs [sic]. It’s a great book for people who like to create on their own, but who might start out with a recipe. That did really well for us.”

—Lynn Andriani, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (December 31, 2008)

“On September 7, THE FLAVOR BIBLE celebrated one year on Amazon’s ‘Cooking, Food & Wine’ top 100 bestseller list. And, its authors are quick to add, before Julie & Julia-related books took over much of list’s prime real estate, THE FLAVOR BIBLE spent most of its life in the top 25. How did a book without a movie tie-in, national TV presence or celebrity authors, that doesn’t contain one recipe, achieve such success? THE FLAVOR BIBLE teaches readers to cook without recipes, inspired by tried-and-true compatible flavors. Authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, a husband-and-wife team who have written a string of books chefs love, think of the book as ‘a thesaurus of flavors that work well together.’ The book explains, for instance, that tropical fruit goes with lime juice, lime zest and rum; quail is well-matched with thyme and vinegar; and that one of Swedish cuisine’s main flavors is dill (and that you should avoid garlic and piquancy when making Swedish dishes). It’s a smart, useful book that won a 2009 James Beard Award and has garnered praise from publications ranging from O to the Chicago Tribune to the popular food blog 101 Cookbooks. Little, Brown published THE FLAVOR BIBLE a year ago this week — and went into its fourth printing this summer….”

—Lynn Andriani, Senior Editor, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (September 14, 2009)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Ultimate Culinary Reference. I have been cooking for years and I enjoy it. Most often, I cook simple things and I have my favorites that I cook over and over. Despite being happy with my favorite recipes, I recently discovered a book that has brought more flavor to what I thought were already pretty good dishes. It has taught me how to use the many little bottles of dried herbs in my pantry and thrilled me with the fun of tasting food in a more adventurous way than I had ever imagined. I am talking about THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. They also wrote the IACP award-winning book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the culmination of several years of research and testing and is purely a reference book; you will not find recipes in THE FLAVOR BIBLE. What you will find is a treasure trove of what foods go with what other foods and, simply stated, how to cook them. If you are a beginning cook you may need to invest in a cookbook with recipes to hone your techniques rather than changing up your recipes. However, if you are a seasoned cook you will probably already know how to fry, grill, pan roast, roast or sauté and adding or changing out an ingredient that the book recommends will not phase you. My daughter is a firefighter in San Francisco and cooks dinner regularly at the fire house. She complains that she is tired of the same old thing, even though she is a great cook. Last week she was coming to dinner and I already had zucchini and butternut squash and bought some tilapia at the store. After checking THE FLAVOR BIBLE I discovered that feta cheese, unsalted butter and basil go well with zucchini and that rosemary and orange go well with butternut squash and a good way to cook tlapia is to poach it. My daughter was very impressed with my dinner! She liked the flavors that were new to her at my table. She now also owns a copy of the book and is thrilled to be able to vary and improve her dishes….I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a reputable source for flavor combinations and new ideas.”

—Angela, Draeger’s Cooking School blog (July 6, 2011)

“Without further [ado] meet my first guest…The Angry Brit. An incredible writer, a fantastic writer, I encourage you to go check out her blog site, BUT… not before you read her here….Q. What…is the one cookbook you’d take with you? A. …The one cookbook I would take with me is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, because if I have that with me, then I will have all the inspiration I will ever need.”

—Kathleen Bade, ‘Eight with Kate,’ ONE TREE PAST THE FENCE (March 28, 2009)

An instant kitchen classic, this amazing reference lists thousands of culinary ingredients, teaming each one with its best flavor complements to produce taste combinations that are as surprising as they are delicious.”

—Barnes & Noble (April 2009)

“Although it does contain several recipes, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, is not a cookbook. It isn’t really a bible either, for that matter. If I had to classify this book it would be half dictionary, half encyclopedia, and all wonderful. In the opening chapters, the authors invite us to learn the language of food, cooking and flavor, and they don’t mean the simple terminology like the difference between stirring and folding that often perplexes young chefs in the making. Instead, they treat each flavor, each type of flavor, as if it were a part of speech, so coriander, for example, might be an adverb, while cinnamon is a verb, and within the pages of this book, we learn how each works with the other, or with a number of other herbs and spices. Want to know what flavors compliment the sweet-tart complexity of a cranberry, or know the perfect ratio of coriander to cumin for maximum taste? THAT is the information this book provides. The bulk of the pages are filled with tables of ‘flavor affinities’ including everything from celery to potatoes and beef to spinach, with many, many others in between (and on either side). It tells you the peak seasonality for each food or spice, what they work well with, and what combinations are best avoided. There are certain cookbooks that tend to become staples in the well-rounded kitchen: Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, The New Basics by the authors of the Silver Palate series, and The Joy of Cooking, among others. THE FLAVOR BIBLE should be included among those shining stars. It’s a kitchen resource no serious cook should be without.

—Melissa A. Bartell, ALLTHINGSGIRL.COM (January 2, 2009)

“Sooner or later, every dedicated cook learns that a recipe is simply a launching point for cooking, a guideline. If you really want to learn to cook well you need to understand what gives a dish balance in taste, how the weather and the season affects the dishes you would want to make, which ingredients work well together and which don’t….The more you understand which flavors work well together, which offer a natural balance, the more masterful your results will be. It is this subject that authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg address in THE FLAVOR BIBLE Page and Dornenburg spent eight years researching to prepare the contents of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. They interviewed countless chefs for their suggestions of what foods, spices, herbs complement each other. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is designed for inspiration, for those days when you know you want to make something with a particular ingredient, and are looking for what would work well with it. For example, arugula is something we have growing in spades this time of year. Looking it up in THE FLAVOR BIBLE I find an interesting recommended ‘flavor affinity’ that I have not considered — arugula with pears and prosciutto. The book is set up like one giant index. Just look up an ingredient, and there will be a list of other ingredients that are well matched with it, as well as suggestions for groups of ingredients that work well together….If you are interested in improvising beyond a basic recipe, and want the best possible results, you will find this book a godsend. It’s as if someone picked the brains of the best culinary talent just for you.”

—Elise Bauer, SIMPLYRECIPES.COM (April 22, 2009)

“Holiday Gift Ideas 2009: All of the following recommendations I own; they are products that I love, use regularly, and think would make an awesome gift for a fellow cook….5. THE FLAVOR BIBLE: Every cook who is even remotely interested in experimenting with their cooking should have THE FLAVOR BIBLE. I have bought more copies of this book to give as gifts than any other. Last April I wrote a detailed review here. In a nutshell, the authors list every ingredient they can think of in alphabetical order, and under each ingredient a recommendation of other ingredients that pair well with it. So, if you are making poached pears, you can look up ‘pear’ in THE FLAVOR BIBLE and find the spices that go with it, like vanilla or cardamom. Improvise with confidence with this book.”

—Elise Bauer, SIMPLYRECIPES.COM (December 11, 2009)

“My favourite for cocktail inspiration as well!!  #thankYOU”

—Katie Bell, service director, Blue Hill (New York City), via Twitter

There’s A New Bible On the Block. Since The Cake Bible was published 20 years ago, there have been so many books using the B word I’m expecting a whole section in the book stores devoted to food bibles. ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…’ of course is true up to a point, but I don’t need to tell you what’s in the name ‘bible’ and if you’re going to use it as part of the name of your book it had better be one. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is. If you look up the word bible in the Encarta Dictionary, after you get past the first few religious connotation definitions, you’ll find the one that best applies here as well: ‘essential book: a book that is considered an authority on a particular subject.’ Written by my esteemed friends and colleagues Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, THE FLAVOR BIBLE not only fits this definition it offers something beyond bible that is rare and precious: true originality. There is not a single recipe in the book — this is not about learning how to roast a chicken — it’s about understanding taste, flavor synergy, ingredients — what they are and how they work with each other. Beautifully organized alphabetically by ingredient and also including ethnic cuisine, each ingredient is coded for weight, volume, technique, and tips (occasionally function as in sesame oil: ‘heating’). Studded throughout the book are quotes, concepts, and tips from illustrious chefs, past and present, and other notables such as the response of U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic when asked in an interview ‘What advice would you give to people who are looking to be happy?’ His answer: ‘For starters, learn how to cook.’ And here’s a great tip from one of my favorite chefs, Michèl Richard (who is a perfect example of happiness, married many years with more children than I can remember). He uses miso broth instead of chicken for his onion soup. This is one of Andrew’s favorite tips as well. Karen intrigued me with Dominique and Cindy Duby’s clever idea to alternate slices of apples and eggplant in a tart because the absorbent eggplant soaks up the juices of the apples to keep the tart less soggy — so much so that the eggplant tastes like apple! Karen said ‘We haven’t tried it yet ourselves, but the logic made immediate sense.’ Yes indeed it does and I can hardly wait to see for myself! This book will soon have you thinking like a food professional. It will change your approach to how you look at food and ingredients. Here’s how it works: A food professional approaching something new first smells, then tastes, and then the sensory brain starts spinning trying to imagine what it would enhance! An example of one of my most startling food synergies: several years ago I had just perfected a passion ice cream and happened to notice that my windowsill rosemary was in bloom with exquisite little lavender flowers. Rosemary leaves are resinous and intensely overpowering for something as subtle though singular as passion fruit but the flowers had a flavor all their own — almost impossible to describe and somehow I immediately thought to garnish the ice cream with them. Both visually and gustatorially they provided a whole new and heavenly dimension to the ice cream. Read this book from cover to cover. It’s an education. Even if you never intend to cook a thing as long as you live it will indeed make you happier. It will make eating more enjoyable and you’ll never again have to feel uncomfortable in a restaurant wondering exactly what you’re ordering.”

—Rose Levy Beranbaum, REAL BAKING WITH ROSE LEVY BERANBAUM (November 29, 2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an amazing new book. I’m Anthony Dias Blue with the Blue Lifestyle Minute. How do you know what flavors go together? The age-old question creates problems for many cooks, and sets apart great dishes. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg will advise you on which flavor combinations to choose — from fennel pollen to kaffir lime to yuzu juice, this cookbook doesn’t just list recipes, but encourages innovative new dishes based on harmonious flavor combos. Organized in alphabetical order and cross-referenced, this guide provides helpful combinations for meats, seafood, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and more. And if you’re looking for compatible literature, pick up WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and CULINARY ARTISTRY by the same authors for companions to THE FLAVOR BIBLE. It’s time for a book to de-mystify the essence of what makes good recipes — and this book does the trick.”

—Anthony Dias Blue, WCBS RADIO (October 28, 2008)

When we first received THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg ($35, Little, Brown and Co.) in late 2008, we couldn’t decide if we hated it or thought it was the most brilliant cookbook we’d seen in years…The nearly 400-page hardback tome doesn’t contain a single [recipe], at least not in the traditional sense. But if you’re interested in flavor combinations to seek out and combinations to avoid, suggestions for the best preparation technqiues and what chefs and other culinary professionals like to make with specific ingredients (such as sauteed strawberries in black-pepper cabernet sauvignon sauce with vanilla ice cream and a sacristan cookie), the $35 cover price is money well spent….If you look at it as a reference guide to jump start creativity in the kitchen, the possibilities are endless.”

—Kelly Brant, Arkansas Democrat & Gazette (June 3, 2009)

“Back in July, we reported that Kevin Lemp, co-founder and president of 4 Hands Brewing Co., had launched a project with St. Louis’ five James Beard Award semifinalists to brew a special beer celebrating the national accolades and the spotlight they’ve put on our region’s food scene. After a summer’s worth of fine tuning, the brewery is now about a week away from releasing the beer, Foundation Ale….The James Beard semifinalist chefs involved in the project included Gerard Craft (Niche Restaurant Group), Kevin Nashan (Sidney Street Café), Kevin Willmann (Farmhaus) and Josh Galliano. Representatives of Salt restaurant, which secured a spot as a finalist for Best New Restaurant, also played a role. To get the process underway, the 4 Hands crew emailed the chefs and asked them to share some of the ingredients they were most interested in using at the time. The brewers took the most common ingredients from the responses, pulled out THE FLAVOR BIBLE and narrowed down the ones that complemented each other the best. They ended up with organic peach juice, fresh basil, lemon balm and ginger.”

—Kristin Brashares, FEAST: ST. LOUIS (September 25, 2012)

“Q. Any cookbooks you could recommend for meat free out there for Christmas gifts?  A.  I highly recommend THE FLAVOR BIBLE.  It’s an incredible encyclopedia of flavor combinations for practically every ingredient under the sun.”

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: Culinary Genius. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is nothing less than a must-have in every creative cook’s household. No, it’s not a recipe book; it’s a reference book that gives you lists of which foods harmonize well together. How does it work? You look up the ingredient that you want to use and then read down the list of foods that pair well with this ingredient. For example: Pineapple has many ingredients on the list such as bananas, brandy, avocado (surprising), black pepper and so many more. There is also a list of flavor affinities…pineapple + avocado + watercress, pineapple + coconut + honey + ginger and other combinations that just give you an oomph of motivation….”

—Keren Brown, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER BLOG (October 1, 2008)

“You may have heard of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Sara Moulton called it one of the best cookbooks of 2008 on Good Morning America. It hit the #1 best-selling spot in Amazon’s cooking category. It has gotten a good bit of recognition.There’s a good reason for this book’s reputation. It contains incredibly useful information that I’ve never seen stated explicitly in a cookbook before….THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a great reference. It may be the best idea-generator for the kitchen that I’ve come across. I suspect that it could be an excellent part of a beginning cook’s education, but that educational process would look different from what we’re used to seeing. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a fascinating read.”

—Stuart Broz, KITCHENHACKER.NET (February 7, 2009)

“I have a book called THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is probably, out of my 90+ cookbooks and technique books, the most important book I own….I made a really good sorbet today, and I used this book to do it. We had some bananas that were overripe. Looking up the entry for bananas, it screamed at me to use CHOCOLATE, COCONUT, ICE CREAM and RUM (using the book’s formula). So I did. And there was much rejoicing.”

—Kevin and Vanessa Bruyette, The Good Life (February 10, 2009)

“Interview with Bernie Kantak, chef and co-owner of Citizen Public House. Q. Favorite cookbook: A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. It’s not as much a cookbook as it is a guide to escaping following recipes. I’ve always encouraged people to be creative in the kitchen, and the response I often get is, ‘I don’t know what goes with what!’ This book shows you how.”

—Nikki Buchanan, PHOENIX NEW TIMES (August 7, 2012)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: A Must-Have for Your Library. Many people who listen to my podcast lately have heard me raving about THE FLAVOR BIBLE. This book is probably one of the most valuable additions that I’ve made to my culinary library in years. Sure, the Alinea Cookbook reigns supreme when it comes to food porn; just the layout sends shivers down my spine. But when it comes to true functionality, a book that I can use over and over again on a daily basis when creating new menus and dishes, THE FLAVOR BIBLE stands alone. The first two chapters of the book are a little more esoteric in the sense that they focus on many different elements that form flavor structure; what the authors of this book call the ‘Language of Food.’ Although these two chapters are extremely enlightening and a joy to read, the real value of the book is in its third chapter; more appropriately described as a section, because it takes up the bulk of this almost 400-page book. In this chapter you’ll find the ‘flavor matching guide.’ Just simply look up the primary ingredient that you want to design a dish for, and it will list other ingredients that classically and scientifically pair well with your primary ingredient. I used this book recently to develop a new dish using black cod. I knew that I wanted to use black cod as my primary ingredient, but I was having a bit of a flavor block when trying to conceptualize the rest of the plate. So I simply looked up black cod in THE FLAVOR BIBLE and it listed among other ingredients: ginger, leeks, and soy sauce. This led me to create a the following dish: ‘Potato Wrapped Black Cod, Shitake-Leek Cannelloni, Ginger Beurre Blanc.’ The black cod is wrapped in potato sheets and cooked in clarified butter until golden brown. The shitake mushrooms are sauteed down with ginger, shallots, soy, a little sesame oil and some sherry, and then they are rolled in the white portion of a blanched leek sheet, just like how you would stuff a cannelloni. The sauce is a ginger beurre blanc, and the whole dish is garnished with fleur de sel and little pinch of Mixed Asian Micro Greens. This dish has turned into an extremely popular item at the restaurant where I work, and people are always raving about the flavor combination. If you only buy one culinary book this year, BUY THIS BOOK.”

—Jacob Burton, FREECULINARYSCHOOL.COM (January 12, 2009)

“This new wave of Portland bartenders are masters of balancing the old and new, and when you explore their creations, you’re sure to encounter a beverage that will inspire you in your own cocktail-making at home….Kevin Ludwig, Baker & Flask. Where he gets his ideas: Favorite cookbooks like THE FLAVOR BIBLE…”

—Grant Butler, THE OREGONIAN (July 23, 2009)

“…Here are three books most grads would be glad to have…THE FLAVOR BIBLE is one of those books. The subtitle, ‘The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs,’ doesn’t quite get at the enormity of the task that authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg set for themselves. They interviewed dozens of chefs and other ‘food and drink experts’ to learn about their favorite flavor combinations….The result is a cookbook unlike any we’ve ever seen. Essentially, it’s a catalog of suggestions from people who cook (a lot) about how to put ingredients together. So, there’s a list of items that go well with Achiote Seeds (the first entry), and similarly there’s a list of things that go well with Zucchini Blossoms (the last). lus there are entries for a given cuisine — Korean, for instance, which lists chile peppers, fish, garlic, noodles (especially buckwheat), rice, sesames seeds, shellfish, soy sauce, sugar, pickled vegetables (for example, kimchi)….Not surprisingly for a book called THE FLAVOR BIBLE, this volume opens with a spirited discussion of flavor — its physical, emotional, and mental realms. Next comes an overview of cooking, complete with glorious photographs. The charts themselves take up hundreds of pages, but are alphabetically ordered and thus are simple to use. Finally, there are the quotes and suggestions for combinations: Hundreds of them, from the people interviewed. These lively bits are the spice of the book, giving THE FLAVOR BIBLE its flavor. We loved reading about how Meeru Dhalwala, of Vij’s in Vancouver, B.C., layers turmeric with other spices, or how Kaz Okochi, of Kaz Sushi Bistro in Washington, D.C. uses yuzu juice (in fact, we loved learning about yuzu juice in the first place). At its best, THE FLAVOR BIBLE equips a good cook to become more adventurous and ultimately more skilled at creating dishes, sans recipes. But just as important, it’s an inspiring and entertaining book to peruse.”

—Kim Carlson, CULINATE.COM (June 16, 2009)

“MasterChef Christine Ha Inspires Hadley Attendees: It’s hard not to tear up when watching Christine Ha, MasterChef winner 2012, cook in the kitchen. The visually-impaired chef beat out 18 other contestants to win the top spot on season three of MasterChef, a cooking competition on Fox…Some of Ha’s favorite audio cookbooks: Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child; BECOMING A CHEF by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, and THE FLAVOR BIBLE by [Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg].”

—Chi-an Chang, WINNETKA PATCH (October 12, 2012)

“[THE FLAVOR BIBLE] Starred Review. Award-winning culinary writers Page and Dornenburg believe cooking has undergone a revolution from being based on geography (e.g., French, Japanese, etc.) to being based on flavor. After writing about classic flavor matchups in CULINARY ARTISTRY and about how to combine food with drink in WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, the authors here return to their idea of creating dishes based on flavor and taste. The authors first discuss the four basic tastes and the roles played by weather, the season of the year, and other environmental factors in cooking. The rest of the book is an extensive alphabetic guide to different culinary ingredients. Each entry includes information on the ingredient’s taste and the best cooking techniques as well as a list of other foods that work well with it. In addition, a range of award-winning American chefs contribute their valuable insights on using selected ingredients and ideas for different dishes. Rather than just another collection of recipes, this is a unique resource that both beginning cooks and serious chefs will find wonderfully inspiring and immensely useful. Highly recommended for all public library collections.”

—John Charles, LIBRARY JOURNAL (November 15, 2008)

“Cookbooks for Cooks and Foodies. For the Adventuresome Cook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This culinary reference guide isn’t for beginners. The authors assume you know your way around the kitchen, and in doing so, provide extensive lists of ingredient combinations intended to jump start your culinary imagination. If you expect detailed recipes, you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re looking for inspiration, the dish ideas, flavor pairings, chef cooking tips and handy charts will keep the creative juices flowing long after the holiday adrenaline has left your system. How good is this book? It’s won the 2009 James Beard Award for Reference and Scholarship. Posts this book inspired: My soon-to-be-famous Concord Grape Sorbet.”

—Charmian Christie, CHRISTIE’S CORNER (December 15, 2009)

“The week’s best food and drink events….Wednesday, October 17th: What pairs with what, and why? Learn some of the many answers at THE FLAVOR BIBLE book signing and reception with authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg at The Spice House in Old Town. Since its publication in 2008, this has indeed become a holy book for chefs in restaurant and home kitchens. Complimentary appetizers showcasing the book’s creative pairings and Spice House spices will be served. Admission FREE but RSVP is requested.”

—Louisa Chu, MOVEABLE FEAST, WBEZ (October 12, 2012)

An extraordinary book. I recently added this book to my cookbook collection, which numbers more than 1,000 volumes (probably more like 1200 but I’m still cataloging). It has immediately become one of my favorites (and definitely my #1 favorite in English). If you are a serious cook, love to read cookbooks like novels, and view recipes as suggestions rather than as requiring strict adherence to precise measurements, then this is the book for you! (Did I say I LOVE this book?) I make all of the desserts for my husband’s restaurant. If I snag some particularly luscious fruit and want to make it into a dessert, this is the book I reach for first. I don’t WANT to be told how to make a fruit sorbet. I already know how. But I love having a list of suggested flavors and products that go with what I already have. It’s like having an uber-creative friend at your side saying ‘hey, why not try THIS?’ And if you are not an experienced cook, this book provides invaluable guidance that a recipe book never could. It is wholly different from every food book I have ever read. The book is clever, useful, and obviously the product of prodigious research. To the authors, I send my humble gratitude. You have made my life immeasurably easier, and my dishes far more interesting than ever before. This book is a must-read if you love to eat or love to cook. I have already bought six copies and have given two as gifts. It’s THAT good.”

—Barb J. Cohan, pastry chef, Paloma Fine Dining in Philadelphia (October 12, 2008)

“On the Shelves of the Professionals: Home cooks and gluttons for food photography aren’t the only people who benefit from a great cookbook. Many of the country’s best chefs rely on caches of cookbooks to derive continual inspiration and to relearn vital lessons of the kitchen. SAVEUR reached out to a handful of professional chefs and writers to find out which cookbooks have been stained with wine and oil and earmarked with copious notes…Michael Laiskonis, pastry chef, Le Bernardin, New York City: CULINARY ARTISTRY and THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Among all the ‘cookbooks’ in my collection, CULINARY ARTISTRY may well be the most beaten and battered. What Page and Dornenburg catalogued in these volumes are the building blocks used in dishes, and it’s basically a reference guide to what goes well with what. More than simply helping to generate ideas and flavor combinations, the books also address, from a chef’s perspective, how and why these marriages work. THE FLAVOR BIBLE, their latest book, builds upon the first and tracks our evolution in that ten-year interim. Every time I glance at these books, I see something new.”

—Alexandra Collins, Saveur (March 2009)

“Food Pairings: Grab a date and join us for a special Valentine’s edition of our Food Series. We’ll meet a team of award-winning food writers who also happen to be married. We’ll explore the best pair foods and they’ll share stories about getting along in the kitchen as cooks and as a couple….Mike: THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a great book….Peter: It is the definitive book on the subject.”

—Host Mike Collins and special guest Peter Reinhart, CHARLOTTE TALKS, WFAE Radio in Charlotte, NC (February 13, 2009)

“Over the weekend, I had one of my favorite kinds of days – listening to music and cooking in my warm kitchen…My companion for this day of delight was my New Favorite Book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity.”

—K.C. Compton, editor-in-chief, GRIT magazine (December 28, 2010)

“Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page’s THE FLAVOR BIBLE will help get you started on flavor composition…For those with an interest in adding ‘kitchen’ flavors and creativity to their cocktails, CULINARY ARTISTRY offers an intense introduction that will have you off and running.”

—Christopher Conatser, mixologist, Delaware Cafe in Kansas City and 2008 winner of the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition (2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is … the Holy Scripture of flavor pairings … Anyone can be a Food Network star with this sacred text in hand.”

—Kelly Cook, SNOBESSENTIALS.COM (October 15, 2013)

“New Books: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Page & Dornenburg. This dynamic duo writes some of the best reference books around. Whether a professional or home cook, you need their books on your book shelf. Remember BECOMING A CHEF ($32.95), CULINARY ARTISTRY ($32.95) and WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT ($46.00). This latest tome brings it all together under the banner of flavour and they don’t disappoint. Hardcover, 380 pp. $38.00.”

—THE COOKBOOK STORE, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year in Toronto (October 2008)

“It’s no secret I love to play around in the kitchen. If there’s one way I’m challenged, it’s probably knowing which flavors blend best with each other. That’s why I’m digging THE FLAVOR BIBLE. As you would probably gather from the title, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a reference listing tons of different foods, herbs and spices and everything you want to know about them but were afraid to ask….THE FLAVOR BIBLE was written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg who also wrote the handy WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. I recommend it for the foodie in your life. Already my pages are marked and dog-eared and I know I’ll be using this for years to come. Don’t buy another sweater for your favorite cook; THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a much better investment. Two giant and enthusiastic Cookerati thumbs up.”

—Holiday Gift Guide, COOKERATI.COM (October 1, 2008)

“Next year is Cooking Light’s 25th anniversary, and by 2012 more than 50,000 cookbooks will have been published in the U.S. in a quarter century. Since our launch there’s been a furious boiling up of interest in food, restaurants, ingredients. Chefs left their cloistered kitchens to become media superstars. Nutrition “rules” were made, then overturned, and healthy cooking blossomed. Then the Internet supernova rocked the publishing world. Yet cookbooks keep coming, and as some book categories wilt, this one is amazingly resilient. Cooks love books for their ability to inspire, entertain, excite, soothe, teach—and for their beauty as physical objects. The best are thrilling, whether they’re eye-opening explorations of a single subject, seminal overviews, or beautiful obsessions. As we contemplate turning 25, we decided to pick our favorite 100 cookbooks, which we’ll unveil over the next year across 15 categories. We looked at best-seller and awards lists, and talked to editors, authors, and experts. For consideration, books had to be published in the United States since 1987 and either be in print or easily available online. Winners emerged after passionate debate about voice, originality, beauty, importance, and a clear mission or vision. Yes, we tested the recipes. Finally, we asked: To whom would you give this book? (Probably another Cooking Light reader: Our research shows you are omnivorous cookbook consumers.)….Top 8 Best-of-the-Rest Cookbooks: After reading and testing hundreds of cookbooks to find our top 100 of the past 25 years, we were left with eight books that earned wild praise but didn’t fit neatly into our other categories. This list includes a few reference books that don’t contain recipes but that, in the end, we feel no cook should live withoutTHE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: Although this book contains no actual recipes, it is a must-have reference for any cook seeking fresh ideas. The first two short chapters are a bit pointy-headed, discussing how one builds food from the harmonious interplay of flavors (salty, sour, bitter, sweet), mouthfeel, texture, temperature, emotion, and more. But the real meat of the book, about 340 pages of it, comes in the form of flavor-matching charts organized A to Z by ingredient name or cuisine (Afghan to Vietnamese). Each entry is followed by a list of complementary flavors, plus tips from chefs and foodies on how to use the ingredient, and sometimes flavor combos that one should avoid (like soy sauce with mangoes). The chart for oranges, for instance, shows tons of nice flavor pairings, including basil, cranberries, and some shellfish, while chef Michel Richard of Citronelle in Washington, D.C., notes, ‘I like orange zest with crab and shrimp…Lemon and lime are too strong. Orange is feminine—the lady of citrus.’ THE FLAVOR BIBLE can help any cook out of a jam, whether she finds herself lacking an ingredient in the pantry, or, say, ends up with a superabundance of cucumbers in the garden (in that case, move beyond dill and buttermilk and try a salad with coriander, jicama, or peanuts). GIVE THIS TO: Cooks hungry for new ideas.”

COOKING LIGHT magazine (May 2013)

“Staff Picks: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have created an extensive and comprehensive guide for cooks and chefs of all levels who are passionate about food. With imput from noted chefs across America, this book will help you explore various flavor combinations that will help you deepen, brighten and intensify your palate. Complete and concise, this kitchen must-have is a great way to discover and create new and exciting dishes.”

—Alan, Staff, The Cook’s Library in Los Angeles (October 2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE. With thousands of ingredient entries organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, this is the ultimate reference guide for chefs at any level. The follow-up to Dornenburg and Page’s last hit WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, this book is just as informative and allows for a lot of imagination. Available from Amazon for $35.”

—’Gift Guide 2008,’ COOLHUNTING.COM (December 2, 2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is my new favorite cookbook. I think of THE FLAVOR BIBLE as a cookbook, but it doesn’t actually have any recipes. Instead, the book has lists of what ingredients and flavor work well together. It’s basically The Most Amazing Flavor Index Ever. For example, I recently had some fennel in the fridge. I wanted to roast the fennel and mix it with some pasta, but I thought the dish needed something else. According to THE FLAVOR BIBLE, goat cheese compliments fennel. The resulting dish — roasted fennel and goat cheese pasta — is one of the best things I’ve ever cooked; and I didn’t even need a recipe. I used to be a cook who relied heavily on recipes. I was too afraid to just invent a dish on my own. With THE FLAVOR BIBLE, I have overcome my recipe addiction. Also, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is great if you just want to know what vegetable goes best with your protein. If I have any downtime while I’m preparing dinner, I just flip through this tome for inspiration. Gruyere pairs nicely with garlic? I had no idea. Leeks work well with mustard? Interesting. And pork tenderloin works well with artichokes? That sounds like a delicious summer dinner! If you have any interest in cooking, I cannot recommend THE FLAVOR BIBLE highly enough.”

THE CRANKY PUMPKIN (June 19, 2012)

“Today we welcome Katie Goodman of Katie’s blog is a feast for the eyes with easy to follow recipes and photography that makes us swoon. Welcome Katie! Q. Where do you find the inspiration? A. As far as books, right now my favorite book is THE FLAVOR BIBLE. It’s a great way to explore flavor combination without relying on a true recipe format for cooking. It really inspires creativity.”


“At holiday time, what cook doesn’t love peeling back the gift wrap to discover a new cookbook? Newcomers to cooking can’t wait to try everything, but even seasoned cooks — who don’t really need more recipes — welcome the inspiration of a new cookbook. We polled a few Culinate contributors and friends to learn which, out of all the cookbook gifts they’ve been given as gifts, they appreciate the most, and here’s what we learned….Hm. Sounds a little like our columnist Hank Sawtelle — although he’s referencing a different book — or two. ‘Lately I’ve been reaching for How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman and THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Dornenburg and Page (not a cookbook per se but an “inspiration book”) several times a week. With these two books together there is very little you can’t do. Certainly any ingredient you have lying around or that you bring home from the market can be worked into a coherent dish. So if I can change the question to ‘If I could only have (or give) two cookbooks, what would they be?’ these are the ones.’”

—CULINATE.COM (December 18, 2009)

“One of the finest in the business when it comes to modern British fare tells us what he’s loving right now: Mary Queen of Scots executive chef Chris Rendell grew up in Melbourne enjoying a hybrid cuisine comprised of dishes from his English father’s traditional British Isles favorites….[Beloved] Cookbook: The amazing one-stop resource for both the professional and home chef alike. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg [is] one of the essential go-to cookbooks. The years they spent putting this together for chefs to have on hand is incredible. To find the depth of knowledge and experience in one place is amazing. It’s a book that will draw you in and you will find yourself using it as a reference no matter how much or how little experience you have in the kitchen.”

—THEDAILYBEAST.COM (October 4, 2011)

“Interview: New Oak Chef Richard Gras…Q. What are a few of your favorite cookbooks? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page is a great outline for creating flavors.”

—Lauren Drewes Daniels, Dallas Observer (October 22, 2013)

“Interview with pastry chef and blogger VerySmallAnna: Q. Do you have a favorite book? A. I’ve just started getting back into reading for fun (daily subway rides will rekindle a love for reading in anyone!) but my favorite and most-used book is THE FLAVOR BIBLE. So much fun for coming up with amazing and often surprising flavor combinations for recipes!”

—THEDARINGKITCHEN.COM (October 26, 2009)

“So many great cookbooks, so little time to try them all. In an effort to alleviate the decision making process, we’re turning to our VIP bloggers in search of their favorite titles. First up is John Dawson of THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a book that I’ve heard a lot about, and now I know why. It’s not a new book, but it’s new to me. I don’t know why it took me so long to finally buy it. The subtitle, The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs describes the book perfectly. This isn’t a cookbook, but rather a serious and indispensable reference book. Have you ever marveled at how chefs successfully combine seemingly strange ingredients, yet the result is something incredible? Well, this book cracks the code on how chefs know what goes with what….If you you are at all interested in becoming a more creative, inventive and resourceful cook this book is a must. It will open a huge new landscape of possibilities and move you ever closer to Iron Chef status.”

—John Dawson, GRILLING.COM (February 22, 2012)

“If your instincts aren’t feeling especially instinctive, consult the brilliant FLAVOR BIBLE, a complete compendium of what goes with what. It’s a matchmaker for the shy pantry. (For your beet soup: orange and tarragon. For the avocado: chives and smoked canned fish.)”

—Nicholas Day, FOOD52.COM (July 19, 2012)

“An award-winning mixologist, Mariena Mercer [of The Cosmopolitan Hotel] boasts a Chemistry degree, inch-long lashes and a mesmeric blonde mane that tosses about her pretty head as she brandishes her Boston shaker. Passionate about flavour profiles — what goes with what and why — a devotee of the Food Network and THE FLAVOR BIBLE, Mercer’s current enthusiasm is for Thai-inspired infusions, using Kaffir lime leaves, building syrups with Thai red chillies and lemongrass, juicing ginger root, marrying these with the right spirit, and not shy about finishing drinks with a bit of molecular mixology magic.”

—Anne DeBrisay, TASTE & TRAVEL magazine (July 2012)

“When your fan base ranges from Grant Achatz of Alinea to the crew of Top Chef, when your cooking books are repeatedly referenced as ‘bibles,’ what’s next? For Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, it was taking on that title for real, with a new book titled THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Don’t think of it as a cookbook, it’s something more like — not a flavor dictionary, exactly, and not an encyclopedia. Maybe a thesaurus, plus the equivalent of a ‘friends’ list on a culinary Facebook of ingredients. The book is billed as an essential one for any kitchen library, but in some ways ‘it is not for everyone,’ Page acknowledged when the couple was in town last week for a Cooks and Books event. Why not? Because it doesn’t have recipes. What the bulk of it offers, instead, are brief basics about the characters of a bazillion foods (open one random page and you’ll get grits, grouper, and guavas, jump to another for sunchokes, Swedish cuisine, sweetbreads), along with the ingredients that they can best be paired with when cooking. The lists of flavor affinities are augmented by commentaries and advice from chefs across the country. (Sage, for instance, lends ‘a masculine touch’ to skate, says Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin.) The likes of Michel Richard and Daniel Boulud and Dan Barber weigh in from the other coast, local luminaries Jerry Traunfeld and Holly Smith represent our area. Returning from the farmer’s market with a bunch of chervil, for instance, and wondering what the heck to do with it? THE FLAVOR BIBLE warns you to use it fresh, not cooked. Its best companions would include eggs and egg dishes, or fish, or salads — but there are more than four dozen suggestions. To use this information, you need the confidence to cook without a recipe, one reason I suspect the couple’s books are beloved by chefs. But Page and Dornenburg see a broader need for such a resource, as our society (thank you, Food Network) has seen a revival in basic cooking skills and creativity. Moreover, the variety and breadth of ingredients home cooks have available to them has exploded over the past decade. Past books, for instance, might have talked about ‘mushrooms.’ Now they talk about shitakes and boletes and matsutake and morels. More than recipes, the couple thinks, what people need now is inspiration. They put the book together by compiling a massive database over the course of eight years, deconstructing dishes from the menus of chefs they admired throughout the country. The part I found the most intriguing was their classification system for foods, particularly the concept of the “volume” of an ingredient, something like audibility on a stereo dial. It helped, bringing in these ideas, that their last book dealt with flavor pairings for drinks. ‘There’s so much more of a vocabulary when it comes to wine than when it comes to food,’ Page said. The chefs they interviewed for the book openly shared their secrets, said Page — a nice nod to an overall ‘strong professional commitment in the culinary field to educate the next generation.’ The couple’s previous books have wound up as required reading in culinary schools. During the Seattle trip, their explorations included an event at The Corson Building, had lunch at Quinn’s and dinner at Poppy. I had to ask what they thought of Poppy, and was glad to see it win kudos. ‘We eat out a lot, and we tend to have very jaded palates,’ Page said, but what Traunfeld is doing is ‘extraordinary.’ We had this conversation, by the way, at Trophy, not too far from their guest spot that morning on KUOW. Does chocolate cake pair well with chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles? The answer was a unanimous yes.”

—Rebekah Denn, columnist, SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER (October 6, 2008)

“Meet the Chef: Bob Kulow. Age: 30. Chef at: Tipsy Cow, 102 King St. How long have you been at the restaurant? I have been at the Tipsy Cow since it started as King and Mane two years ago…Favorite cookbook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page [and Andrew Dornenburg].”

—Samara Kalk Derby, Wisconsin State Journal on MADISON.COM (April 14, 2012)

“[THE FLAVOR BIBLE] is the book every cook should have, especially Southerners who like to prepare meals by instinct and love.”

—Loraine Despres, author, The Scandalous Summer of Sissy LeBlanc and The Southern Belle’s Handbook

“Blogger Spotlight: Laura Wright’s healthy recipe blog The First Mess. Q. You say in your bio that you have a staggering number of cookbooks. Which do you use most often? What are you newly excited about? A. The ones that get serious play would be THE FLAVOR BIBLE, Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, and River Cottage Veg.”

—Kristin Donnelly, Food & Wine (November 12, 2013)

“2 essential books for modern chefs: CULINARY ARTISTRY, and THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Tom Doyle, head chef, Bijou Rathgar in Dublin, Ireland, via @DOYLECHEF on Twitter (April 30, 2012)

“[Editor’s Note: when our writer attended the Boulder’s Best Mixology contest several weeks ago, he took issue with how innovative he found Salt’s winning cocktail. in response, Matthew and Christy were invited by Salt’s Beverage Director Evan Faber to hear him talk about his vision for drinks and the innovative approaches he is taking to mixing drinks with simple ingredients (not to mention food and music). Here is his followup.] Damn… I didn’t want to, I mean I really didn’t want to fall for this Cocktail Element thing at Salt. It’s a silly gimmick. Create your own drink? That is just the bartender’s way of being lazy. After meeting with Evan Faber, Beverage Director, and Adrian Sutevksi, Bar Manager, at Salt I am now a convert. Shit. We met Evan and Adrian in the basement of Salt where they took us through the drink program…The thought for the drink list originally came to Evan during the ‘Starbucks revolution,’ when people who used to simply make a decision about whether to have room for cream in their coffee were now ordering double-pump, spiced pumpkin macchiatos. If people have gotten sophisticated enough to progress past basic coffee, why wouldn’t it work with cocktails? So, how do you create such a menu? Salt started with what is an essential cookbook, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which helps the home cook understand which flavor profiles work well together, and combined it with ideas about the five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami). The spirit in a drink is just another flavor component to a greater dish, so essentially, you can start pulling together different drink ingredients that are familiar to your palate and taste good together, like you would do for a chicken or scallop dish – just with booze. (e.g.: bourbon + chocolate + coffee + my face = awesome).”

EAT DRINK BOULDER (March 30, 2012)


—Eat Drink Lucky, via

“[One of] My Top 10 Favorite Cookbooks: THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

— (July 22, 2010)

“When it came out in 1996, CULINARY ARTISTRY [by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg] was revolutionary. Ostensibly a multi-format exploration at what makes a great chef, its recipes and brief interviews with 30 or so prominent culinary figures fell by the side next to the book’s extraordinary heart: An alphabetical listing of ingredients, each annotated with the season in which it was best, the smartest ways to prepare it, and — revolutionary — a list of other ingredients with which it plays nice. The chefs who were polled to make the list read like a who’s who of late twentieth century culinaria: Alice Waters, Jasper White, Norman Van Aiken, Jean-Georges Vongerichten. In the preface to the more recent THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which was published late last year, Page and Dornenburg take care to note that while they are playing essentially the same game in this volume, the books are, in fact, more complementary than redundant…For the introspective cook, there’s tremendous wealth to be found in the two short chapters that open THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Using a metaphor of language, the chapters present, respectively, the vocabulary and grammar of food. Explanations of the difference between ‘flavor’ and ‘mouthfeel’ are interspersed with anecdotes, advice, and meditations from current culinary luminaries of all stripes, from New York’s Andrew Carmellini, to Vancouver’s Meeru Dhalwala, to Hoboken’s Maricel Presilla…The real question is whether this system works for you — can you read a list of flavors and start making dishes in your head? Will this litany of flavor pairings send you off reeling into culinary ecstasy?…For those who are already fluent in the metaphorical culinary language, this could be a peerless launching point.”

—EATMEDAILY.COM (March 19, 2009)

“The Top-Selling Cookbooks of 2009: 12) THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg….”

—ECOOKBOOKS.COM (December 2009)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: Taking eight years to pull together, these two award-winning authors have penned a groundbreaking culinary reference invaluable to home cooks and professional chefs alike. Filled with thousands of entries the book provides a virtual goldmine of spectacular flavor combinations for meat, seafood, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, and much more. There’s nothing else out there to match it, so pick up a copy and take your flavor combinations to a whole new level!”

—Jeremy Emmerson, GLOBALCHEFS.COM (October 2008)

“I’ll probably burn in hell for this, but I’ll admit it anyway. Food is my religion. On a recent girls’ weekend I hosted at the beach, we discussed those things which make us truly happy in life. For me, cooking is almost spiritual in its ability to soothe and calm, to heal and help me find inner peace. That’s why it seems especially fitting that my newest favorite kitchen book is called THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”


“The Chart: Best-Sellers: Food Books Top 20. Recession emptying out your wallet? Cook at home! Here’s the latest best-seller list from Kitchen Arts & Letters….8) THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”

Entertainment Weekly (November 7, 2008)

” I had relegated ‘Meat in a Pot’ to the culinary scrap heat until a recent weekend. As snow fell steadily and HRH (my handsome Russian husband) did his best ‘ pechushnik’ routine in front of the flat screen, I found myself with the basic ingredients for ‘Meat in a Pot.’ Since I love a culinary challenge, I set out to see what I could do to make this Russian classic a little more palatable. A little research in THE FLAVOR BIBLE, a rummage through the spice rack, and a little fiddling with the ingredient preparation and the results are tasty enough to appease even the grouchiest domovoi lurking in your stove.”

—Jennifer Eremeeva, RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES (March 30, 2012)

“When I’m out of ideas, I turn to one of my favorite volumes of food porn: THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which is also available on Kindle. In it, authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg provide suitable flavor pairings for every conceivable food group. Whether you are rooting around the refrigerator to club together a Monday supper, or experimenting with a complicated dish, THE FLAVOR BIBLE provides expert guidance and liberating ideas!”

—Jennifer Eremeeva, creator and curator, MOSCOVORE.COM ‘Culinary Adventures in the Russian Capital’ (September 27, 2012)

“Chef Jason Bauer runs the kitchen at Bauer’s Brauhaus in Palatine where he makes his own sausages and cooks German fare with local ingredients….Do you have a favorite cookbook? I have so many cookbooks that it’s difficult to pick one, but my most valuable one is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. I love this book; it’s more of a reference than anything else. It lists every ingredient you can think of, and tells you what it pairs well with. It’s a must-have.”

—Sally Eyre, CHICAGO DAILY HERALD (September 26, 2011)

“It need not be said that the Joy of Cooking or Mastering the Art of French Cooking are indispensible books to have around, but once a home cook or simple food enthusiast has these standbys, what books make great gifts? This guide to cookbooks as gifts focuses on the best books of the past few years as well as some modern classics and pinpoints the perfect present for the baker, the trend-watcher, and the first-time cook….Best Books of 2008 and Trendy Favorites: For the most organized chef, the recently released FLAVOR BIBLE (Little, Brown, & Co., 2008, ISBN 0316118400) is a must-have item, making ingredient pairing all the more simple.”

—Judith Faucette, SUITE101.COM (November 29, 2008)

“Great cooking goes beyond following a recipe: It is knowing how to season ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them. The authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE have talked with dozens of America’s leading chefs to discover their secrets of creating deliciousness in any dish….First of all I want to talk about this extraordinary accomplishment that the two of you have created in writing THE FLAVOR BIBLEIt’s really unlike any other cookbook I’ve ever seen.”

—Jean Feraca, host, HERE ON EARTH on Wisconsin Public Radio (December 12, 2008)

“Meandering through the mouth-watering pages of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. On today’s show we speak with the co-authors of (and the married couple behind) a wonderful new book called THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs…. My guests today are Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg…the authors of a number of acclaimed cookbooks and food-oriented books including WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. Their latest book is a must for home chefs and devoted foodies. It draws upon the thesaurus as an inspiration, cross-referencing foods and spices and all their complements. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is really the ultimate look at how foods pair together…For people who love to dabble in the kitchen…and love to experiment, this is the perfect book for them.”

—Rich Fisher, host, STUDIO TULSA, KWGS / Public Radio Tulsa (February 17, 2009)

Top [11] Cookbooks of 2008: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Company) $35.00. Brought to you by the award-winning duo that created BECOMING A CHEF and CULINARY ARTISTRY, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a comprehensive reference on the essence of flavors and flavor combinations. The third chapter is the meat of the book, comprised of ‘The Charts’: 600-plus entries about ingredients and regional cuisines (with lists of complementary flavors or typical ingredients). Each entry has its own list of characteristics, common flavor combinations, function, affinities, avoidances, and so on. This self-dubbed bible is meant to be just that: a philosophical and practical guide to cooking based on chef-inspired flavor combinations rather than regional ones. Blurbs from famed chefs regarding their fondness for particular flavors and lists of particular dishes are sprinkled throughout. As CULINARY ARTISTRY defined the classical combinations that chefs employ, THE FLAVOR BIBLE reinvents these combinations and provides a jumping-off point for new flavor ventures.”

—Lynley Fleak, JJ Proville, and Heather Sperling, STARCHEFS.COM (December 13, 2008)

“Christmas and books go together like lamb and chile peppers, allspice and beef, anchovies and lemon, angelica and cream, and Dornenburg and Page. If you have doubt, then picking up two copies — one for your library and one as a gift of the culinary duo’s latest tome, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, will reassure your beliefs that great things go hand in hand. For fans of the duo — and there are many — THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a gift that adds flavor to every cookbook shelf. Billed as ‘the essential guide to culinary creativity, based on the wisdom of America’s most imaginative chefs’ the pages guide the reader through a pairing of ingredients that assist and add to any culinary artist’s creativity. Developing a repertoire of food and flavors is not an easy task. And, although most chefs believe they have the ability to meld and fold ingredients together it takes more than a dash of this and a dollop of that to truly create a palate pleasing plate. Of course we all think our food is some of the most flavorful on the planet or at least the menu, but do the majority of us really have the ability to decide if garlic and cinnamon compliment each other when sprinkled on carrots? THE FLAVOR BIBLE answers these questions. Don’t think this is a cookbook. It’s not. However, it definitely helps lay the groundwork and foundation for a creative vision that so many of us seek.  Dornenburg and Page have managed to include tips and trivialities that some would consider secrets from the worlds most renowned culinary artists. The duo summoned contributions and advice from a list of experts from the world over. Jose Andres, Meeru Dhalwala, Michel Richard, and Eric Ripert are only a few of the names that grace these pages. With Christmas less than a week away, this is the perfect gift for anyone in your kitchen. But more importantly, the book should be read as it not only spurns the creative juices but will also offer a new outlook on your future. At a time when we are all under unbelievable pressure, it’s not that bad to take this book, scan the pages, pick a section, read it and then let your mind wander. A vision appears with a new menu for the New Year. Flavors are impact full: dishes dance with ingredients your customers never imagined possible in your restaurant. Suddenly the colors come together and the plate again becomes a canvass. The techniques you have quickly learned and the combinations make the marriage of salt and pepper look like a mundane relationship. You are out of the rut. Your menu changes between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The New Year looks brighter. All because of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Buy it. Read it religiously.”

—John Foley, ALLBUSINESS.COM (December 19, 2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Sublime Combination! Now it is here, the book you did not know existed! Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written the book on all the (relatively) the sublime combinations you can cooking. The two writers have had a chat with America’s top chefs and made a short overview of what fits into your cooking. I bought this book just 4 months ago and has now almost been good night reading and a dear friend. I love to compose new dishes and flavor combinations to find good when I cook food. In these moments, THE FLAVOR BIBLE was the first counselor at the same time it is also a huge help, the evenings you are unimaginative and considering whether pepper tastes good with lemon. The book is basically structured as an encyclopedia / dictionary and it requires little habituation. Each ingredient has a corresponding list of other ingredients that match this….It is easy to navigate through the book. In between are small boxes with either descriptions of classical European dishes with an ingredient, as well as various restaurants specialties. All in all, this one, in my opinion, indispensable book for you who are curious and do not always need to follow a recipe 100%. Because there are no recipes in THE FLAVOR BIBLE, this is certainly an important information for many, but let you not deter, it may be more fun than you think! Let your imagination have free rein, after a consultation in THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—FOODFAN.DK (Denmark Food Blog; auto-translated by Google) (January 31, 2009)

“Just Add Flavor….File this one under ‘Why Didn’t I Think of That?’ I just picked up a copy of the new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE: An Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew DornenbUrg (Little, Brown). It’s all about how to combine different flavors to come up with an incredible dish. The innovative advice, as the title states, comes from top-notch chefs. But what I think is so GENIUS about this book is that you can look up just about any food item and find a laundry list of flavor pairing suggestions, pairings that you know will work (read: no more winging it in the kitchen, with unsavory results). Here’s just a few I came across today: Black-Eyed Peas: suggestions range from cardamom and cayenne to garam masala to fresh ginger. Salmon: suggestions range from juniper berries and mangoes to Champagne and white miso. Just about every type of cuisine is covered. They even tell you how to use some of those specialty food items like Five-Spice Powder and Piquillo Peppers you might have hugging the sidelines in your pantry. This book is a library-must-add for any cook who likes to improvise.”

—FOOD LOVERS LIKE ME (September 19, 2008)

“2013 Best New Chef Award Profile: David Bull, F&W Star Chef. Restaurant: Congress (Austin)….Q. What’s your favorite cookbook of all time? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE, because it reads how I cook. I use it as a reference point to identify seasonality and the natural progression of flavor combinations, and I appreciate the insights from other chefs and menus.”

— (August 12, 2013)

“Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger, 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chef Award Profile: Won Best New Chef at: The Catbird Seat, Nashville. Born: (EA) 1972; Downers Grove, IL. (JH) 1979; St. Joseph, Minnesota…Dream app: (JH) “I’ve always thought they should turn THE FLAVOR BIBLE [by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg] into an app.”

FOOD & WINE (April 4, 2012)

The Best Cocktail Books: Bartenders Pick Their Favorites: Welcome to the Eater Library, a new column in which Eater gets experts in their field to recommend the best guides to their craft. First up, in honor of Cocktail Week, bartenders discuss their favorite cocktail references. Some are traditional cocktail books, but others get a little more creative with their recommendations. How about Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking for understanding how aromas play in cocktails? Or Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg’s FLAVOR BIBLE for discovering new taste combinations? Below, bartenders from Charleston to Portland and all points in between share the texts of their trade…Hallie Arnold, The Grocery, Charleston, South Carolina: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: It’s a matchmaking flavor reference that helps me find what is compatible with just about any ingredient. I particularly like the easy to follow approach the authors took to listing the flavor affinities. It’s fun to discover a flavor component to take a cocktail to another level.”

—Paula Forbes, (October 30, 2013)

“[Chef Timothy Hollingsworth] also treated himself to a copy of the new work by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which brought back memories…When he first moved up from commis to cook at The French Laundry, John Fraser (today the executive chef of Dovetail in New York City) had recommended that he read one of the authors’ earlier collaborations, CULINARY ARTISTRY. The book features extensive lists of ingredients and other foods they get along with. Hollingsworth, who was then starting to participate in those nightly menu meetings, spent his wee hours studying those lists so that he’d look like he knew what he was doing in the meetings when fellow cooks with finely honored palates and improvisational talent turned to him and said, ‘What to you want to run?’….Hollingsworth broke out his copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE, the new book by Dornenburg and Page, whose earlier CULINARY ARTISTRY had gotten him through those menu meetings during his formative years at The French Laundry. He thumbed it to death that night, looking up possible accompaniments for caviar, for cod, for scallops, and for any number of ingredients, both assigned and elective, that he had been grappling with. He stayed up until three in the morning like that, filling his head with new ideas, sketching them in his notebook, getting ready for the next day, a day in which — if nothing else — he would cook from the heart.”

—Andrew Friedman, Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition (pp. 131 and 143-144) (December 1, 2009)

The Only Bible I Need…..If you’re still trying to figure out what to get the foodie on your list, and you couldn’t find something here or here, may I suggest to you the anti-cookbook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Here’s one of my favorite excerpts, and I’m not even kidding, I actually took a highlighter to the page to capture this: ‘Slavish followers of recipes, who treat them as gospel instead of guidelines, make the mistake of putting more faith in someone else’s instructions than they do in themselves. Many people would do better in the kitchen if they didn’t blindly follow recipes. In fact, following recipes may be holding you back from achieving your potential as a cook.’ Let me explain. This is clearly not a conventional cookbook, it’s more about theory and concepts and lists. Lots of lists. First, it defines flavor and teaches how to build a dish around different aspects, such as: taste, mouthfeel, aroma, and the elusive ‘X factor.’ The book is also filled with interviews from different chefs from around the country (and Canada) about how they conceptualize a dish, how they develop flavors, how they execute the final product. But it’s all in story format. No recipes. No measurements. And then come the lists. Starting with achiote seeds and ending with zucchini blossoms, authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg list every single food product available and then name all of the other ingredients that could possibly be paired with the starting ingredient. Each ingredient is also defined by its season, taste, weight, best cooking technique and flavor affinities….I have found the book captivating, especially reading about all those molecular gastronomy scientists and their take on how to create unique, yet familiar food. In fact, I wish the book was more about chefs’ theories and less lists. (Does anyone know about a book like that out there? I still 5 days of Chanukah left!) So if you’re into the ES paradigm of food, you will totally enjoy this new bible.”

—Stefanie Gans, ENDLESSSIMMER.COM (December 24, 2008)

“How can understanding flavor enhance your eating experience? It is probably one of the most overused and misunderstood words in food and cooking because it is open to so many interpretations. It is often confused with taste, but taste and flavor are not the same things. Taste is actually a component of flavor. According to THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, flavor equals taste, plus mouthfeel, plus aroma and another element called the X factor. This book, which was published in 2008, is required reading in many culinary programs and serves as an essential guide to deciphering flavors, building recipes and creating flavor profiles.”

—Christine Gardner, TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH (August 1, 2012)

“San Franciscans have Jon Gasparini to thank for the city’s cocktail revolution. Opening 15 Romolo in 1998, he was ahead of the artisan cocktail curve, using local ingredients and homemade tinctures long before the word “mixology” entered the modern SF vocabulary. Spreading his perfectly crafted drinks to more neighborhoods with Rosewood and Rye, he expanded his empire even further with Rye On The Road bespoke cocktail catering (a Sosh event favorite) in 2007. While you anxiously await the opening of his new bar concept in 2013, check out his favorite places to eat, drink and be merry. Q. Where do you get your inspiration for an exciting new cocktail? A. I love starting with cookbooks. THE FLAVOR BIBLE and CULINARY ARTISTRY are great sources for simple flavor pairings and recipe ideas. Then off to the bars!”

—Jon Gasparini, as told to THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK / SOSH.COM (November 8, 2012)

FLAVOR BIBLE, Alinea Book, A Day at El Bulli & Charcuterie. I am soon to be beset with innovative ideas from four new books (three just published). Each will be deserving of reviews in their own right, but the thirst for knowledge and desire to explore have preempted me from doing so just yet, I’m now surprisingly optimistic about actually preparing several Alinea dishes. A few first impressions: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: Erudite, magnanimous, chaulked with years of inspiration.”


“Culinary Creativity from Julia Child and James Beard 2.0! Karen Page is a Harvard MBA and the former chairperson of the Harvard Business School Women’s Alumni Association. Andrew Dornenburg, is a world class chef who cooked with Anne Rosenzweig at Arcadia. Together, they are the James Beard Award-winning authors of BECOMING A CHEF and 8 other outstanding books on food and wine. Their 2006 release WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT has become the definitive guide to food and wine pairing…Now, they’ve released a new book that is a must have for everyone who takes a creative approach to culinary enjoyment: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. Page and Dornenburg have created a masterpiece that legendary food critic Gael Greene calls, ‘A gospel…A wealth of inspiration…’ As the authors explain: ‘Cuisine is undergoing a startling historic transformation: With the advent of the global availability of ingredients, dishes are no longer based on geography but on flavor. This radical shift calls for a new approach to cooking — as well as a new genre of “cookbook” that serves not to document classic dishes via recipes, but to inspire the creation of new ones focused on imaginative and harmonious flavor combinations.’ Page and Dornenburg also write one of the most informative and engaging food/wine blogs on the planet. Check it out:”

—Michael Gelb, New York Times bestselling author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, Discover Your Genius, Innovate Like Edison, et al, (February 2, 2009)

“Georgia School Nutrition Foundation
2012 Managers’ Retreat & Training
October 4-5, 2012
Simpsonwood Retreat – Norcross, GA
What: Partial scholarships available for an outstanding Professional Development workshop designed just for school nutrition managers/ assistant managers.
Why: Georgia School Nutrition Association, the professional organization for School Nutrition staff, is making scholarship money available through its Foundation to benefit local school nutrition managers. This training will focus specifically on the needs of the manager/asst. manager.At the end of this session, participants will be able to…5. understand handling and storing of fresh herbs and spices. 6. identify flavors of fresh herbs and spices utilizing taste and smell. 7. identify appropriate food and seasoning (flavor) combinations of fresh herbs and spices based on THE FLAVOR BIBLE*. 8. develop a flavor profile for jicama sticks using lime juice, chili powder, and fresh cilantro. *Each district will receive one copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Winner of the 2009 James Beard Book Award for Best Book: Reference and Scholarship.”


“Our guests today are two of North America’s most imaginative cookbook authors: Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, whose new book is THE FLAVOR BIBLE…It’s a strong candidate for our annual Top 10 list, which will be announced December 8th….Every chef should have a copy of this book.”

—Anthony Gismondi and Kasey Wilson, hosts, ‘Tony and Kasey’s Buzz on Food and Wine,’ CFUN Radio (November 22, 2008)

“There has been a changing of the guard at Rustica in Fashion Island. Grant MacPherson left the kitchen sometime last November, leaving it to the very capable hands of his chef de cuisine, Renieri Caceres, who, like his predecessor, came from Sin City. Executive chef Caceres has been everywhere — more places than I care to list here — and could, if he wanted to, name drop the people he has worked with like he sprinkles parmesan. Among them: Gordon Ramsey in England, Georges Blanc in France, Martin Berasategiu in Spain and Michael Mina in the States….Favorite cookbooks: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. If every aspiring chef had one, the world be full of flavor. It gives you all the varietal of your flavor profiles without taking away your creativity. I can spend hours flipping through it.”

—Edwin Goei, OC Weekly (February 1, 2011)

“Just in time for holidays, top chefs release tomes. Despite a job market that’s floundering, cookbook writers are prolific as ever. Recent weeks have seen an influx of new titles on the market, from well-known chefs and authors. With people returning to the kitchen to save money, these recipe and reference books make ideal gifts for the holiday season. Here are some top choices: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Company, 384 pages, $35). Every serious cook will keep going back to this reference book, which charts flavor affinities and pairings in great detail. Learn that goat cheese pairs especially well with cherries and thyme, and get ideas from chefs around the country for complete dishes.”

—Amanda Gold, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (December 3, 2008)

“We asked Ellen Rose from the Cook’s Library for her complete list of must-have food books. Here’s what she wrote: ‘When KCRW invited me to post a list of my favorite books I had to have some criterion since I have thousands of cookbooks. I decided to go through my books and pick the ones [19 in total] that are falling apart, pages stuck together, comments written all over the pages, and spotted with food — all from years of use. For reference I love: 1. The New Food Lover’s Companion by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. 2. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”

GOOD FOOD hosted by Evan Kleiman, KCRW Radio / NPR (December 12, 2008)

“I mentioned before that I was infatuated with THE FLAVOR BIBLE, the new book by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. I wasn’t kidding — it’s one of the best cookbooks I’ve ever encountered….”

—’Good Thymes’ Blog, IN GOOD TASTE (October 1, 2008)

“Mixologists have been using the flavor theories of chefs for years to create cocktails and this is especially apparent in many of the ‘culinary cocktails’ that have dotted the cocktail scene as of late. For anyone with an interest in designing specialty cocktails, creating spectacular drink and food pairings, or exploring the realms of flavors and taste in general, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the ultimate resource — a giant thesaurus of flavor that was created by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg….THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a perfect compliment to Page and Dornenburg’s WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and is an essential reference book for anyone interested in advanced flavor pairing….To understand flavor and how different flavors work with one another is essential for the advanced bartender and anyone interested in exploring new cocktails. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the best resource I’ve seen yet that takes the professional experience of taste to the next level of study. ”

—Colleen Graham, COCKTAILS.ABOUT.COM (Holidays 2008)

“Favorite Collectible Cookbooks of 2008. Sorry I’m tardy with my annual list of cookbooks for Incurable Collectors. But since you might be returning the violet hoodie your aunt sent or that striped apron with kitchen tools in the pocket or the two extra copies of the cookbook you told everyone you wanted, you’re likely to have some loose change and credit slips. Possibly having been in consumer lockdown for months, you’re ready for a splurge. This is about books I want to keep even though my shelves are sagging and countless biggies are stacked up as end tables….Since I first recommended THE FLAVOR BIBLE (Little Brown $35) by my prolific award-winning food writer friends Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, this encyclopedia of flavor pairings has captured rave reviews and climbed the charts. Both pros and home cooks like the idea of using these provocative flavor pairings to cook without recipes. Chestnuts? Chestnut spice cake and marscapone. Chestnut semifreddo with candied chestnuts and pear. Chestnuts and Brussels sprouts. Chestnuts and figs. That’s how it goes, often in the voice of some celebrated chef’s musing. It comes with the same curiosity and passionate tasting the two writers put into their IACP award-winning Britannica of food and wine pairing WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, recently reissued by Bulfinch Press $35.”

—Gael Greene, INSATIABLE-CRITIC.COM (December 26, 2008)

“Chef Michael White is the executive chef and owner of Marea. Osteria Morini, and Ai Fiori, three of Manhattan’s finest restaurants. Marea is the star of the crown, with its seafood-based menu hauling in two stars from the Michelin Guide. Jared Gadbaw is chef de cuisine of Marea….Q. What book most influences your food, cookbook or otherwise? Jared Gadbaw: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page.”

—Marissa Guggiana, OFF THE MENU: Staff Meals from America’s Top Restaurants (October 11, 2011)

The 9 Books You Need In Your Kitchen: 1) Joy of Cooking. 2) THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is on the bookshelf of many a chef. It has comprehensive listings of almost every ingredient and which other ingredients they pair with. With examples of dishes from acclaimed chefs, The Flavor Bible is the book to reach for if you need to whip up a dish using your impulse buys from the farmers market….5) WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. Another must-have from the husband-and-wife team that brought us THE FLAVOR BIBLE, this volume demystifies wine for the home cook and professional alike. It has pairings for anything you could think of and serving and storage tips as well. The next best thing to having your own sommelier.”

—Joe Hafner, ‘Word of Mouth’ columnist, NOOZHAWK.COM (May 30, 2013)

“Interns use skills to build a better — and more creative — taco: The Phipps high school interns learned how to build a better taco last week, in class at the garden center, Shadyside. Preaching from this year’s go-to cookbook, THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, teacher-cooks Kelsey Weisgerber and Will Groves outlined flavor profiles related to wide-ranging food groups. Mexican tastes were in focus.”

—Nancy Hanst, PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (July 19, 2012)

“Alumni Books….THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page (MBA ’89) and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown & Co.). This guide to creating delicious dishes contains tips, anecdotes, and signature dishes from the most imaginative chefs in the country. Thousands of ingredient entries, organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, provide a wealth of flavor combinations that will teach readers to use ingredients more effectively, experiment with temperature and texture, excite the nose and palate, and balance all elements of an extraordinary meal.”


“Tony Panetta, Executive Chef at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Shares His Food Favorites, from Cookbooks to Restaurants…FAVOURITE COOKBOOK: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”


“Organic farm allows work for weekly veggie shares….Bryan Irwin, 32, lives near the farm and decided to buy a worker share after he was laid off in April from his engineering job with an automotive supplier. ‘I’m interested in locally grown food and reducing my carbon footprint,’ he said. ‘And since I’m unemployed, I have nothing but time on my hands.’ Irwin said he’s learned a lot about vegetables. ‘This has changed the way I eat,’ he said. ‘The food is so fresh and good, and hopefully it’s something I can sustain once the season is over.’ He said he likes to sauté and grill the vegetables. He’s picked up several cooking ideas from THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co., 2008, $35). ‘A couple of weeks ago, we got kohlrabi, and the book said it’s seasoned well with dill and goes well with potatoes and Parmesan cheese,’ Irwin said. ‘So that’s what we did with it, and it was great.'”

—Karen Herzog, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (August 1, 2009)

“Q&A with cookbook author and celeb chef Daisy Martinez: Q: A couple of cookbooks you use most often? A. My Escoffier cookbook that I bought when I was in culinary school. That has all my basic techniques. Another go-to book is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, because [they] do an excellent, excellent job of pairing flavors together. And once you get those balances in your head you can come up with masterpieces on a plate.”

—Judy Hevrdejs, RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER (June 19, 2012)

“ON THE BOOKSHELF: Pumping up and pairing up flavor: Many people think the secret to great cooking is mastery of technique. It helps, but it’s hardly crucial. The key to cooking that tempts and satisfies, that brings people to the table, then brings them back for more, is understanding flavors and how they work together. And while a culinary degree certainly helps one understand this, more important is a willingness to try new foods, as well as old foods in new combinations. Now there is a book to help you take that flavorful trip. Flavor masters Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have compiled an encyclopedic primer to flavor. Their just-released THE FLAVOR BIBLE not only explains what foods taste like, but also offers exhaustive lists of flavor pairings for each. They suggest mascarpone, for example, goes nicely with almonds, ladyfingers and peaches, among many other options. They also suggest pairings to avoid, such as maple syrup and brown sugar (too intense). The first two sections of the book explain how flavor works and offer advice from chefs and others about how they pair various flavors to create great recipes. It’s one of the rare cookbooks without recipes that everyone should learn to cook from.”

—J.M. Hirsch, AP Food Editor, The Associated Press (September 5, 2008)

“When culinary luminaries Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page are in town to promote their new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, it seems appropriate to have lunch at an old testament to Chicago dining….Old Grease and Bug Spray are two items you will not find in THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Little Brown, $35). Think of it as a Baseball Encyclopedia for foodies. Need to know something about Brussel sprouts? You look it up in the 380-page FLAVOR BIBLE. I never knew oregano was a botanical relative of marjoram, but there it is in black and white in the book, between maple syrup and mascarpone….”

—Dave Hoekstra, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES (October 1, 2008)

“Bookshelf: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Is this something new? A chef who cooks, a spouse who writes….Couple of times this pre-holiday season we’ve seen this (welcome) phenomenon.  First, there’s chef Andrew Dornenburg and his wife and longtime collaborator, the writer Karen Page. Over they years they’ve developed a giant culinary database along with an easily understood style of presenting complex information (charts, interviews and such). Starting with BECOMING A CHEF and CULINARY ARTISTRY, both very popular with kitchen pros, they won a prestigious award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. With this season’s THE FLAVOR BIBLE, they’ve confirmed their position as masters of the gustatory universe. For each conceivable ingredient (caviar, cayenne, celery) they assign a season, a taste, a flavor ‘weight,’ a flavor ‘volume,’ a function, flavor affinities, and assorted techniques and tips, along with a shopping list of related foods and cuisines. (Caviar: Russian cuisine, Champagne; Cayenne: avoid caviar). Page and Dornenburg quote several dozen top chefs in the course of their 375 page volume; Holly Smith (of Café Juanita) and Jerry Traunfeld (of Poppy) are the two locals.”

—Ronald Holden, The Examiner (November 19, 2008)

“We love all your books.”

—Matt Holloway and Michelle Davis, hosts of, which is giving away copies of THE FLAVOR BIBLE as prizes, via Twitter

“Parlor Market’s Star Chef Tells All: A question I’m typically asked is ‘How do you come up with this stuff?’ Well, here is where I find inspiration, my ‘secret weapons,’ if you will. Any one of these tips will help you to become a bigger food nerd, too….Cookbooks are extremely important to me. I own well over a hundred in my personal library, and since I haven’t had the opportunity to travel and eat at as many restaurants as I would like, I often bury my nose in them looking for new recipes and techniques I’ve never tried before. One of the most important cookbooks I own is THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Little Brown & Co., 2008, $35). I really think that every chef and foodie in the country should own one of these. It has won a James Beard Foundation award, with good reason. Essentially, the authors list almost every ingredient you can imagine, include other ingredients that pair well, and give you examples of where these ingredients have shown up on famous chefs’ menus, tips on how to cook them and methods to use to best highlight the flavors of the ingredient. I consult this book religiously when coming up with dishes that will have a place on the regular menu.”

—Jesse Houston, Parlor Market Chef de Cuisine and new Jackson Free Press cooking columnist, JACKSON FREE PRESS (April 11, 2012)

“Renowned mixologist Kristen Schaefer sure is passionate, and not only about punch. Like a crazed chemist, she loves to mix and match flavors — a twist here and a splash there — until she comes up with a one-of-a-kind concoction. She notes that top-of-the-line ingredients are key. ‘Just like a chef, I have to balance flavors,’ she says. ‘They use fire to cook; I use ice.’ Schaefer recently stopped by Arlington Wines & Liquors in Poughkeepsie and got a warm reception: ‘They said, ‘Oh, we remember you. You’re the one who used to buy all those weird things.’ I just love to experiment.’ And she’ll do it anywhere. ‘I never travel without my FLAVOR BIBLE and my knife kit.’”

HUDSON VALLEY magazine (July 2012)

Things I Love: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is one of those books you plan to keep on your bookshelf alongside all of your other cookbooks, but it never makes it there. You take it with you into the family room to browse while watching television, then grab it on your way up to bed to read before you go to sleep. It makes its way down to the kitchen with you in the morning where you flip while sipping coffee, then remains there through each of your three meals as a source of inspiration. You even find yourself searching for the page listing “peanut butter” when making a simple PB&J sandwich. Yeah, it’s that inspirational. I love cookbooks, but this is not a cookbook. It’s like the DNA where all cookbooks must come from. There are no recipes in the book. It is pure inspiration. Use this to revive the recipes you already make. You may find that a certain spice, herb or ingredient will enhance the dish and create something completely different. Use it to create new recipes that combine flavors you may have never thought of. If you love cooking, you will find this book is genius! It makes cooking so much fun!

—Caroline Hurley, TASTELOVEANDNOURISH.COM (February 5, 2013)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is named one of the “50 Cookbooks Your Kitchen Wants” (along with classics like Joy of Cooking, Escoffier, and Larousse Gastronomique).

—Indigo / Chapters (the Barnes & Noble of Canada) (October 2013)

What the King James Bible is to Christians, What the Koran is to Muslims, Is what THE FLAVOR BIBLE is to Chefs.”

—@ChefDerekJames, via TWITTER (October 8, 2012)

“It’s time once again, ladies and gentlemen, for the holiday tradition that is the Liquor Snob Holiday Gift Guide. If you’re wondering what to buy for the boozer, sot, or lush of your life, fret no more, because we’re gonna hook you up. It’s time once again, ladies and gentlemen, for the holiday tradition that is the Liquor Snob Holiday Gift guide. If you’re wondering what to buy for the boozer, sot, or lush of your life, fret no more, because we’re gonna hook you up….THE FLAVOR BIBLE and WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT are tied as our favorite cocktail creation / cookbooks of 2009. Highly recommended.”

—Jake Jamieson, editor-in-chief, LIQUORSNOB.COM (November 20, 2009)

“Daniel Boulud takes his Halloween costumes as seriously as he takes his four-star cuisine. The chef was decked out in a red-hot racing suit loaned to him by Michael Schumacher, the seven-time Formula 1 champion, at an after-hours party in Restaurant Daniel’s ‘spooky’ lower-level prep kitchen. Other revelers celebrating the publication of THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg included chefs David Burke (as the Joker) and Balthazar’s Riad Nasr with his face painted. Daisy May’s BBQ chef Adam Perry Lang and ‘Top Chef’ winner Hung Huynh donned wigs, while Drew Nieporent wrapped a life-like snake around his neck. But Baroness Sheri DeBorchgrave stole the show as a buxom, transgendered spider whose ‘male gender’ kept falling out of her fishnet stockings.”

—Richard Johnson, Page Six, NEW YORK POST (November 5, 2008)

“Interview with ‘Clean Cooking Mama’ Tiffany of The Gracious Pantry: Q. Where do you turn for cooking inspiration? A. Honestly, my inspiration comes from desperation. It’s that never-ending question: ‘What’s for dinner, Mom?’ that gets me every time. And when I’m truly stuck, I use THE FLAVOR BIBLE. I don’t think I could produce the number of recipes that I do without it. It’s an amazing book.”

—Heather K. Jones, author / dietitian (June 14, 2012)

“Craft barman Samir Osman returned to his native Nashville earlier this year after stints in New York City, New Orleans and San Francisco….Q. What are your favorites in the following categories: tool, ingredient, book? … As far as related books go, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an absolute must. You can look up any ingredient or flavor, and it gives you all the other possibilities that pair well with it. It’s technically a cookbook, but it applies just as well to drinks.”

—Jennifer Justus, THE TENNESSEAN (November 20, 2012)

This is the book that heightened my food-ingredient consciousness, amplified my kitchen courage, and ended my dependence on cookbooks. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg goes considerably beyond a culinary guide — it ascends into the domain of indispensable reference. This book does more than list flavor affinities; it captures the authors’ meta-perceptiveness of food flavors, textures, and techniques….I’ve cooked black-eyed peas for more than 20 years, but when I wanted to make a more exotic dish, I turned to THE FLAVOR BIBLE to help me achieve my culinary goal. I consulted the Flavor Matchmaking section for black-eyed peas. In bold capital letters are the words GREENS and HAM HOCKS, which signals popular, tried-and-true flavor affinities for black-eyed peas. I also saw that turmeric and carrots were among the ingredients that offered a flavor affinity for black-eyed peas as well. I added these ingredients to my peas and created a new dish. Besides flavor affinities, the authors helped me to understand season, weight and volume as important factors for meal planning. Shrimp that I grill and place atop a light, fresh salad in July will be simmered in November for gumbo because then I will crave food with more weight. I’m learning that certain foods which are light in volume (fish, tofu, shrimp) are best matched with lighter ingredients and cooking techniques. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is my invaluable reference for finding flavors (and wines) that match. I still use cookbooks, but I’m not tethered to them as I once was — thanks to THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Alaiyo Kiasi-Barnes, PESCETARIAN JOURNAL (July 8, 2012)

“Heidi Swanson had a massive number of cookbooks, a little extra time on her hands and a passion for eating healthy. Working her way through her cookbook collection one recipe at a time, in 2003 Swanson created the recipe journal Today, she has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook….Q. Are there cookbooks you rely on? A. The cookbooks I keep close at hand are classics. I really love books that are mindful about design as well, where the photography or layout is remarkable. On my site, I list cookbooks and (more than a dozen) favorites (including) THE FLAVOR BIBLE, Nigel Slater’s Appetite and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook.”

—Kristine M. Kierzek, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL (July 28, 2009)

“25 Questions for Michael M. O’Connor (chef of Vic & Anthony’s in Houston): RIA: List your three favorite cookbooks.
O’Connor: Three favorites: the ones I reach to all the time for inspiration when I don’t know what I want to cook. The Kitchen Sessions series by Charlie Trotter, Bouchon and Modern Mexican Flavors. More than anything though, I reach for my copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE when I need to ‘think.’ That book never fails to get the juices flowing even though I might not end up with a dish remotely resembling the idea I started with.”

—Matt Kirouac, Restaurant Intelligence Agency (September 25, 2012)

“25 Questions for Phillip Foss of EL Ideas: We all know Phillip Foss (EL Ideas, Chicago) is full of grand culinary ideas. But he wasn’t born that way. As a kid, food was just fuel for him, but thanks in part to his jobs scooping ice cream and frying fish, food took on new meaning. Soon, he was solidifying his own culinary philosophies and inspirations, and embarking on his own unique career. Here, Foss shares all the details: RIA: Who and what have been the most influential authors and books for you, and how? Foss: …Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is our number one go-to at EL Ideas.”

—Matt Kirouac, Restaurant Intelligence Agency (August 25, 2012)

“Since the appearance of THE FLAVOR BIBLE in 2008, that book has become persistently popular among our customers who develop their own dishes, professional and home cooks alike. As a guide to pairing ingredients and seasonings, it has no real peer.

—Kitchen Arts & Letters in New York City

“Feeling the pinch of the economic crisis whenever you start to plan a meal? Buying a slew of ingredients for each recipe can really take a toll on a grocery budget. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE, are here to help us learn to eat from our pantry and to make do with what we already have in the house….I thank both of you for coming up with such a great resource. It’s really quite wonderful….Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page have written extensively on food and wine. They have four award-winning books including THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. I chose this book to be in the KCRW Cookbook Club for Angels [whose members receive five hand-picked cookbooks annually].”

—Evan Kleiman, host, ‘Good Food’ on KCRW – Los Angeles (NPR) (January 10, 2009)

“Marie Perriello knows her way around a bar. Over the last 10 years, she’s bartended at a private golf club and a high-volume nightclub, as well as cutting-edge restaurants Nine on Nine and Meat & Potatoes. She’s travelled to New York and Paris to hone her craft, and has worked with Pittsburgh bars on creating drink menus…She even looks to THE FLAVOR BIBLE, a book popular with chefs, when she creates new cocktails. ‘It’s all about balancing flavors,’ she says. ‘Anything you can put into a dish, you can also put into a cocktail.'”

—Hal B. Klein, PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER (November 21, 2012)

“I love to eat out but I do not like to cook. Yet, THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg could actually cause me to become a chef at home, something my husband never dreamed possible. First of all, the book is beautiful — you want to touch the pages of exquisite photos and then you want your food and drink to look just this beautiful….I have already ordered numerous copies to give as gifts and each person who has been lucky enough to receive it says they could not live without it.”

—Rikki Klieman, The Buzz Board: Smart People Recommend, Tina Brown’s (October 27, 2008)

“Creative, self-motivated cooks who don’t demand recipes’ precise prescriptions will cheer the publication of this guide to the kingdom of taste. Addressing the nature of flavor and its role in cooking, the authors have gathered creativity and wisdom from dozens of the world’s best chefs. Page and Dornenburg define the aesthetic of flavor as a combination of taste, mouthfeel, aroma, and a mysterious factor perceived by the other senses and by the diner’s emotions. They then break down in hundreds of tables how ingredients’ flavors relate to one another. For example, the table for Apples notes their affinity for cinnamon, pork, rum and nuts. They also list the most common ingredients of national cuisines. In some cases, they note clashes, such as oysters and tarragon. This is a valuable reference for all aspiring chefs and sets down in print what has often been believed inexpressible.”

—Mark Knoblauch, Booklist (September 15, 2008)

“Q&A with Eric C. Korn of Good-Life Gourmet in Scarsdale…My Favorite Cookbook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. There are no recipes, just food combinations that work well together.”

—Eric C. Korn, chef of Good-Life Gourmet, WESTCHESTER magazine

“Top Cookbooks of 2008: 2008 may have been a bad year for just about everything else, but it was a great year for cookbooks. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time this many gorgeous, fascinating and downright inspiring books hit the shelves in one year….This year, for the first time, I’ve assembled a list of my favorite books to hit the shelves. My criteria for inclusion were simple: that they have been published in 2008, that they’re worth the precious space they occupy on my living room shelf, and that they get me completely, irrationally excited each time I pick them up. Oh yeah, and that they have really good food inside….THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Are you an improvisational cook? Do you ever stand in front of a fridge full of ingredients and wonder how on earth you might assemble the contents into something edible? Do you dream at night about titillating new flavor combinations? Do you want to better understand the mechanisms of taste and learn how great chefs construct their dishes? If any of these apply to you, you’ll want to have this book on your shelf tomorrow. This is a self-described ‘new breed of cookbook’, one that delivers not recipes, but inspiration. I would call it more of an encyclopedia of taste, cataloging just about every ingredient under the sun and cross-referencing it with other complimentary ingredients, cuisines and cooking characteristics. You’ll learn that fennel pollen is a ‘quiet’ flavor, should be used only to finish a dish, and is complemented by things like fish, lemon and pistachios. You’ll learn that Chilean cuisine typically includes the flavors of corn, cumin, garlic, oregano and raisins. You’ll learn the different flavors and uses of piquillo, guindilla, ñora and choricero peppers in Spain. You’ll even learn how to compose an entire menu around flavor affinities. I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what this book offers, but already I can tell that it’s one of the most useful books I’ve run across in a long time.”

—Melissa Kronenthal, TRAVELERSLUNCHBOX.COM (December 11, 2008)

Favorite Cookbooks: Nourishing Traditions and THE FLAVOR BIBLE are two favorites. The first because of the priceless information and recipes. The second because it sparks my creative juices and helps me find my own voice in my food.”

—Robin Kronie of, as quoted on CHEESESLAVE.COM’S REAL FOOD KITCHEN TOUR (September 11, 2012)

Tip Sheet: Our Top Picks for the Week. Read: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg ($35). This unique cookbook encourages chefs to ditch their recipes and follow their imaginations instead. The book lists thousands of classic as well as offbeat flavor combinations. Look up ‘chicken’ and you get ‘figs, honey, thyme and white wine,’ among dozens of other serving ideas.”

—Anna Kuchment, NEWSWEEK (September 15, 2008)

“The Flavor Matchmakers: Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg. A revolutionary book called THE FLAVOR BIBLE was published five years ago. Its theme was ingredients and their possible uses — both common and classic, or unusual and interesting. A who’s who of chefs in turn suggested pairings to go with each ingredient. Some selections were obvious and some odd — but all worked. More reference than cookbook (there are no reicpes), you need a certain amount of ability and intuition to use it properly. While full of suggestions, it’s up to you to be creative and savvy to extract its full potential. In all, it was ingenious. As co-authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg say, they ‘chronicled new flavor synergies in the new millennium’ — inspiring the cration of new recipes based on imaginative, harmonious combinations. Conceptually, it intrigued me. As a chef always up for a challenge, the fact that you need some chops to best use it appealed to me as well … It ended up winning a James Beard Award and was also named by Forbes magazine as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Accolades abound. THE FLAVOR BIBLE has been called a ‘must have,’ ‘brilliant’ and ‘a masterpiece’ by a litany of culinary titans.”

—Alan Lake, (October 22, 2013)

“9 Famous Foodies to Follow on Twitter. Hungry for some tasty tweets? The culinary community is sweeping the Twittersphere, and now you can keep up with some of the biggest names in the biz just by clicking the ‘follow’ button on Twitter. Here are some faves… @KarenAndAndrew: You heard of THE FLAVOR BIBLE? Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg wrote the book.”

—Michele Laudig, PHOENIX NEW TIMES (July 10, 2009)

“For the advanced home cook – or even the professional – in your life, go for THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which isn’t a cookbook at all. The authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, interviewed dozens of professional chefs about what ingredients went well together, and tabulated the results in this book. Look up an ingredient in THE FLAVOR BIBLE and you’ll find a long list of good partners, with ingredients that were mentioned more often earning bolded entries. For example, parsnips are in season right now in much of the country, and the parsnip entry first says they should always be cooked, and work well when baked, boiled, braised, fried, grilled, mashed, pureed, roasted, or steamed. When the authors asked chefs about parsnips, the most-mentioned ingredients were butter (including browned butter) and nutmeg, both appearing in bold, capital letters. Bolded entries, mentioned less often than those two ingredients, include apples, chives, cream, curry, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, olive oil, parsley (a relative of parsnip and carrots), pepper, potatoes, sage, salt (duh), brown sugar, thyme, and root vegetables. The entry also includes about fifty other ingredients that work well with parsnip and were mentioned at least once by the interviewed chefs, and then concludes with five “flavor affinities,” combinations like parsnips + honey + mustard or parsnips + butter + cream + potatoes. Some entries have “Holy Grail” pairings, marked with an asterisk and mentioned by a large portion of the chefs they interviewed, like plums and Armagnac or lamb and rosemary, and some entries have “avoid” sections, like parsley and dessert. There are even sections for national cuisines – if you want to know what flavors work well in Afghan or Eastern European cuisines, for example, they’ve got you covered.”

—ESPN senior baseball writer Keith Law, ‘The Dish’ on his blog MEADOWPARTY.COM (November 18, 2012)

“The Blogger Beat: Endless Simmer. A little of this, a little of that — this week’s Blogger Beat chats with Endless Simmer’s Stefanie Gans. Q. Number of cookbooks you own and your favorite in your collection: ‘I have an entire bookcase dedicated to cookbooks, but I only ever reach for two: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, for when I can’t figure out what that missing ingredient is in my almost-right dish, and James Beard’s Theory & Practice of Good Cooking, for when I forget how many minutes to cook a hardboiled egg.’”

—Emily Leaman, WASHINGTONIAN (October 14, 2009)

Favorite Cookbooks & Recipes of 2008. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite cookbooks and recipes that I presented on the site in 2008. A few are books that I’ve been devouring, and others are those I’ve been bookmarking recipes in, to make on the site in the upcoming months. All in all, the best of the year…When I was making my colorful quince tarte Tatin and writing up the post about it, I remembered my handy copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Even though I know everything in the world (or at least I think I do…), I leafed through it, looking for what goes with quince. And lo and behold, there’s a whole world of flavors out there, outside of my head! This culinary heavyweight, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, takes every flavor imaginable and searches for each and every possible flavor pairing. It’s a terrific reference and I’m happy it’s on my shelf, within easy reach.”

—David Lebovitz, DAVIDLEBOVITZ.COM (December 13, 2008)

“Meet Your Mixologist: Rich Andreoli, after a coincidental pairing with the great, late bartender Gregor De Gruyther of the UK, swapped his camera for cocktails. Since then, Andreoli has been one of L.A.’s under-the-radar rockstar bartenders with gigs from WeHo’s Soho House to most recently Areal in Santa Monica….Favorite bartender/spirits magazine or website? I really like the stuff Camper English put out on The Alchemist. Other than that it’s mostly books. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is my favorite.”

—Lanee Lee, SOCIETEPERRIER.COM (November 9, 2012)

“Meet Your Mixologist: Robin Jackson of Oldfield’s Liquor Room…Q. What are your top three favorite books on cocktails?
A. My current favorite is a book I just received as a gift, Tony Conigliaro’s Drinks: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink. It is fantastically inspirational. Also, though it is more a cook’s resource, THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is great for cross referencing flavor affinities in cocktail ingredients. Jim Meehan’s PDT cocktail book is also a favorite go-to.”

—Lanee Lee, SOCIETEPERRIER.COM (February 1, 2013)

“I was so taken by the concept of the new tome THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by husband-wife team Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg that I asked is we could chat a bit about their groundbreaking book. Q: Describe the basic concept behind THE FLAVOR BIBLE. It’s at the same time both radical and logical….”

—David Leite, LEITESCULINARIA.COM (October 14, 2008)

“Gastrophysics Symposium in Copenhagen: On August 27-28 the symposium “The Emerging Science of Gastrophysics” was held at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen. The symposium poster said “interdisciplinary”, and with presentations by scientists in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to neuroscience and psychology I think it lived up to its name….Given the recent attention flavor pairing has received I was really looking forward to Sebastian Ahnert’s presentation on flavor networks. Treating foods and the flavor compounds they contain as a bipartite network allowed Ahnert to study the resulting connections with the toolbox available for complex network research. The somewhat surprising findings reported earlier this year was that western cuisine tends to favor dishes in which ingredients share compounds whereas asian cuisine tends to use ingredients not sharing compounds. [4] The greatest weakness of the published results in my opinion lies in the fact that Fenaroli’s Handbook of Flavor Ingredients was used as a source for the volatiles.[5] Secondly I believe that only counting the number of overlapping volatiles (a type 2b flavor pairing according to my previously published classification) is of limited interest. Despite these critical remarks I really like the data mining approach of Ahnert, and during his presentation he discussed several strategies to improve the data. By using 1) concentrations of compounds from the VCF database, 2) odor/flavor threshold values compiled by Leo van Gemert and 3) odor/flavor descriptions from Fenaroli’s to analyze flavor pairings suggested by chefs in THE FLAVOR BIBLE, Ahnert found that the ingredient pairs in THE FLAVOR BIBLE share more compounds than would be expected by chance. Furthermore, if the analysis is limited only to compounds that have odours or flavors of food (based on the descriptions in Fenaroli’s) the result is even more significant. This lead Ahnert to formulate a modified hypothesis: “Two foods taste good together if they share dominant* chemical flavor compounds with food aromas” (* in terms of concentration).”

—Martin Lersch, KHYMOS.COM (September 9, 2012)

“Well, here it is the night before my ‘Chopped’ episode and I am finally sitting down to write this blog post. I’ve been thinking of this blog post and how cathartic it would be to write over the past 5 months, but in the meantime I’ve built it up so much in my head that I have now been procrastinating writing it…I also religiously studied the FLAVOR BIBLE book, so I would know which ingredients and flavor profiles work together. (I recommend this book to anyone who likes to cook — it really shows you how different ingredients compliment each other).”

—’Chopped’ contestant Robyn Medlin Lindars, GRILLGRRRL.COM (August 5, 2012)

“Wedding Gift Ideas for Couples and Guests: Trying to decide what to put on your wedding registry? Or are you a guest looking for a practical, unique gift? Here are some suggestions picked by a few experts….Cookbooks recommended by Christine Myskowski of Salt & Pepper Books in Occoquan, VA: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg should be on the list for couples who like to be creative in the kitchen. ‘The thousands of ingredient entries are organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, so whether you are looking for what to do with the rosemary from your garden or what spices will taste best with a particular type of fish, this book is the perfect tool.”

—Deb Lindsey, The Washington Post (May 3, 2013)

“By far, one of the most loved books on cooking in my house is CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page. The book explores cooking in a way that makes it a constant point of reference for meal planning and recipe creation…. Dornenburg and Page are back with a new book THE FLAVOR BIBLE which takes this concept of flavor matching to new heights. THE FLAVOR BIBLE dedicates 374 pages to a thoroughly researched collection of flavor combinations across all of the major world cuisines. The book is not a cookbook, but rather a cross-reference of these elusive flavor match-ups aimed at saving you the hours of research required to make your meals taste exceptional. Like previous offerings from the authors, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a compilation drawn from some the best and brightest chefs around the globe, distilled down into a highly usable reference destined to be stained with sauces from the love it receives in your kitchen.”

—Jake Ludington, DAILYMUNCH.COM (September 27, 2008)

I love it, I love it, I love it! Thank you both for creating this amazing book, both for me and for humanity….Your book is now sitting in the premiere spot for important reading: my bed-side table.”

—Chef Nathan Lyon (June 2009)

“Every Sunday, I review a cookbook in an attempt to lend some guidance in a field that has become overrun. These days everyone is writing cookbooks and it is incredibly upsetting to buy a dud and have it sit on your shelf for years — staring at you, mocking your poor judgment. This week I’m reviewing THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. To call this a ‘cookbook’ is not at all accurate. There is not a single recipe in this book. It isn’t going to teach you how to poach or grill or give you a killer recipe for tiramisu. None of that. But it will provide you with a wealth of information, that if used correctly, can lead you down many awesome meals….When I saw FRESHNESS before FRISÉE and FRUIT, FRESH after it. I realized I was looking at an alphabetical list of… well… everything food, flavor, and cooking. And I said to myself, ‘ Oh no they didn’t!’ But they did. From achiote seeds to zucchini blossoms, they list it all. It takes some time to learn how to read the charts because they contain so much information. Each ingredient has below it a huge list of ‘compatible flavors.’ By compatible flavors they mean more than just foods that go with the primary food, but flavors. This means that they list stuff like ‘Chinese cuisine’ and ‘Brandy’ and ‘salad dressings.’ As someone who preaches the benefits of learning to cook and feeling empowered in the kitchen, I started breathing heavily when I realized how much information this book contains. It is a tome and, in fact, a bible. This book is more than just a cookbook. It is a challenge to the reader. A challenge to pick flavor, one that you don’t know well enough (or at all) and go down to your market, find it, and cook something with it. That said, there are zero recipes in the book. If you are looking for a specific way to use any of the flavors, you won’t find it exactly in this book. They give you a pretty darn clear map, but they don’t drive the car for you. Which is even better in my opinion. Lame analogies aside, if you ever find yourself at a loss as to what to cook or what to cook with, this is the book for you. I have a feeling that it will accompany me through many kitchen successes and mishaps. It is without a doubt one of the coolest innovative kitchen reference books I’ve seen.”

—MACHEESMO.COM (December 14, 2008)

“Justin Hershey is executive chef of Zinc where he creates seasonally inspired, locally acquired dishes….Most-used cookbook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—MASTOMILLERS.COM (August 27, 2011)

“By far the most useful book I own.”


“If you don’t already have this book, buy it now! THE FLAVOR BIBLE, written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, is like a feast for the culinary mind.”

—Jenny McCoy, EMERILS.COM (June 7, 2009)

My New Favorite Thing: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. I have to admit, this isn’t really my new favorite thing. As everyone in the kitchen can attest to, this has been my favorite thing for quite a while. This is by far one of my favorite reference books for cooking. It is a comprehensive guide to figuring out which flavors complement specific ingredients. The book is set up in alphabetical order. Simply turn to the ingredient you are cooking with and it will provide a list of other produce, meat, cheese, etc that it pairs well with. It also provides the best cooking methods for the ingredient, its appropriate season and serving suggestions from chefs around the country. I find it so helpful because it reminds you about certain flavor combinations that work well and unlocks your imagination as well as introduces you to flavor combinations that perhaps you had not thought of.”

—Heather Meldrom, Martha Stewart’s EVERYDAY FOOD (October 26, 2009)

“Round two with Paul Nagan, exec chef of Zink Kitchen + Bar….Q. What was the last cookbook you bought, and what recipes are you cooking from it? A. My go-to cookbooks are CULINARY ARTISTRY and THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Lori Midson, WESTWORD (January 31, 2013)

“Rachel Kesley, WaterCourse Foods. Q. What’s the best food- or kitchen-related gift you’ve been given? A. The Wine Bible and THE FLAVOR BIBLE….Both are probably my most-referenced books.”

—Lori Midson, Westword (January 20, 2011)

One of my favorite cookbooks is a beautiful, hulking guide called THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Instead of giving you recipes, the book tells you how to use different foods and flavors together — how and why certain combinations work.”

—Eliza Mills, ‘The Public Kitchen,’ KCET Public Television (October 9, 2012)

“Taste It Thursday — Interview with Jeffrey Saad, first runner-up in Season 5 of ‘The Next Food Network Star’ and author of Jeffrey Saad’s Global Kitchen: Q. Kitchen must-have or book ‘to cook by’? A. My favorite is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It lays out what tastes good with what and really gets your creative juices flowing.”

—M-O-MBLOG.COM (April 5, 2012)

“Kate McLean: First Woman Chef to Head Tony’s Kitchen … Q. Favorite cookbook? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle (November 8, 2013)

“Young Pastry Chef Hits the Sweet Spot at Prego (profile of pastry chef Matthew Zoch of Prego): ‘…My home is filled with cookbooks on the subject of cooking. When it comes to work, I reference THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.'”

—Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle (August 12, 2013)

“Oink, said the candy bar….It’s not clear where the trend began — chefs have been toying with pigs and cocoa for years — but it’s been oinking loudly lately. Chocolatiers are sprinkling bacon bits in chocolate bars or covering whole, crispy strips of bacon with thick mantles of chocolate….Chocolate with bacon makes sense to Karen Page, who, along with Andrew Dornenburg, authored THE FLAVOR BIBLE. They’re considered the food world’s leading experts on flavor affinities. ‘In our 1996 book CULINARY ARTISTRY, I mentioned that chocolate and bacon were two of the five ingredients that I’d confidently determined as a kid that I would be able to survive on for the rest of my life,’ Page said. ‘The others, by the way, were bananas, peanut butter and Rice Krispies. I had experimented with countless permutations of those five ingredients as a child, thus ignoring societal admonitions not to ‘play with my food.’ ”

—Greg Morago, HOUSTON CHRONICLE (January 28, 2009)

“According to my second favorite kitchen book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE (an amazing book that tells you what tastes good with what), cinnamon is a natural match with cashews — so you’ll find a nice hit of the sweet and spicy spice in these cookies. (My favorite, favorite food book is WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, by the same people that did the other book. The title pretty much explains what it’s about. As I like to drink almost as much as I like to bake… it comes in handy in our household.)”

—Jodi, MORESWEEETSPLEASE.COM (April 14, 2012)

“This week on Beyond The Peel TV we wanted to switch it up a bit and share with you a way to use up those items in your fridge that you know you should/need to eat, but you don’t, because you either don’t want to, or you don’t know what to do with them – aka you’re uninspired. You know exactly what I’m talking about. The veggies that you thought you’d eat. The herbs you only used for one recipe. Yeah. Those are the ones I’m talking about. Well, we’ve been putting THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg to the test, and just found another awesome use for it. Look up the ingredients in your fridge that are about to go bad and let the book work it’s magic. Come on, I’ll show you how….”

—France Morissette and Joshua Sprague, ‘Beyond the Peel,’ CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (April 3, 2012)

“[THE FLAVOR BIBLE], the latest book by authors of BECOMING A CHEF, Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, has been around for a few months and has been on my radar since then. With birthday money in tow (thanks, sister), I purchased it last month and I’m not sure there’s ever been a book that I have consulted more in 6 weeks than this one. The idea is simple: a unique reference book that doesn’t tell you how to cook but gives you tested flavour combinations to help you get creative on your own. Research for this book included interviewing countless chefs and food professionals about flavours they have combined in their dishes with great results…In conclusion, what else can I say about this book. It’s a keeper, a long term resident and I predict one that will become a classic in years to come.”

—Tami Moritz, LEMON TART (February 12, 2009)

The Best Cookbooks of 2008THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This book is for the serious home cook. Page and Dornenburg start with a fascinating discussion of all the components that go into making flavor. Then they interview several prominent chefs about how they build flavor (which is my favorite part of the book) followed by a list of ingredients and what they pair well with. This book will give the home cook wings to invent their own dishes without the aid of a recipe.”

—Sara Moulton, GOOD MORNING AMERICA (December 23, 2008)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a kitchen essential — perfect #gift for any #foodie.

—Natasha at, via Twitter

“Thanks to Keren (Brown, the Frantic Foodie), I recently had the opportunity to join a little blogger’s coffee klatsch with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of the indispensable tomes CULINARY ARTISTRY, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT, and most recently THE FLAVOR BIBLE. They were in Seattle to promote their new book and catch up on the ever-changing food landscape in our fair city. If you look on any professional chef’s bookshelf, chances are that Page and Dornenburg’s books are going to be there, battered and bruised, coffee stained and taped together at the spine. Why this place of pride? Because these books contain the most useful culinary lists ever assembled: lists of traditional and modern flavor pairings and techniques to use with every imaginable foodstuff….If you are the kind of cook that feels reasonably confident in your skills and just needs a bit of inspiration, those lists will light a fire under you. I’d be right in the kitchen, pan-roasting those carrots, glazing them with a bit of orange juice and brown sugar and finishing with minced flat leaf parsley and Maldon salt. Do you really need a recipe for that?….You can follow their blog at [] and here are all of their books on Amazon. I can’t recommend them enough.”

—Michael Natkin, HERBIVORACIOUS.COM (September 29, 2008)

“Gifts for bookworms: Authors share top picks…Best-selling writers recommend their fave books to give this holiday season. Need a gift for the book lover on your list? It can be hard to sort through thousands of titles to get the right page-turner. Here, five well-known authors share their favorite books from their respective areas of expertise: nonfiction/fiction, cookbooks, children’s books and coffee table books. Browse titles recommended by Dan Brown, Sandra Lee, Mitch Albom, Jeff Kinney and Margaret Russell. Sandra Lee, Host of Food Network’s ‘Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee’: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little Brown) [is] amazing.”

—NBC’S TODAY SHOW (December 15, 2009)

“It’s 1:30 in the morning and, regardless of what substance I may or may not be on, my stomach is yelling at me to eat. I scour my kitchen but finding nothing pre-made, stare at some beets, hoping they will miraculously become a meal. This is about the time when I consult the good book. It may be the best food-related book ever. It is THE FLAVOR BIBLE, and here’s what a few reviewers have said about it: ‘One of the best cookbooks I’ve ever encountered.’ ‘An extraordinary book. I recently addedTHE FLAVOR BIBLE to my cookbook collection, which numbers more than 1,000 volumes…It has immediately become one of my favorites (and definitely my #1 favorite in English).’ That and the fact that authors Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page just took home a James Beard Award for THE FLAVOR BIBLE really cement its status as an essential book. It’s like the Rosetta Stone, except it’s been left by the world’s great chefs for cooks who know the basics. Essentially, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a giant book of lists. Sure, the beginning has some useful information about plate and flavor composition, but that’s in no way the meat of the book. The meat here is in the lists: hundreds of ingredients, and what goes with them. That’s it. But it’s enough to focus your mind and help foster mass amounts of creativity. I stumble over to the book and on page 77, I begin to read down the list of things that go with beets. Apples, arugula, avocado, basil, beef…on and on and on (over 90 things total for beets). I come upon horseradish, and remember I have some in my fridge. I then flip to the horseradish page and see that chives (which I also have) go with it, so I have my foundation. If I was working in a restaurant, I could make a roasted beet napoleon with the horseradish and chive oil and more, but tonight, drunk in my kitchen, I find solace in simplicity.  Some beets, some horseradish and some chives: Seems easy enough, but I probably would’ve found myself eating butter with a spoon if it weren’t for a little guidance from the holiest of food books. I’m just spreading the word.”

—Tyler Nemkov, WESTWORD (May 15, 2009)

“Chef Duskie Estes’ [chef and owner of ZAZU Restaurant & Farm in Santa Rosa] Culinary Q&A…Q. What’s your favorite cookbook written by someone other than yourself? What makes it so great? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is the book I go back to the most. It is not really a cookbook but a book of what goes with what. It kick-starts my ideas when my farmers show up with an ingredient.”

—THE NEXT IRON CHEF: Redemption’ (November 2012)

“Tucked away on the Classen Curve, the Matthew Kenney Restaurant and Academy is a place where chefs in white aprons and pants happily bustle about the kitchen. Along the sleek steel counters, you’re more likely to spot heaps of freshly pared fruit and vegetables than a stack of dirty dishes. Jars of herbs, spices, nuts and seeds sit neatly organized on a shelf. And against the wall, a dehydrator stands uniformly at attention. The facility is the nation’s first raw foods academy…That’s where culinary inventiveness comes to play. Students are taught about important pairings using THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Christina Nihira, Oklahoma Gazette (April 4, 2012)

“Five Must-Have Books That Changed the Way I Cook: A good friend who has just completed culinary school turned me on to THE FLAVOR BIBLE just this year, and I fell in love. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is not strictly a cookbook, but, rather it is a encyclopedic collection of ingredients and their matches. So if I’m stumped by a new ingredient in my CSA box or am just seeking a little bit of inspiration, I turn to THE FLAVOR BIBLEwhich lists a series of compatible ingredients. So if I want to know what flavors go well with those fresh lychees I picked up at the Asian market in Denver, I just turn to page 209 and find a list of good matches: chicken, blackberries, raspberries, rum, scallops, shrimp and other foods. The thoughtful reference provides endless inspiration in creating and preparing new dishes. What did it teach me? How to match compatible ingredients in various dishes.”


“Trumpeting flavor: Authors explore ingredients by taste in a new approach to learning to cook. Taste. Allegedly, you either have it or you don’t. But flavor is a bit more complex. Which shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, everybody has to eat. And when we do, food’s flavors create the lovely, almost subconscious emotional and physical reactions that inspire us to return to eating for nourishment. In addition to being one of life’s great pleasures, it also helps keep us alive. And yet, until now, it seems that no one had ever attempted to digest those flavors — meaning classify, catalog, assimilate them — in any substantive way. Husband-and-wife team Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page have tried to do so in their latest compendium-style book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE (Little, Brown, $35). ‘It’s shocking,’ said Page, on a recent afternoon, sipping a glass of something ‘jammy’ and tasting chocolates at the Michigan Avenue wine / chocolate / cheese bar Eno. ‘When you think of what is important to know when you’re cooking — knowing what to add to make something more delicious [is important] … Why wouldn’t anybody write this down?’ The couple, co-authors of six other books that are highly regarded in the food world, are dedicated to opening up the esoteric nature of flavor. ‘We wondered, ‘Why do we have those [precise descriptive] words for wine but not for food?’ ‘ Dornenburg said. But is it really possible in a world so obsessed with food that such a book has never been published? Dornenburg and Page pointed out that the iconic French chef and writer Auguste Escoffier codified French cooking more than 100 years ago….And until very recently — with the movement toward focusing on fresh, local, sustainable ingredients with less manipulation (which Escoffier would have liked) — the culinary world had been focused on technique as a major path to culinary heights. ‘But no one had ever codified flavor,’ Dornenberg said. Of course, having your food’s flavor ‘codified’ may sound a bit chilly — like dissecting a kiss. But the book itself is alluring in ways that may take the general food enthusiast by surprise. Honestly, who knew that page after page (more than 350 of them) of cross-referenced lists of ingredients, a few photos and not a single recipe could end up being the kind of book you want to cozy up with in bed? And it is selling like hot cakes (with maple syrup, which according to the book is both sweet and bitter, and would be good combined with nuts, but fantastic with bananas, blueberries or pears)….Their Eureka! moment came during a long car trip. ‘We started wondering, ‘What would the ultimate cookbook be like?’ ‘ Page said. “Well, it would teach you to make any dish you ever wanted. But would it be infinitely long and have a recipe for absolutely everything? Well, no. Maybe you can just keep the principals: What makes things taste delicious? Well, you have the four basic tastes, and you have mouth feel, temperature, texture, you have aroma.’ So they applied to food what they had learned about classifying wine, a skill exemplified in their last book, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea — Even Water — Based on Expert Advice from America’s Best Sommeliers. The new book reveals what they refer to as the ‘essence’ of various ingredients and cuisines in terms of season, taste, weight, volume, function and technique. And, because the book’s subtitle is ‘The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs,’ the listings contain synthesized information and advice on complementary pairings of ingredients from 38 chefs from around the country. The resulting book resembles none of the foodie culture’s memoirs or cultural histories or cookbooks. ‘In our less humble moments, we say we’ve written a chef’s thesaurus,’ Page said. It’s more like the I Ching. Open it randomly, and it will open you up to an array of possibilities in your culinary future. For instance, on pages 134-35, you will find yourself at the entry, ‘Cod’ (weight: medium; volume: quiet; technique: bake, boil, broil, cakes, deep-fry, fry, grill, poach, roast, saute, steam). It’s followed by ‘Cod, black’ (dishes: warm salad of poached salt cod, porcini mushrooms, and Yukon golds — chef David Pasternak of Esca in New York). Then ‘Coffee and espresso’ (taste: bitter; weight: medium; volume: moderate loud) and ‘Cognac.’ Under each heading are sublists of the ingredient’s compatible foods (see chart). It is a book that may seem overwhelming, but as soon as you start reading, the transformative power of putting the right flavors together becomes apparent….Twelve years ago, when their second book, CULINARY ARTISTRY appeared in bookstores (chef Grant Achartz of Alinea has said it is his ‘most used cookbook’), ‘there was no shelf in bookstores for food writing,’ Page said. And the book, which was a precursor to THE FLAVOR BIBLE, was ignored by non-professionals. But the time for the BIBLE has clearly arrived. Because we live in a time when it’s simply not enough to say that honey is sweet. ‘We can do a lot better than that,’ Page said. With THE FLAVOR BIBLE, they have. But Page and Dornenburg aren’t finished yet. ‘Someone asked us, ‘What do you think about grains of paradise?’ Page said, referring to the peppery seeds from West Africa. ‘But they’re not in the book. We have to do a second edition! We could keep going and going and going’.”

—Emily Nunn, CHICAGO TRIBUNE (January 28, 2009)

“Hallelujah! Celebrating the Good Book: THE FLAVOR BIBLE ($35, Little, Brown), that is. That other Bible is very interesting, but Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg’s book (which I wrote about when I was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune’s Good Eating section) is much newer and you probably haven’t heard quite as much about it. I explain it in more detail in my Trib piece. You should definitely read it to see how the book works, because it will change your life no matter what your level as a cook. And it will give you back your courage as a cook, especially if you have been discouraged in previous culinary endeavors….I like to pick up THE FLAVOR BIBLE (subtitle: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs) often, for inspiration; I also like to read it in bed, which is a bit odd since it has no plot. Just look up the ingredient you’re obsessed with (for me, right now, it’s apples), and take it from there. By the way, the sandwich in the Tribune piece was inspired by Ina (and don’t pretend you don’t know which ‘Ina’), and the salad, which is fabulous, is my own invention. Karen and Andrew are charming and brilliant; with good reason, they are particularly proud of the fact that Grant Achatz, the enigmatic and exquisitely innovative Chicago chef who created the restaurant Alinea (and whom I interviewed in his kitchen a couple of years ago for Men’s Vogue), has called the precursor to this book, Page and Dornenburg’s CULINARY ARTISTRY, ‘My most used cookbook.’ Already, this morning, I’ve used THE FLAVOR BIBLE to decide what to do with my slightly raggedy apple surplus. I opened the book to Apple, of course (Season: autumn Taste: sweet, astringent Function: cooling. . . . Techniques: bake, caramelize, deep-fry, etc); checked out the dishes that a few famous chefs mention as favorites (Caramelized Apple Sundae with Butter Pecan Ice Cream, from Emily Luchetti, of Farallon, in San Francisco, for instance); then decided that I’m going use the apples to make a dense buttery cake, or maybe a sour cream cake, with a bit of chopped candied ginger and chopped apricot. At least, I think I am. I have all the ingredients here (which I’ll admit influenced my decision). I may be barking up the wrong tree, but those ingredients are complementary, so I know the flavors will be nice. There is not a single recipe in this book, which is part of its charm — the possibilities seem more endless — so the vehicle is up to me….”

—Emily Nunn, COOK THE WOLF (March 20, 2009)

“Years from now, when we trade war stories about the recession of 2008, we’ll remember how we cut back on dining out and cooked more at home. So what better holiday gift than cookbooks you’ll actually use? I’m not talking about the vacuum-sealing, water-bath-heating techniques in Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide (Artisan, $75) or the molecular gastronomy in Grant Achatz’s Alinea (Ten Speed Press, $50). Though these books are dazzling, they’re too intimidating for the average home cook. What fits these austere times are books that improve your cooking skills, teach you how to be thrifty, or just have tasty and easy recipes. Here are six titles that will get a workout in the kitchen: THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Co. $35). They’re the cooks who inspire the most envy — you know, the ones who combine random ingredients into delicious meals. It seems like a rare talent, but with THE FLAVOR BIBLE this skill can be learned. Here’s how the book works: Page and Dornenburg asked some of America’s best chefs for all the foods that complement, say, persimmons. Then they compiled a list of the responses, marking the ones that occurred frequently. (In this case, we learn that brandy, pomegranates, vanilla and walnuts are among the most popular pairings for persimmons.) Imagine hundreds of these lists for different foods, along with notes about the intensity of their flavors, recommendations for cooking techniques, commentary from chefs, and more. So, how do you use the book? After mulling over an idea that combined butter cake, creme fraiche and persimmons, I checked the lists. Of all the pairings, a few stood out: brown sugar with both persimmons and creme fraiche, and cinnamon and allspice with persimmons. The result was a cinnamon-allspice cake topped with brown sugar creme fraiche and sliced Fuyu persimmons. Do I really have to explain how yummy this was? The bottom line: Any avid cook will covet this book. Period.”

—Joan Obra, FRESNO BEE (December 16, 2008)

“Three Best Bets for Culinary Reads: Did you know that fennel pairs nicely with langoustines, lobster and crab? Or how about Thai fish sauce with steak? Beyond the assumed tried-and-true pairings (tomatoes and basil, lamb and rosemary, apples and cinnamon), how do you know what flavors go together? Why not take a page from the best or, better yet, 374 pages? In THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg guide readers through thousands of food pairing ideas and suggestions to inspire the chef in all of us to create new and harmonious flavor combinations. Great cooking goes well beyond following a recipe. It’s also about knowing how to season and prepare ingredients to coax the best possible flavor and pleasure from them. Page and Dornenburg draw on the combined experience of dozens of leading chefs from top restaurants across the country, who share their flavor discoveries, cooking techniques and tips in sidebars such as ‘Selecting and Using Salt,’ ‘Herbs 101’ and ‘Pairing Pastas with Sauces.’ THE FLAVOR BIBLE, $35, is a must-have reference for all kitchen shelves — mine is right next to ‘Joy of Cooking’.”

—Kirsten Ott, Life, Food & Style Editor, THE SUNDAY PAPER (November 2, 2008)

“Thou shalt not eat bland food. Amen to that! We’re believers in THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Focusing on the ‘four factors that make up flavor,’ Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg turn every meal that comes from this tome into a religious experience. We’re converted.”

—OUTBLUSH.COM (June 2012)

“Q&A with Chef: Nick Grammatico of Piranha (682 Park Ave)…Favorite Cookbook: “I’ll give you three: The Professional Chef, Eighth Edition, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, and Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking.”

—Dayna Papaleo, Rochester City Newspaper (May 12, 2010)

Books of the Decade: 2000-2009: When compiling these lists, I came back to the books I cook from the most in addition to a few that I simply enjoy reading, cover to cover, like a novel, for their narrative approach, to a couple that I’m too intimidated, still, to even think about cooking from, but remain a resource of inspired ideas….THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg.”

—Brad Thomas Parsons, Cookbook Editor of, on AL DENTE (January 15, 2010)

“Just when you thought you’ve read enough culinary memoirs and single-subject studies on every esoteric food topic imaginable comes Knives at Dawn, Andrew Friedman’s sharp, insider account of America’s quest to win the Bocuse d’Or — the epicurean equivalent of the World Cup, held biannually in Lyon, France. For over two decades, international teams have entered the arena, cooking for five-and-a-half hours from a glass-walled pod in full view of the intimidating judges and howling spectators (who add to the frenzy with chants and clanging cowbells). In 2009, Paul Bocuse himself enlisted legendary chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller (well-known for his obsession with perfection) to field the U.S. team. French Laundry chef Timothy Hollingsworth and his commis, Adina Guest, continued to work their grueling day jobs over three-and-a-half months of intense training, and set the bar for future U.S. brigades. Hollingsworth loves cookbooks and it was fun to see my favorite husband-and-wife food writing team, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, name-checked as Hollingsworth first immersed himself in their kitchen classic, CULINARY ARTISTRY, when he first started at TFL, and later turned to THE FLAVOR BIBLE for inspiration during training.”

—Brad Thomas Parsons, AL DENTE, AMAZON.COM (December 4, 2009)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE: My favorite book.”

—Bill Pastellak, Hollygrove Market & Farm in New Orleans (October 13, 2011)

“GIFTS: Cook Books: Tasty Picks for Beginners or Pros: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. For cooks ready to go beyond recipes and improvise, married food writers Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg offer an inspiring glossary of foods and their natural flavor partners. (Little, Brown, $35).”

People magazine (Holidays 2008)

“Here’s a closer look at a book we think you’re going to want to check out….The pictures in this book are so luscious, and the content is so delectable, you just might find yourself drooling as you read THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. Award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have written several ground-breaking books chronicling and celebrating America’s culinary revolution. After writing about classic flavor match-ups in CULINARY ARTISTRY, the authors return to the concept of flavor with THE FLAVOR BIBLE, creating dishes based on flavor….”

—Molly Pesce, host, ‘Barnes & Noble Tagged!’, BN.COM (April 6, 2009)

“Essential Spice Books…Looking for ways to expand your spice knowledge and inspire your culinary adventures? Carol Peterman has perused countless books on the subject and has compiled this list of essential additions to your cooking library. New books will be added from time-to-time, so be sure to check back every now and then….THE FLAVOR BIBLE is much more expansive and focuses on culinary flavor combinations as a whole, not just herbs and spices. If you like to cook off the top of your head, and create your own dishes without recipes, this is a great reference book for identifying flavor pairings….THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: This is the ultimate culinary idea generator. THE FLAVOR BIBLE lists hundreds of ingredients in alphabetical order. Plus, each ingredient features dozens of matching flavors based on interviews with highly regarded chefs and culinary experts across the U.S. and Canada. If you like to create your own dishes, this book is a fantastic resource. Commentaries and tips from highly regarded chefs are included throughout the book, as well as examples of dishes from their menus to illustrate successful flavor pairings. This is a book of concepts and ideas, not recipes. Although there isn’t a single recipe in the entire book, Page and Dornenburg have put the flavor pairing expertise of dozens of culinary professionals in our hands to inspire our own culinary masterpieces.”

—Carol Peterman, (March 2009)

“Flavor experts Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are back at it. The pair who brought us the 2007 IACP Cookbook of the Year WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT have now written a book that could easily be called ‘What to Eat with What You Eat,’ except it’s more complicated than that, earning the title THE FLAVOR BIBLE. If you’ve ever wondered what would be the best way to use that large hunk of Gouda cheese you were tempted to buy at the market, or what would be the perfect menu to serve your guests on a chilly autumn day, this book just may provide the answer to those questions. However, don’t expect these authors to give you recipes to solve those culinary challenges. This review will tell you more about how this book does help with these and similar situations. The Bottom Line: Anyone who has picked up an unusual ingredient on a whim, or felt in the mood for a certain flavor, will find inspiration in this book for designing a menu with that ingredient or flavor. Cooks will love how it frees them from formal recipes, and more casual cooks will like how it supports their more free-spirited attitude toward cooking.”

—Donna Pilato, ENTERTAINING.ABOUT.COM (September 29, 2008)

“The zen of food, for me, is born out of creativity and imagination. While recipes serve as a great starting block, for those of us that relish preparing food, the kitchen is a place of transformation — where flour, yeast and honey become bread; where tomatoes, basil and garlic become a marinara; where eggs, cream and day old bread become bread pudding. But it is also a place where WE, as cooks, can be transformed. When you get in that creative ‘zone,’ crafting the meal is cathartic…hell, in my house it’s psychotherapy! So what I want, more than anything else, is something that will serve as a map in the kitchen more so than an actual guide. I want something that inspires. Apparently, what I wanted was THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT and CULINARY ARTISTRY), this book doesn’t have a single recipe in it. Instead, it alphabetically references thousands of culinary ingredients (including liquors like scotch and rum) and lists flavor combinations that will serve as idea starters. Just choose an ingredient, cuisine, technique or season, and you’ll find lists of complementary ingredients that will rank as ‘ethereal, highly recommended, and frequently recommended’ as well as those you should avoid at all costs! If you have someone in your life whose soul belongs in a kitchen, THIS is what you have to get him/her for the holidays. Put the silly kitchen gadgets down and STEP AWAY. We will NEVER use them, except when you come to visit!”

—Katie Pizzuto, GONZO GASTRONOMY (November 5, 2008)

“SOUL FOOD. Our dining editor, Penny Pollack, dishes on her [five] favorite cookbooks from 2008….THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown; $35)
Why she likes it ‘A what-goes-with-what book. No recipes, just tons of fun and useful info.’ Ideal for The adventurous home cook.”

—Penny Pollack, CHICAGO magazine (December 2008)

“Chefs have long practiced the use of salt to pull out sweetness in otherwise bitter herbs, spices, and dishes. This is noted in the second bit of inspiration for the drink, the book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, which was mentioned by virtually every speaker in the Portland Cocktail Week seminars last year and recently came in the mail. It is a reference book that focuses on the philosophy of flavors, the pairing and grouping of flavors , and is very inspirational when creating new drinks or meals.”

— (January 13, 2011)

Required Reading: 20 Best All-Around Cookbooks: At Powell’s, we love a good cookbook: the recipes that make you want to head straight for the kitchen, the mouth-watering photos, the advice on how to approach cooking and how to make recipes your own. We treasure cookbooks so much that many of us have shelves and shelves — and in some cases entire bookshelves — devoted to them at home. While we’re not about to pare down our collections, we thought it might be interesting to consider what would happen if we had to give up all of those books except for one. What cookbook would get us through meal after meal, day after day? We asked Powell’s staff this very question. Here’s what they chose….THE FLAVOR BIBLE: While not exactly a cookbook, Page and Dornenburg provide a thoroughly researched list of flavor ‘affinities’ for thousands of ingredients. If you find yourself staring into a bare cupboard or fridge, flip this bad boy open for some inspiration and get creative. [Bradley G.]”

—Powell’s Books (November 26, 2013)

ANJALI’S 5 ESSENTIAL COOKBOOKS: Looking to cook more by feel and depend less on recipes? This is the list for you. It isn’t flashy; my most essential books, the ones that deserve a space on the shelf right next to the kitchen, are less food porn and more trustworthy reference tomes. What they lack in glossy photos they more than make up for with solid, inspiring advice on what to actually do with the ingredients I bring home from the market. 1) THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: This unique book is an alphabetical index of flavors, ingredients and regional cuisines. Under each entry is a listing of all the ingredients and flavors that combine well with that particular item, with the best pairings highlighted in bold. Look up sardines, for instance, and you’ll see that bread crumbs, flat-leaf parsley, raisins and tomatoes are among the ingredients that taste best with the fish.”

—Anjali Prasertong, THEKITCHN.COM (February 23, 2012)

“Today I am thrilled once again to welcome back award-winning authors and power food couple Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Karen and Andrew join me today to share their latest book — a seminal work—THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. We’ll discuss how their interest in flavor pairings and compatibility influenced them in researching and writing this book, as well as the basic principles of making food taste great and the guidelines for maximizing flavor… Extraordinarily usefulA completely new way to look at an old problem…It really provokes you to think in ways that you don’t necessarily think about cooking and eating…Destined to become a classic…An amazing book.”

—Lucinda Scala Quinn, MSLO Editorial Director and host of ‘Eat Drink’ on Martha Stewart Living Radio

“I live by this book….This is literally my bible…I know it’s going to benefit you [and that] this tip alone is going to be a game-changer for you.”

—Heather Rampolla, Fresh Eats Radio

“The Palate Wizards Speak: Nothing about food is more subjective than its flavor, which can invoke agony, ecstasy or something in between from the person doing the eating. That’s why cooks who consistently create meals whose flavors bring pleasure to a wide range of customers are true magicians. No chef wows ’em every time; the great ones come close. Another key: When a skilled cook can deliver great flavor experiences even while using up orphaned ingredients from a restaurant’s walk-in or pantry, the food cost will always look good. And in the current economy, the ability to conjure up flavorful meals from lower-cost ingredients makes a cook worth his or her weight in gold. How can chefs pull all this off? A handful innately seem to know the flavor combinations that will work best. Everyone else, though, has to rely on trial and error. Or at least they did before the arrival of THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Little, Brown and Co., $35). In it, ace culinary writers Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg weave together the collective intuitions of dozens of leading chefs to come up with a 380-page book about cooking that contains not a single recipe. It offers instead a series of exhaustive lists that describe what-goes-best-with-what, all of it so arranged as to make flawless flavor development accessible to all. Articulating this process by words alone is a tall order. It’s challenging to explain flavor development without the luxury of side-by-side taste comparisons to illustrate each point. But Page and Dornenburg are skilled-enough wordsmiths to do it — no small feat….If the goal of your restaurant is to faithfully reproduce classic flavor pairings that have withstood the test of time, you probably don’t need this one. But if you want to keep up on contemporary flavor trends, minimize your food cost and sneak in thrifty ingredients along the way, buy a copy of this book.”

RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY magazine (December 2008)

“One of the hallmarks of truly talented chefs is their ability to skillfully manage flavors. Like visual artists, who necessarily recognize how colors and textures contrast and complement, culinary craftsmen need an appreciation of how flavors work together — and when they don’t….One remarkable resource for gaining insight into the subject is THE FLAVOR BIBLE, a book by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. The book is a culinary thesaurus of sorts, cross-indexing flavors with the ingredients that harmonize with them. Look up ‘onions,’ for example, and the ‘Bible’ describes how that particular flavor ‘works,’ what ingredients, spices, and condiments are compatible, and why. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a volume worthy of a place on every professional chef’s bookshelf.”

—Hugh Robert, MASSLIVE.COM (August 23, 2011)

“Caller: My favorite cookbook is THE FLAVOR BIBLE. And I think it is not great for everybody. Roberts: Because it has no recipes in it. Caller: Exactly. I think it is good for people who spend some time cooking, who understand the basic techniques, but aren’t quite sure just how to include certain ingredients and exclude others. And I think it allows for a lot of creativity, sort of touching on what Adam was saying earlier about recipes being like a blueprint. And it really gives you the opportunity to create your own. Roberts: THE FLAVOR BIBLE is interesting because it’s just about taste. Gopnik: Right. It’s an example of the grammatical cookbook we were talking about. The idea there is instead of giving you a recipe, it gives you these kinds of clusters of flavors and ways you could put them together….Bhide: If you know your ingredients, you understand the herbs and spices, you’ll be great at following THE FLAVOR BIBLE because you understand the basics….Then you can, I think, pretty much do anything, because then you know how they interact with each other. That’s the place where I think THE FLAVOR BIBLE would be awesome.”

—Rebecca Roberts, in conversation with Adam Gopnik and Monica Bhide on TALK OF THE NATION, National Public Radio (December 3, 2009)

“The Chef’s Library is a series in which we ask chefs around town to tell us about their favorite cookbooks. Today, we talk to Andrew Kirschner, chef at Tar & Roses….’Another book that I love for very different reasons is CULINARY ARTISTRY and the follow-up book THE FLAVOR BIBLE by [Karen Page and] Andrew Dornenburg. Both these books are a regular resource for me in creating new dishes at the restaurant. With thousands of ingredients to choose from to create any one dish, these books are constant go-to’s when trying to think up pairings and flavors. These books are also great for home cooks looking to expand their repertoires and play with new ingredients.”

—Besha Rodell, LA WEEKLY (February 5, 2013)

“Tribune Food: Cross-Indexed Deliciousness. Emily Nunn pays some much-deserved homage to Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page’s book THE FLAVOR BIBLE, a meticulously cross-indexed reference of preparations, ingredients, and their component flavors. As a reference book geek I am completely swooning over this title from a purely organizational perspective, but this is the kind of book that should be packaged and sold along with Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking as a You Seriously Ought to Own This If You Are Going To Be Into Cooking boxed set.”

—Helen Rosner, Smith College alumna and blogger, MENUPAGES.COM – CHICAGO (January 29, 2009)

“I do have a something I want to draw your attention to however; it’s an article in O Magazine which touches on the idea of recipe-independence, a concept I refer to a lot. As I’ve stated in previous posts, recipe-independence can be achieved by trusting your creativity and taste-intuition, and by understanding complimentary foods and flavors, or flavor pals. O’s article uses THE FLAVOR BIBLE (I highly recommend this brilliant book for anyone who loves to cook) as a resource for guiding home-cooks away from recipes and toward their inner ‘culinary authority.'”

—Louise Ross, Whole Foods’ recession-strategy blogger on MARKET TO MOUTH (April 7, 2009)

I think THE FLAVOR BIBLE should be in every kitchen today….It’s a perfect book….Beautifully written….I take my hat off.”

—Legendary chef Michel Roux, OBE, as quoted on CBC Radio (October 17, 2015)

Favourite Cookbook:  THE FLAVOR BIBLE.‘”

—Daniel Rudolph, chef at Kent Street Kitchen in Sydney, in The Australian (November 24, 2014)

“Stick It Food Truck’s Ruth Lipsky Raises the Steaks: (profile of chef Ruth Lipsky of Stick It): ‘…THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the cookbook I use the most, it’s a compilation from all these different magnificent chefs. Let’s say you look up almonds, it will tell you everything that pairs with almonds; it’s a really, really great reference book.'”

—Sarah Rufca, Houston Chronicle (July 14, 2013)

“Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have been publishing innovative books about cooking and the chef world for longer than I have. Their popular BECOMING A CHEF was published the summer I was harrassing the Culinary Institute of America to let me in to write about, well, becoming a chef. I was mortified they’d beat me to it. It proved to be not just a different book from what I was attempting, but a valuable research tool for me then and throughout the years (its history of American restaurants and chefs with opening dates or significant restaurants is something I’ve returned to throughout the years). It remains a valuable book especially for people considering entering the profession. Their most recent book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, published last year was one I kept hearing about. Finally I got around to having a look myself. What I’ve liked about their work is that they have consistently brought the unique perspective of the chef to their work, making it accessible to all without over glorifying or over-simplifying it. As I’ve said before, in many ways I’m anti-cookbook in my views. There are too many of them, and only a handful each years have anything new to offer. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is completely unique. After opening chapters on how to build flavors in your meals, it is a glossary of ingredients and cuisines and all the flavors that go with them or are associated with them. Look up kale and you have a quick breakdown of seasonality, cooking technique and flavors that go well, one of which is cheddar cheese, something I’d never thought of, but hell, why not? Look up rhubarb or mint or basmati rice for pairings. When I need to come up with new dishes — what’s something new can I do with this lamb, for instance — this is a book I’ll be opening for ideas. A great gift for the cook who likes to improvise and experiment.”

—Michael Ruhlman, RUHLMAN.COM (December 16, 2009)

“@Barbigirl: Any recommendations for a book on flavor profiles? @Ruhlman: THE FLAVOR BIBLE!”

—Michael Ruhlman @RUHLMAN, via Twitter (June 29, 2012)

“Q. Kitchen must-have or book to cook by?  A.  My favorite is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It lays out what tastes good with what and really gets your creative juices flowing.”

—Jeffrey Saad, author of GLOBAL KITCHEN, as quoted on

“Personal Chef Neil Wilson on Bibles, Lemon Zest, and Thanksgiving Leftovers: This is personal chef Neil Wilson. He used to be in the army — but now he makes delicious ravioli (seen here in its pressed dough, pre-stuffed form). Before becoming a personal chef, Wilson attended L’Academie de Cuisine and then worked as a line cook for Palena. Here are some of his cooking tips: Buy this book: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Look up any popular ingredient, and it will provide a rundown of complimentary herbs, spices and foods, and other cuisines in which the ingredient is featured.”

—Ruth Samuelson, WASHINGTON CITY PAPER (April 23, 2009)

“Call it a commandment for great cooking, knowing how to use the right flavors in your kitchen. Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are co-authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE, a new book on how to take the ingredients you have at home and figure out which ones work best together…. A must-have for every cookbook collection….A beautiful book. Congratulations!”

—Steve Sanders, LUNCH BREAK, WGN-TV (November 13, 2008)

“I’ve been reading a new book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Total brilliance. It’s taking my self-guided culinary education to a new level, giving me ingredients, but not recipes; history, but no how-to. I really love it and it lends itself perfectly to cooking whole foods, simply, in the most delicious, creative ways.”

—Sarah, GOOD LIFE FARM in Idaho (November 4, 2012)

“Sites We Love: The First Mess. (Profile of Ontario-based blogger and vegetable gardener Laura Wright.) Q. What are your favorite food and cooking resources? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a really wonderful resource for any cook at whatever level.”

— (August 8, 2013)

“Sites We Love: Today’s site we love is Running with Tweezers, where Atlanta-based food stylist Tami Hardeman shares her favorite recipes, with a particular focus on the intersection of aesthetics and gastronomy. Here’s what Tami has to say about her site: What are your favorite food and cooking resources? I’m a cookbook addict — I have about 200 of them but there are a few I turn to regularly: Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn in the South, Nigel Slater’s Tender, and Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi. It’s not a cookbook per se but I think every kitchen should have a copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE — it’s an essential reference for me.”

—SAVEUR.COM (September 27, 2012)

“Today’s site we love is Thursday Night Smackdown, where self-professed curmudgeon Michelle Weber tackles an ambitious recipe from her extensive cookbook collection each week. Recounting her exploits with searing honesty and punchy sarcasm, she brings a delightfully dark humor to her culinary adventures. Here’s what Michelle has to say about her site:  Q. What are your favorite food and cooking resources? A. I have a pretty big cookbook collection, not surprising given the premise of the blog. If I had to pick the ones that are my most trusted resources, I’d use the ‘which books have the most pages glued together by food splatters?’ test: THE FLAVOR BIBLE, for inspiration and unexpected pairings.”

—SAVEUR.COM (July 19, 2012)

The Ultimate Kitchen Companion. Food and drink luminaries, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, are esteemed for their groundbreaking culinary books including WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. They have done it again with THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide To Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs.  This invaluable kitchen companion is a compilation of eight years of extensive flavor pairing research. Since 2000, the couple spent thousands of hours visiting restaurants, interviewing chefs, combing menus, Web sites and cookbooks. The 384-page flavor guidebook is unique, but easy to use. Thousands of ingredients, herbs, spices and seasoning entries are organized alphabetically and cross-referenced, making it what the title promises — a flavor bible. Choose from achiote seeds to zucchini blossoms. Look up techniques, seasons and cuisines. You’ll also find signature dishes, tips and bits of wisdom from America’s most respected chefs including Mario Batali, José Andrés and Charlie Trotter. Inspiration is the book’s purpose — helping cooks understand how to best season ingredients while simultaneously encouraging individual creativity. This is a must-have for both the experienced chef and home cook beginner.”


“Three Books for Every Kitchen: More often than not, I need inspiration rather than directions. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is my favorite book these days. The premise is simple: it’s a thesaurus of flavors. Look up any ingredient and the book lists complimentary flavors, using font to indicate strength of pairing. It is not a recipe book. There are no rules or structure. It’s a reference book more than anything else. There are essays on flavor, pairing, and balance; the book is chock full of beautiful photography; and the world’s greatest chefs (favoring Americans) contribute their favorite flavor pairings for certain ingredients; but that’s all secondary to the lists….In addition to individual ingredients, the book also covers larger categories, listing things that may go well with cheese, say. More interestingly though are the categories for whole cuisines (Mexican, Thai, Indian, etc.) which allow you to quickly approximate a flavor profile. For instance: Flavors of Thai cuisine include lemongrass, cilantro, coconut milk, chile peppers, and fish sauce. Before I found this book, I was comfortable making my dinner from scratch without a recipe to guide every step of the way, but I found myself doing the same things over and over. When I had something truly exquisite at a restaurant or watched some piece of magic on a cooking show, I found I often understood the technique but marveled at the inspiration, the combination of flavors. This is the book that has really helped me take that step in my cooking, to be really inventive, novel, and interesting in my kitchen.”


“Q. Name your top three books for mixology inspiration. A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE…”

—Adam Seger, mixologist, Hum Spirits Co. (Chicago)

“…[F]ew of us have the time or inclination to improve our cooking skills. What we want, what we need, is something that will help us become better cooks without having to further our skillset. That’s a tough proposition, though. In fact, if such a thing existed, it would have to be considered a second coming of sorts — a miracle, a gentle hand placed right where we ache. Can you feel it? It’s nothing less than the healing powers of a new book called THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Hallelujah. Our prayers have been answered. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the newest offering from my favorite foodie authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, a husband-wife duo whose previous works include BECOMING A CHEF, CULINARY ARTISTRY, DINING OUT, CHEF’S NIGHT OUT, THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, and WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. Chapters one and two discuss occasion, seasonality, region, taste, mouthfeel and aroma, all concepts that we can use to ensure that each time we enter the kitchen we’re apt to improve ourselves as cooks. Chapter three covers flavor affinities, and contains a list of almost every imaginable ingredient, in alphabetical order, and a corresponding list of those ingredients which best complement it….Wow, that’s a concept I can turn into a quick salad or appetizer, learn a little along the way, and, most importantly, incorporate a little of my own creativity into the dish-without blindly following someone else’s recipe. What’s more, I can take THE FLAVOR BIBLE with me to the grocery store. If avocadoes are on sale, I can simply reference my bible for complementary ingredients.  Ultimately, I hope, we’ll be delivered from our reliance on recipes, and instead of racks of food mags, there will be a copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE found in every nightstand drawer next to every bed in every hotel around the country.”


My New Favorite Book. Twelve years ago, Karen Page and her husband Andrew Dornenburg published CULINARY ARTISTRY. They interviewed hundreds of chefs around the country to learn more about what makes cooking an artistic endeavor. The real value of this book was the middle section that had a listing of ‘flavor marriages.’ In encyclopedic format, they listed ingredients, such as chicken, mushrooms or artichokes, with a list of ingredients and flavors that paired well….This year, they finished the work that I wanted to…and they published THE FLAVOR BIBLE. This isn’t so much a cookbook as it is a reference book to stir creativity….With this book, you can browse the listings for chicken, and see that it pairs well with coconut, galangal and lime, or with garlic, pancetta and sage. From here, you can have a much more productive web search of recipes. Or, if you’re like me, you’ll just make something up with the various ingredients that I now feel confident match each other….I highly recommend THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”


“My Cookbook Shortlist: …There is one place in the house that is exalted above the rest. A place of honor in the kitchen reserved for only those cookbooks I go to with the most frequency. These are the first books I look at when I am seeking inspiration, checking a reference, or wondering what this culture or that one does with whatever new ingredient I’ve brought home. I figured with the holidays coming up and people looking for gifts for their cooking friends, it’d be a good time to run down my top 10 cookbooks. All rest in my cookbook altar….The one book I find I cannot live without is Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg’s THE FLAVOR BIBLE. It is not so much a cookbook as a book for cooks to use as a reference when faced with a new ingredient, or an ingredient they want to use in a different way. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is essentially an alphabetical list of ingredients with other ingredients that go well with them listed underneath. So for venison, it has the obvious — rosemary, juniper and garlic — but also things like tomatoes and allspice. If you are already a decent cook and want to elevate your art, to create recipes rather than just modify or copy someone else’s, you need this book. Nearly every chef I know has either it, or Page and Dornenburg’s earlier CULINARY ARTISTRY. I own both.”


“Braised Rabbit, and a New Way to Look at Food. I made braised rabbit last night, and it was good. But the dish was also something more: I made it up. No cookbook involved, although I did get a little help from a very different kind of book that offers was a new (at least to me) way to look at food that is changing the way I cook….Certain rules just seem natural. Beef doesn’t go very well with fish stock. Put chiles, citrus, vinegar and wine together and you’d better serve Tums as dessert. On the other side of the ledger, you’ll find butter and lobster. Mint and lamb. Lemon and fish. Classics, all — cliches, really. We need to go deeper. Which brings me to this curious set of books that are helping me do this. They are written by a duo who have spent considerable time interviewing great chefs, asking them what flavor combinations they employ. Chestnuts marry nicely with cream, yes, but did you know they’ll play with rosemary just as well? (I did, but for every one I do know, there are 50 I didn’t.) The authors are Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, and the books are CULINARY ARTISTRY and THE FLAVOR BIBLE. These are not cookbooks. They are schematics for a skilled cook, points of departure to guide invention. Think of them as a way to prevent you from pairing mahi mahi with braised lamb and a strawberry sauce, topped with sun-dried tomatoes. What are these books then? For the most part, they are lists of ingredients that skilled, professional — even great — chefs have paired and paired well. CULINARY ARTISTRY focuses on classic flavors that chefs have combined for millennia. THE FLAVOR BIBLE looks more at what chefs are doing now. I own both, but I did not really appreciate CULINARY ARTISTRY or THE FLAVOR BIBLE until some months after I ‘read’ them…But something happened when I took a second look at Page and Dornenburg’s second book. I began to think. What if I put away my cookbooks for a while and just played with flavors, using only these books? Great chefs have many of tried-and-true flavor combinations filed away in their minds, but even Eric Ripert or Thomas Keller will not know all of them. (Ferran Adria might.) That’s where the books would be useful, a guide to my wanderings. The first foray was this braised rabbit….Brooding flavors of dried mushrooms, homemade guanciale and a dark duck stock pulled the rabbit toward winter, while the white wine and young greens tossed in at the end lifted it toward springtime. It was the perfect dish for just this day — not tomorrow, not two weeks from now or last month. Today. What will tomorrow bring?”


“Cookbooks for Giving and Keeping. There were a lot of important restaurant cookbooks that came out this year: A Day at El Bulli, Alinea and Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide come to mind. I am not opposed to serious books, but the books I turn to again and again tend to not be the weighty ones. Just like cooking and eating, I like cookbooks to be fun. Today I am recommending two fun books, two thoroughly enjoyable non-cookbooks and two local San Francisco Bay Area cookbooks, one of which actually is a restaurant cookbook, but also much more than that….I raved about THE FLAVOR BIBLE a few months ago. It’s a book to go to for ideas, inspiration, and sometimes reassurance that yes, that seemingly crazy combination you came up with does in fact make perfectly good sense. Sneak a peek at some of the signature dishes of top chefs and find out what flavors pair well. I find this book helps me get out of the ruts I sometimes get into with a specific ingredient, always cooking it one way, forgetting to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. Since reviewing it, I have used this book many times in creating new recipes for my wine retailer client. This is hands down the best, and most useful culinary reference book of the year.”


THE FLAVOR BIBLE: A Thesaurus of Combinations. If you’re like me, when you combine flavors you rely on two things: guaranteed combinations — like tomatoes and basil, lamb and rosemary, apples and cinnamon — and educated guessing. That strategy leaves a lot of room for error. Award-winning authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have taken the guessing out of the equation with their newest book THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs ($35). It is the first comprehensive ‘thesaurus’ of modern flavor combinations organized as an easy-to-use alphabetical reference featuring more than 600 popular ingredients (meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, cheeses, etc.) and the herbs, spices, wines and other flavorings that best enhance them. Check out a copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE to find out more — it’s like sitting down at the kitchen table to talk with some of the best chefs in the country. It will also help you elevate your cooking to new heights.”

—Denise Shoukas, FOODSPRING.COM, National Association for the Specialty Food Trade

“Favorite Things: New Heights’ Ron Tanaka: You might not know Ron Tanaka’s name — he tends to stay out of the spotlight — but he has cooked at such high-profile restaurants as Palena and CityZen. After almost four years at Cork, he now mans the stoves at New Heights. He took a break from testing a pickled-boar recipe to tell us about his favorite drinks, dream trip, and takeout of choice….Favorite Cookbooks: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg and French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David.”


A Mixologist’s Secret Weapon: I think of recipes as magical, chemical formulas and follow them quite strictly. I rarely improvise. Of course, there are time when not all ingredients are on hand, and I will risk culinary disaster by substituting one like-minded ingredient for another, or adding an herb or spice I really like to the mix.  THE FLAVOR BIBLE, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, takes this approach to cooking into consideration. While this tome is just shy of 400 pages, it is not a recipe book but rather a guide to mixing and matching ingredients that no kitchen should be without. Its pages and pages list every conceivable ingredient and tells you what makes them tick and how to pair them. It’s a Thesaurus for cooks! But surprisingly, it’s also a mixologist’s secret weapon. I mentioned it to one mixologist on a not-so-recent visit to the Cosmopolitan’s Vesper Bar while yapping about food stuffs, and he indicated that he used it to create drinks. Some time later, while slurping oysters and enjoying a Belgian Delirium Tremens pale ale at Bouchon in the Venetian, I spotted a copy of this book behind the bar. I mentioned it to a few other bartenders and mixologists, and most of them had either heard of it or owned a well-thumbed copy.”


“Tasteful Books….Taste Dictionary: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. A must for anyone who has discovered foodpairing, is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This sequel to their earlier book CULINARY ARTISTRY is a kind of dictionary for flavor combinations. In alphabetical order in the book you will find a wide variety of ingredients, from fish to meat and herbs and wine, and each ingredient is what the best flavor combinations. Page and Dornenburg will draw on the experience of top chefs, and less on purely chemical bases. Their list is not complete, but very surprising and inspiring for those who are Brussels sprouts, duck or fish have a different twist to give. Furthermore, the authors of this book make their appearance at the symposium Foodpairing in Bruges, which I already mentioned this blog.”

—Annemieke Smit, WEBLOGS.VPRO.NL/UITGEKOOKT (December 23, 2008) (auto-translated from Dutch by Google)

“Sometimes a food book comes along that I think ‘I wish I had written that.’ It doesn’t happen as often as I would like but THE FLAVOR BIBLE is one of those volumes. Written by respected food authors Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is all about what flavor pairings work well together….I found this book extremely useful in terms of finding ingredients in the farmers market or in my store cupboards and then using THE FLAVOR BIBLE for suggestions about what I should be cooking. It really is excellent at sparking ideas in the mind of the more experienced cook and making them think of new combinations or ideas that will add a bit of extra zip to a recipe. THE FLAVOR BIBLE would be useful to any cook but for anyone who is serious about their food — either as an enthusiast or as someone who makes a living from cooking — then I think this will become one of the indispensable books in their kitchen library. As such, it is one of my favourite cookbooks of this century.”

—Joe Saumarez Smith, COOKING INDEX

THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg is…one of the more unique books that I’ve ever picked up. Phenomenal. All their books are. They take your cooking to the next realm.”

—Ron Smith, host, THE HOME AND LIFESTYLE SHOW on KTSA Newstalk Radio 550 AM

THE FLAVOR BIBLE is touted as ‘A Groundbreaking Thesaurus of Compatible Flavors’. Its [sub]title is ‘The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s most imaginative Chefs’. What better recommendation could there be for a wondrous guide regarding what flavors to add to which dishes? We all know that ‘tomatoes and basil, lamb and rosemary, apples and cinnamon’ blend well together to create lovely tastes. With the global market being what it is, new and exciting flavors are available on the shelves of our local stores just waiting for us to give them a try and discover our own favorites. This cookbook ‘doesn’t merely prescribe recipes, but rather inspires the creation of new dishes based on imaginative and harmonious flavor combinations.’ Using this new guide can open up a whole new method of cooking and possibly enhance already favorite recipes. Bet you’d never think of adding cheese to pumpkin, mixing orange and rum, or adding rosemary to cabbage or risotto. The symbiotic relationship of so many flavors blending together makes the mouth water. The suggested flavors to be used in combinations for salmon, for instance, are endless — twenty for plain salmon — more for cured or smoked. It is impossible to list the possibilities placed before us here. Even an overview would take more than the space allotted for this review. This wonderful book — my chef daughter almost salivated over it — is ‘filled with thousands of entries — organized alphabetically and cross-referenced’ and providing a ‘virtual goldmine of spectacular combinations for meat, seafood, cheeses, vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, and much more’. THE FLAVOR BIBLE would make a marvelous gift for the holidays — that is after you have purchased one for yourself. This cookbook is a must for every kitchen.”

—Mary Ann Smyth, BOOKLOONS.COM

“The leaders of St. Louis’ craft beer community come together to talk all things beer…ALIVE: Where do you look for inspiration? KEVIN LEMP, 4 HANDS BREWING COMPANY: We draw a lot of our inspiration from the kitchen. We even use THE FLAVOR BIBLE at the brewery to look at different ingredients and what works well with what. Morning Glory is a sweet potato beer that we brewed and tried to get creative with the culinary aspect of it, pairing different spices and using wood chips in the brewing process. We’re inspired by the culinary scene in St. Louis, which is also fantastic. If you look at the culinary scene with the farm-to-table movement and the coffee scene with the single-origin coffee and small roasters, there’s a lot of stuff going on at the craft level locally, which I think is exciting.”

—Matt Sorrell, ALIVE

“Q. What’s your favorite cookbook? A. There’s a lot of really good work being done out there right now. My “favorite” cookbook changes constantly. But, I will, instead, name my favorite cooking-related book: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. It is a rare day that goes by when I don’t have this book propped open somewhere. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is a reference book that takes an ingredient — and it includes thousands of them — and lists all the other ingredients that work perfectly well with it…If you like to create your own recipes, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. One unexpected advantage of this book is that it’s given me a tremendous education on ingredients, far beyond what I anticipated. While I was consciously perusing the book for something that goes with, say, radishes, I was subconsciously absorbing way more information than I thought. I hope that makes sense. To put it another way, I was expecting a sort of Garanimals approach to putting foods together, but what I’ve gotten out of it instead are much more sharply-honed instincts about flavor affinities. And I’m really, really grateful for that.


At this summer’s Deep South RBA workshop in Baton Rouge, LA, noted decorator Jennifer Atwood (of Atwood’s Bakery in Alexandria, LA) led a demonstration on flavor innovation. From cupcakes to cinnamon rolls, Atwood’s isn’t afraid of pushing the envelope when it comes to unique flavors and combinations. One important resource Atwood uses is THE FLAVOR BIBLE. ‘If you don’t have this book,’ Atwood says, ‘you need to get it.’ Say you want to create a new flavor profile that features banana. THE FLAVOR BIBLE will list any flavor that goes with it. And those listed in all caps are indicated as what goes best with it. It also highlights ‘flavor affinities’ — two or three combination ideas, such as banana, dates and oatmeal. THE FLAVOR BIBLE was a trusted resource for inspiring flavor ideas such as lemon macarons filled with basil buttercream, which Atwood sampled at the workshop.”

—Joanie Spencer, BAKE

“Local cookbook store choose their Top 10. Okay, maybe the cookbooks on this Top 10 list of cookbook gift ideas aren’t all local, but it helps support a local cookbook store, Books To Cooks, which does an incredible job in supporting the local mania for all things food. This is the Books To Cooks’ staff choices for the top cookbooks published this year: West: The Cookbook by Warren Geraghty (local author); Fat by Jennifer McLagan; THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg….”

—Mia Stainsby, VANCOUVER SUN

“Routt County Spotlight: Jessica Lynn Raiford. Occupation: Caterer, Steamboat Meat & Seafood Co. Place of birth: New Orleans. Q. When did you move to Routt County, and what brought you here? A. November 2005 hurricanes…Q. Has a book ever changed your life? What was it and why? A. THE FLAVOR BIBLE, book about the fundamentals of flavor and food and how to begin putting it all together. It gave me courage to even start cooking.”


THE FLAVOR BIBLE — A Cookbook to End All Cookbooks? From Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, acclaimed authors of BECOMING A CHEF, DINING OUT, CHEF’S NIGHT OUT, and THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, among others, comes THE FLAVOR BIBLE (Little Brown & Co., $35). Rather than offer precise and detailed recipes on how to replicate a dish of a given chef or author, with THE FLAVOR BIBLE, you’ll learn to celebrate the process of creating your own dish. In fact, you will not find even one single recipe in this book. Instead, you’ll be presented with cross-referenced alphabetical charts that offer complementary flavors and appropriate cooking techniques for every ingredient imaginable from sea bass, to green beans, beef short ribs, blue cheese, piquillo peppers, and on and on. In addition to the flavor charts, the book adds the valuable advice of the country’s greatest chefs and their tips and thoughts about the process of cooking creating delicious meals from a wide array of flavors. THE FLAVOR BIBLE is definitely a different kind of cookbook in that its goal is almost to remove the need for a cookbook altogether. Indeed, it teaches a very practical way of cooking. Instead of being tied to a recipe and making sure you have all the ingredients, you are freed to cook from what is in your pantry because you’ll have a guideline of what pairs well with what and how to make your dinner come together from whatever is on hand.”

—Andrea Strong, STRONG BUZZ

“Most cooks can easily recite several classic flavor pairings: lamb and rosemary, tomatoes and basil, apples and cinnamon. But when we wish to be more adventurous in the kitchen, and possibly even develop our own recipes, what principles ought to guide us?….Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, authors of the classic handbook on flavor pairing, CULINARY ARTISTRY, recently published a new book that builds on their earlier work. THE FLAVOR BIBLE ($35, Little, Brown and Co.) decodes the language of food, explaining the roles of flavor, texture, aroma and mouth-feel in how we experience a dish. The authors quote dozens of top chefs as they describe how they create recipes. The rest of the book is an amazingly thorough 337-page guide to modern flavor pairing, from achiote seeds to zucchini blossoms.”


“I like to think I’ve mastered baking with spices. Sugar cookies that come alive with cardamom and chocolate chip brownies that get a boost from cinnamon are no problem, but I still get nervous about adding spices to savory dishes. So if you’re anything like me and quake at the thought of cooking savory foods with spices, consider [this] your new go-to book: THE FLAVOR BIBLE (Little, Brown) by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. This is a reference book, plain and simple, so if you’re hoping for recipes, this is not for you. But don’t let the phrase ‘this is a reference book’ scare you because this is a great reference book! This book is the result of years of research in which the authors queried chefs about food and flavoring, and the pairings behind some of the most classic and innovative dishes in the world. In THE FLAVOR BIBLE, the authors have ingredients (epazote, blood oranges, squid) and other food categories (brunch, English cuisine, sweetness) broken down with their respective food/flavor pairings. Want to know what goes well with duck? Apples and cherries might be obvious, but how about bay leaf and turnips? What about pairings for peas? The usual suspects like butter, Boston lettuce, and heavy cream show up. But had you considered ginger and honey? It’s the surprising twists and turns that make this book so valuable, along with asides from famous chefs explaining some of their favorite food pairings and how they use the ingredients.”


“Fall Favorites 2008: Cookbooks: I don’t keep many cookbooks in my actual kitchen, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is one of few exceptions. I’ve long been a fan of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, and their latest release is often just what I needed to give my creative juices a jolt.”

—Heidi Swanson, 101COOKBOOKS.COM

THE FLAVOR BIBLE To The Rescue: I don’t cook creatively with broccoli – typically just roasting or steaming it as a simple side. So, I turned to my trusty copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. Before I get to what I made, though, let me tell you about this book. It is a truly great resource. It outlines almost every ingredient imaginable – from spice to meat, vegetable to nut, and dairy product to liquid concoction, etc. – in alphabetic order, along with a list of other foods (and beverages) that complement it or are related to it, and the global cuisines it is often found in. There are suggested dishes and short essays from notable chefs, notes on when an ingredient is available during the year, how it tastes and feels in your mouth,and even techniques you can use to prepare it. What are notably absent are recipes – the point is to encourage you to try your own hand at a recipe using your favorite of the suggested flavor combinations. I highly recommend it!”

—Stormy Sweitzer, MAOOMBA.COM

“Take 5 With Tami Hardeman: Q. I’m confident that everyone in the food blog community knows you already but for those who don’t, would you like to introduce yourself? A. [That’s sweet of you to say.] My name is Tami Hardeman. I’m an Atlanta-based food stylist with a blog called Running with Tweezers…Q. One cookbook that you can’t live without or you recommend that everyone should have? A. It’s not a cookbook…but I think THE FLAVOR BIBLE is the best food-based book I’ve ever gotten. So helpful and eye-opening about flavor pairing. There are taste combinations that I, for one, would never have thought go together.”


“Books to Live By: Jared Van Camp, my line mate at Blackbird and now chef at Old Town Social had an affinity for books that surpassed all others. He gave me a copy of CULINARY ARTISTRY by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg that really helped me get a grasp on what worked together. It is a rudimentary book that has only been trumped by the same author’s newest tome, THE FLAVOR BIBLE. I bought it when it debuted and have cooks and servers alike grabbing it from the bookshelf in the kitchen every day. So here at the end of the year, when the ‘best of’ lists saturate daily candy and front pages, I decided to come up with the books that I come back to regardless of the season or situation: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: Everything you need to know about traditional flavors, seasonality and great insight on ingredients from some wonderful chefs.”

—Chef Cary Taylor, Executive Chef, CHAISE LOUNGE (Chicago)

“Ever since I got serious about cooking, I’ve tried to invest in durable, high-quality, non-toxic pieces for my kitchen. Here’s a collection of my very favorite and most-used cooking tools…THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an incredibly useful reference book. It lists which flavors pair well with others, which is convenient when you’re improvising with what you have on hand.”


“Here’s my Christmas wish for you: I hope that the New Year brings you the ability to cook without a recipe. Today, I’ve got the authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE joining me — very cool people and a very cool book….Your book just blows my mind! This is literally a bible of compatible flavors….This is truly THE book for foodies this holiday.”

—Amy Tobin, AMY’S TABLE, Q102 (Cincinnati)

“Meant as a sort of companion piece to their IACP award-winning What to Drink With What You Eat, Page and Dornenburg’s follow-up [THE FLAVOR BIBLE] works just as well on its own. Like its predecessor, the book is a reference material rather than a traditional cookbook. Ingredients and cuisines are listed alphabetically, enabling cooks to find complimentary flavors. Virtually all the key ingredients/flavors have at least a dozen other items/dishes that go well with them, but some such as pasta, chicken, duck and peaches, have entries that span one or more pages with expanded text to accompany their listing. In many cases the authors include commentary from well-known chefs like Emily Luchetti, Mario Batali, and Michael Lomonaco, among others, expounding on their favorite uses for key ingredients or flavors. This isn’t a cookbook in the traditional sense — you won’t find any recipes here. What you will find, though, are thousands of flavor combinations as well as new ideas for pairings that will enable you to add depth to your cooking as well as to create new riffs on personal favorites. New cooks may be frustrated initially, but virtually everyone who’s serious about cooking as well as finding new uses for items they have on hand will find themselves referring to it again and again. Look for this to make a lot of year-end top 10 lists as well as garner an award or two.”

—Kyle Tonniges, The Reader (August 25, 2008)

“Sometimes just reading what goes with what gives inspiration enough…Books focusing on ingredients can be helpful, and one impressively thorough one is THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, whom you might recognize as former Washington Post wine columnists. The bulk of this book is a terrific list of hundreds of ingredients awith exhaustive pairings for each of them….The book also tells you what flavor profiles are compatible with each food and, sometimes, which flavor pairings you should avoid.”

—Jane Touzalin, The Washington Post

“I’m teaching a ‘beyond the basics’ series right now with a group of long-time students…This week the topic was seasoning, and I was sorely tempted to do a salt tasting, and then just hold up [THE FLAVOR BIBLE]. While we did go into the hows, whens, whys and whats of seasoning in as much depth as one can in a 2-hour class, I made sure to pass the book around, and pretty much implored everyone to go get it….A recent review I read of THE FLAVOR BIBLE likened it, very aptly, I thought, to the I Ching. I use it for inspiration both before and after I shop…picking up what looks great, checking the BIBLE for flavor pairings, and taking off from there, OR doing the fridge search, and then consulting Dornenburg and Page for inspiration. I absolutely love this book, a masterwork. I’m working on a book now, which gives me even more respect for it — I can’t even imagine what the process of creating this entailed. Staggering.”

—Cherie Mercer Twohy, one of 300 CCPs (certified culinary professionals) worldwide and owner, Chez Cherie in La Canada, California

“National Public Radio has called them ‘the brightest young author team on the culinary scene today.’ Their books have won or been finalists for coveted James Beard Awards for food writing. They’re wine columnists for The Washington Post, and their résumé includes hosting the first online chat done by Julia Child, back in 1996 when online chatting was a novelty. Now Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are headed for Milwaukee as part of a multicity tour for their new book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs (Little Brown, $35). They’ll stop at the Milwaukee Public Market on Nov. 13 for a reception and book-signing. We caught up with the Manhattan-based husband-wife team to chat about their new book, an alphabetical guide to ingredients based on the expertise of famed chefs: Homaro Cantu of Moto in Chicago and Johnny Iuzzini, pastry chef of Jean Georges in New York, to name a few.”


“Pros reveal their favorite cooking tools. Josh Bernstein, chef-owner of 9 North in Wayne: THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. ‘It is the most comprehensive book on flavor matching. I live by this book,’ he said. ‘It helps you combine flavors and take the guesswork out of the process.'”

—Elisa Ung, restaurant reviewer, NORTHJERSEY.COM

“If you’re looking for an amazing resource on flavor profiles, I highly suggest the (un)cookbook called THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It spells out flavor profiles, or what they term ‘flavor affinities,’ by individual food ingredients listed alphabetically. Under the section ‘apple’, there is listed all the foods that work well with apples. Items printed in lowercase are suggested, in bold are recommended, in bold caps are highly recommended, and in bold caps with an asterisk (*) are what the book refers to as ‘Holy Grail’ pairings. From achiote seeds to zucchini blossoms, the book lends a helping hand in identifying flavor profiles so that you can begin to recognize the ingredient combinations that you enjoy and to also be introduced to pairings that you may never would have thought worked well together.”

—Janani Urreta, vegan chef, LETTUCEBELOVELY.COM

“One of my most indispensable kitchen books is THE FLAVOR BIBLE. If I haven’t beaten it into heads enough, it is broken down alphabetically by ingredient (and occasionally cuisine) and describes taste, season, techniques, and volume. For example, grapefruit is sour, light, and loud. It’s the loudness that really gets me — and a reason why it is so great in sauces. Whip up a kicky savory grapefruit sabayon to pair with grilled fish, a grapefruit aioli to match zucchini fritters, grapefruit vinaigrette for salad, or a grapefruit glaze for roast chicken.”

—Jackie Varriano, POOR TASTE magazine

“50 Chefs’ Favorite Cookbooks: Start your wish list: These are the books the pros love the most….THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg takes single ingredients and lets you know the seasonality, best cooking message, and which ingredients pair well with them.”

—Merlin Verrier, culinary director of Lollapalooza in Chicago, as quoted on FOODNETWORK.COM

“I needed a resource to rescue me and THE FLAVOR BIBLE pulled through marvelously. (My husband is actually my go-to resource, but sometimes he has to work and we unfortunately still need to eat). Here are the top three reasons I love this book: 1. Easy to use. I can over-complicate anything, especially when the subtitle is The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity. I have no interest in being creative in the kitchen and with no recipes, the book seemed way too intimidating for a cooking-averse woman like myself. However, it is set up very simply. Alphabetical order with an explanation in the front about how to use it effectively. 2. Flavor combinations and suggestions. Sometimes I look at my thawing chicken in the fridge and want to cry because I don’t know what to do with it. I never have all the ingredients I need for a recipe and heaven forbid I wake up a sleeping baby to go to the store. And when Baby wakes up, she’s ready to eat so going to the store after and then cooking is out of the question. Commence crying. The beautiful thing about THE FLAVOR BIBLE is that it highlights flavors that match well together so I can look in and see that tarragon and chicken are a beautiful pair – and I have both in my kitchen! This little book saves me from many-a-minor-anxiety-attack. 3. Modifiable for any type of diet. My baby is on a FODMAP-free diet and I am on the autoimmune protocol. It’s pretty much impossible to find recipes for foods we can eat which makes me want to throw my hands up in total defeat. Because seriously, how do you cook without onions and garlic? Thankfully, this book gave me options when traditional internet-scouring turned up a pretty fruitless search. If you’re on a special diet or a special budget, I highly recommend keeping this book in your personal library. It helps me use up my leftovers in creative ways and keeps me sane throughout the week when trying to figure out how to use spaghetti squash without tomato sauce.”


“No matter your culinary level of expertise, following are a few must-have cooking basics for your pantry library….And when you think you’ve got the hang of this cooking thing, you’ll want to add THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs — cited as one of the best books of 2008 — by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Karen and Andrew are the brilliant husband and wife team who masterfully open the door to deconstructed, behind-the-scenes culinary experiences. And THE FLAVOR BIBLE is no exception. Analphabetical index of flavors and ingredients, the book allows readers to search complimentary combinations for a particular ingredient. The listings, combinations and short essays from various chefs on different matches are meant to inspire rather than dictate. I compare it to the equivalent of a Pantone swatch book for the fellow graphic designers out there.”

—Dawn Viola, adjunct design instructor at IADT in Orlando, THE EXAMINER

“According to THE FLAVOR BIBLE, my new favorite book, here’s a list of things that go with Parmesan (meats excluded)….”

—Andrea Wachner, (April 30, 2012)

“Favorite cookbook: THE FLAVOR BIBLE.”

—Roger Waysok, chef, South Water Kitchen (Chicago)

“Speed Reading: Books, Books, Fish: …Q. Now, cooking: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Why, oh why, oh why have we got a cookery book on the Speed Read? A. “In the last two weeks, we’ve just been hit by a seeming avalanche of cookery books. And a lot of them are good, but THE FLAVOR BIBLE is really head and shoulders above the rest. It’s not a traditional cookery book, in the sense that it doesn’t give you any recipes. But what the authors did was they went round and interviewed all of the top chefs in the U.S. and they wrote a list of all the possible ingredients you could use — like beef, cottage cheese, Parmesan, beans — and they describe the taste of those ingredients. What they’ve done very cleverly is made a list of the flavors which best complement these things….It’s almost like a flavor palette. It’s really for people who want to be creative and imaginative but are not sure which flavors go best with which.”

—Matthew Wake, owner of Books Books Books, an English-language bookstore in Lausanne, on World Radio Switzerland

“Flavored With History: Ever since Adam first bit into that apple, flavor has had an astounding effect on mankind. Please join us as the award-winning husband-and-wife team of Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg speak about flavor pairings in food and drink throughout history. Their talk will be based on their new book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. This is a unique tome, in that it doesn’t contain a single recipe. Rather, it provides inspiration for the creation of an unlimited number of dishes. One of their first books, CULINARY ARTISTRY, offered a groundbreaking approach to the idea of flavor pairings and garnered astounding sales [approaching] 100,000 copies; the book is said to have revolutionized the way leading chefs cook, including Chicago’s Grant Achatz of Alinea, who claims it is his most used cookbook.. THE FLAVOR BIBLE has already been described as CULINARY ARTISTRY on steroids.”

—WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio

“I pride myself on being a very intelligent, well-informed, and well-educated woman…Another book that is perfect for roof-top tanning and cocktail sipping is one of my all-time favorite cooking books, called THE FLAVOR BIBLE. This book is my go-to whenever I’m creating new recipes. The authors do a fabulous job in describing how flavors work together and different compliments for ingredients. If you’re looking to get the most attention for the best dish at the next summer pot-luck BBQ you get invited to, consult THE FLAVOR BIBLE first.”

—Pace Webb, chef, travel and lifestyle expert, TASTEOFPACE.COM

“In THE FLAVOR BIBLE, Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page have put together the be-all, end-all to figuring out what foods work best to bring out the best taste…A godsend…This is incredible. You’ve tapped some of the greatest minds in kitchens across America, for crying out loud…This is probably the most unique book on cooking out there.”

—Don Weeks, host, WGY Radio

“When I heard the UPS truck outside this morning I knew what it was delivering: my new copy of THE FLAVOR BIBLE: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs. I ran downstairs from my office to the front door and there it was…I’d heard from many of my food-loving friends and bloggers about this fabulous book, but had no idea how good it really is. So good that I just had to share it with you. As someone who writes about food I often struggle to come up with something clever and delicious. This book has solved that problem! Thank you Karen and Andrew for what must have been an exhausting exercise. Comprised of an impressive and extensive list of foods and cuisines, the book includes synonyms, seasons, functions, cooking techniques, flavor affinities/matching, and more. Brilliant! For example, if you have a bunch of chestnuts and don’t know what to do with them it suggests ingredients from Armagnac to sweet Marsala, but recommends avoiding berries. Flavor affinities for chestnuts include bacon and fennel or orange and pear, to name just a couple. Call-outs are also given to famous chefs and how they use that particular ingredient — such as Gina DePalma, pastry chef at Babbo, who created a Chestnut Spice Cake With Mascarpone Cream. Simply put, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is an inspiring must-have for your kitchen! Even if you don’t write about food.”

—Sheri Wetherell, VP, FOODISTA Blog (January 28, 2009)

“Pick of the Week: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. One would think such an ephemeral idea as ‘flavor’ couldn’t be nailed down, but the duo behind THE FLAVOR BIBLE — a glossy new colossus of cook porn devoted to creative flavor combinations — is up to the challenge. Authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg delight in turning recipes on their ear, urging readers to explore the salty, sour, bitter and sweet world of which spices and ingredients taste good together and why — with a little cross-referencing and advice from some of the world’s best chefs tossed in along the way. Page and Dornenburg are no strangers to this territory: 2007’s WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT won the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Cookbook of the Year award, while their home mantle fairly groans with other accolades for their past cookbook work. And the couple also pens the Washington Post’s weekly wine column, so yeah, they know a little bit about good taste. The cost of Thursday’s meet-and-greet with Page and Dornenburg ($35) includes the book, wine, appetizers and all the kitchen talk you can muster between mouthfuls. In Good Taste, 231 NW 11th Ave., 248-2015. 5:30 pm. $35. Reservations required. Register at”

WILLAMETTE WEEK (Week of September 24, 2008)

“More than Ten Commandments: Thou shalt read THE FLAVOR BIBLE, the ultimate ingredient guide: The world’s most imaginative chefs know great cooking goes beyond merely following a recipe — it’s knowing how to season ingredients to coax the great possible flavour from them. But that’s only one part of the puzzle. In THE FLAVOR BIBLE, prolific food-book authors Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg offer insight into the thought processes of chefs….Page and Dornenburg’s hefty, cross-referenced encyclopedia takes every ingredient and tells you quite simply how best to prepare it and what flavours enhance it….THE FLAVOR BIBLE will make you think about all of your favourite recipes in a different light.”

—Kasey Wilson, WINE ACCESS magazine

“Training: THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Since the activity has been low, I thought to come up with a quick but kalasbra books. It was enough with a quick gluttar in the book — THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg….An ambitious attempt to explain what the taste is, and that in the spirit linnéansk catalog and systematize all edible. I’m not sure I agree with everything but it is an impressive approach and less push than the molecular gastronomy approaches to para raw materials with similar flavor molecules. Now I am a little wind and whimpers even. I anguish over my own stupidity not to have bought the book before. I met Mr Dornenburg at a cocktail [party] before the gala, when he received prize for the couple’s last book on pairing food with wine [WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT], found him both likable and knowledgeable, and then forgot to buy both the book and this one. And I will call me matnörd! More detailed review follows eventually, but do not wait to order it. Surely, you deserve an extra Christmas present?”

—Lisa Forare Windbladh, MATMOLEKYLER.TAFFEL.SE (December 25, 2008) (auto-translated from Swedish by Google)

“I purchased [THE FLAVOR BIBLE] recently, and it has given me a lifetime’s worth of amazing ideas. It has also changed the way I shop: now I arm myself with a list of possible complementary flavors, then see what looks freshest at the store, and cook! Everything I’ve made since this purchase has met with rave reviews. There are a number of excellent, even award-winning cookbooks, on my shelf, but this one is in a league of its own. Treat yourself and your loved ones to these flavor combinations.”

—E. Winn, Vitamins, etc. in Austin, TX (January 30, 2009)

“How This Librarian Works: Becca Bley, Daeman College … Q. What are you currently reading? A. I also like to read cookbooks (in print). Can you tell I enjoy cooking yet? I won Jekka’s Herb Cookbook at ALA this summer and I can’t keep away from THE FLAVOR BIBLE. If anybody enjoys indexes and cooking, THE FLAVOR BIBLE is best thing to ever happen. It goes through ingredients and lists the best flavor pairings with an emphasis of Good, Better, and Best. I’ve started building whole meals on the concepts in this book. It’s not a recipe book, but it’s great for ideas. It’s practically a flavor thesaurus.”

—WNYLRC Newsletter (November 22, 2013)

“California’s wine culture that came of age in the Bay Area during the past several decades has since spread to libations that were for a while considered as hip as the Edsel. But it was the connoisseur’s approach to wine that has foodies scouring the markets for the freshest local eggplants or sipping vintage cocktails mixed with distinctive ingredients. Adhering to that flavor-first philosophy, New York-based Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg have produced a guide that can help in those bewildering moments when the question arises: ‘What is that? And how do you use it?’ Or, just ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ THE FLAVOR BIBLE takes the approach that a great chef is like a poet, putting together ingredients — instead of words — in surprising ways. But the culinary bards, who are married and write a wine column for The Washington Post, keep their feet planted in reality with advice about more prosaic foods such as sauerkraut and sausages. ‘Cuisine is no longer determined by geography. Now it’s determined by flavor,’ said Page, who has a background in journalism and economics — and a food-loving Midwestern family. Dornenburg, a professional chef, used to make regular pilgrimages to Top Dog as a teen. But it was at the Santa Fe Bar and Grill in Berkeley under the hand of Jeremiah Tower, of Chez Panisse fame, that the Concord native’s passion for food was ignited. The couple’s approach in THE FLAVOR BIBLE takes up where their earlier book CULINARY ARTISTRY left off in 1996, when they realized that chefs had to thumb through cookbooks to come up with the information that they spent the past eight years compiling. The authors arranged everything in a 380-page tome that functions like an index of flavor and a simplified descriptive version of Dmitri Mendeleev’s periodic table. Instead of chemicals, however, THE FLAVOR BIBLE includes vegetarian dishes, tofu and just about every cut of beef a butcher can carve, as well as Tex-Mex and Thai cuisine. THE FLAVOR BIBLE the couple’s eighth book, is not a cookbook although the volume includes discoveries, tips and techniques from top chefs, such as ‘Selecting and Using Salt,’ or ‘Herbs 101.’ Think of the book more as a dating service for ingredients, matching the compatible ones and warning against the wrong pairings, whether it is the day’s discoveries at a farmers’ market or leftovers. Recipes are included in the couple’s previous book, WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT. There they offered advice about putting food and drink together — including nonalcoholic beverages — to enhance the flavors of both. Readers get the lowdown on what goes with Chimay beer or escargot, as well as french fries, McDonald hamburgers, Oreos, osso bucco and oysters. No surprise that flounder pairs well with a Chablis but it also goes well with cocktails containing cognac. But who knew Zinfandel was the right pick for Doritos, or that Champagne works with doughnuts? ‘ We wanted to simplify the wine world,’ Dornenburg said. ‘We wanted to make it easy to get started with any meal.'”

—Angela Woodall, OAKLAND TRIBUNE and Alameda Times-Star, The Argus, Contra Costa Times, The Daily Review, Inside Bay Area, San Mateo County Times, and Tri-Valley Herald

“Since we’re going to be talking about books more on Chow Bella, we wanted to start with my list of favorite cookbooks…There are some historically important and eternally useful books like Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Joy of Cooking but if you ask me what books I use the most, those aren’t it. Here’s a list of what I always have stacked right now in the kitchen or on the nightstand, in order of handiness: 4. THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg: I’m the first to tell you that you can make anything delicious with salt, pepper, olive oil and high heat. My son likes to think that cooking is throwing a handful of every single herb and spice in the cabinet. When I first started cooking, I wanted to make up recipes and use loads of different seasonings but it was always hit or miss. However, if you’ve already learned that less is more and you’re pretty comfortable in the kitchen and want to take your cooking to the next level, check out this incredibly detailed and interesting encyclopedia of common and interesting flavor combinations and applied techniques. This is the perfect book to use when inventing recipes. All professional chefs should have a copy of this book in their office. This is the Flavor Bible, indeed.”

—Jennifer Woods, PHOENIX NEW TIMES (October 11, 2011)

“When the delicate, lighter-style Japanese cuisine of Wynn’s newly opened Mizumi restaurant called for an equally light Asian-influenced cocktail, senior vice president of fine dining Pradeep Raman called for Wynn Resorts property mixologist Patricia Richards. “I generally create cocktails that I like to drink,” Richards says. And those are “well-balanced, high-quality, flavorful, fresh and delish.” Advising the aspiring mixologist or home bartender similarly seeking to pair cocktails with food, Richards says, “First and foremost, I look at seasonality.” Next, she considers the type of cuisine. Italian? “Limoncello, basil, blood orange, Aperol, Campari and amaros.” Pan-Asian? “Thai basil, ginger and lemongrass.” “I may refer to my favorite book, THE FLAVOR BIBLE, to put a couple of ingredients together, and then I start creating.”

—Xania Woodman, VEGAS SEVEN (August 9, 2012)

THE FLAVOR BIBLE by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Rating: 10/10….Before this book existed, I didn’t know I needed it, but now I don’t want to cook without it….An absolute must-have for anyone who aspires to cook better food of any type of cuisine.”

—Lisa Yanaky, BOOKBROTHEL.COM (February 11, 2009)