Another Taste of Gorgeous


Non-Fiction - Cooking/Food
260 Pages
Reviewed on 01/09/2021
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Author Biography

“Although my mom taught me to cook in South Africa where I was born, and from the moment I burned the rice at age eleven, I leaned a little more toward the exotic. I received my holistic nutrition diploma in 2014, my cancer practitioner's certification in 2018, and my fitness instructor diploma in 2020.
When I met my husband in 1998, neither of us had ever traveled outside of Southern Africa. We now live in Kentucky, USA. Living in the USA is a big deal for me. Being South African, I never imagined that this horizon will ever be a blip on my radar. My wildest dream did come true. In my books, you will experience various countries and places with me, as well as some of the culturally diverse foods we have encountered. The world is a big place, and it seems impossible to see it all. In places like the Seychelles I said, “This is the most beautiful place in the world, but can I really claim that statement to be true? I have not yet seen the whole world and may never have enough time to do so. Seeing the whole world, of course, may never be possible, so I have attempted to cook my way through the places we have seen and by writing cookbooks.
The events that led me to writing shaped who I have become and without the rocky and winding road, I would not have been strong enough to reach this point of my journey.”

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

The only thing better than a great dessert is a spectacular cookbook that features many great dessert options, complete with gorgeous illustrations and thorough instructions. Imagine the signature piece and cover illustration of this fantastic cookbook, 70% Cacao Chocolate Cheesecake! And then there’s Eggnog Éclairs, Toasted Pistachio & Dark Chocolate Butter Crunch (just the title makes you want to bite right into it) and so many others. I have to admit, the chocolate recipes always capture my attention first, especially with such mouth-watering illustrations. My tastebuds water just perusing the selection.

Craig and Johanna Harlen’s Another Taste of Gorgeous is a cookbook collector’s dream book – a must-have for the complete cookbook connoisseur collection. The book follows Craig’s career as a pastry chef extraordinaire. Beginning with this introduction, the book also documents the goal of this book, which follows an earlier publication, A Taste of Gorgeous. There is a wide selection of mouth-watering recipes in this book, each one clearly detailed with ingredients listed in order of use and very thorough instructions. Each recipe is also accompanied by a spectacular photograph of the final product, both simple and elegant, presented as one would expect it to be delivered to your table at a classy restaurant. Interspersed between recipes are some useful cooking guides, including lists of appropriate, good quality kitchen utensils which are a must in any finely tuned food preparation. The book is definitely a cookbook, but it is also a treasure to savor and enjoy, a classic coffee table picture book. Beautifully and artfully presented.

Asher Syed

Another Taste of Gorgeous by Craig and Johanna Harlen is an artistic cookbook that homes in on a beautiful combination of gourmet desserts and creative photography. Chef Craig, who is also the photographer, delivers over a hundred recipes with each accompanied by a stunning, full color photograph of the plated, styled, and garnished dessert. These range from delicious twists on traditional fare such as Sweet Potato Pie and Deconstructed Key Lime, to innovative new flavor combinations like the Cinnamon and Lemon Tart, Berry Matcha Tart, and the Beet and Brownie Cheesecake, straight on through to delights that are likely to be completely new to a casual reader's radar. These include the sublime Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Mousse and Turkish Delight Pavlova. Between the recipes, Johanna Harlen provides written guidance on kitchen tools, tips, tricks, and really informative commentary.

When I imagine what people eat in heaven, it is something akin to what Craig and Johanna Harlen bring together in Another Taste of Gorgeous. These are the treats anybody with even the slightest sweet tooth dreams about and readers should be aware: you might get a cavity just from looking. But it will be worth it. I appreciate that the recipes themselves aren't terribly difficult, although my attempt at the Eggnogg Eclairs didn't look like Chef Craig's. Thankfully they sat on there for less than 30 minutes before my tribe consumed them. They were next-level delicious. It will take some practice to work some of the visuals out but the instructions are really clear and even the garnishes are accounted for, which is an extra special treat. This is, from cover to cover, a cookbook that delivers and deserves a spot on your countertop.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Another Taste of Gorgeous by the mother and son duo, Johanna and Craig Harlen, is a cookbook you will savor. You will find the recipes require basic pantry items, but they throw in an intriguing new ingredient periodically, like pomegranate molasses or mascarpone to challenge the baking guru. The authors discuss the fundamental utensils that are needed and what you should look for. It’s rarely the more expensive items out there. While the recipes are mostly simple ingredients, the authors focus on the technique of preparing the food. Since Johanna and Craig have both traveled extensively, you will find desserts from different cultures. This book is a work of art in the photographic presentation, personal tips from the chefs, and love for each other. 

While friends are reading gossip magazines, I am reading cookbooks. Another Taste of Gorgeous is much more than a cookbook - it is the epitome of what food is about; people you love and showing that love through fabulous desserts. Craig Harlen is a prestigious chef in Tel Aviv, while Johanna Harlen adds the charm of recipes passed down for generations and those she developed. If you are looking for a cookbook to cut corners by adding extras to a box mix, this is not it. They make each recipe “from scratch”, which adds richness to the desserts. What I loved the most is the versatility of the recipes. I can adjust one or two ingredients to meet our dietary needs without giving up the flair of some of these flashy treats. The story behind the authors and the secret touches give this book a personal touch. I can’t wait to get baking.

Patricia Reding

Mother and son chefs, Johanna and Craig Harlen, team up to offer a series of dessert recipes in Another Taste of Gorgeous. At the outset, readers are greeted with proof that the authors intend to deliver exactly what their title suggests, namely recipes for gorgeous desserts. Indeed, so beautiful are some of the pictures that this book could easily move from the kitchen table to the coffee table. Following an opening that offers a personal glimpse into the lives of the Harlens—which I always look forward to in a work of this nature—100 dessert recipes follow. They range from those more traditional in form—if not in substance—such as types of brownies, cheesecakes, and tarts, to quite sophisticated offerings, including soufflés and tarts.

No matter how many cookbooks I have on my shelves, I am always ready to add another beautiful book, as is Another Taste of Gorgeous by Craig and Johanna Harlen. The recipes range from the fairly simple to those that seem quite complicated, although the authors do set the instructions out carefully, step by step, and in a manner that seems easy to understand. Those I would most like to begin with include Sweet Potato Pie, Pear and Cinnamon Skillet Cake, and Orange Cheesecake. In the meantime, I will enjoy the photos which are sure to tickle anyone’s tastebuds—as well as their imagination (especially for those who, like me, use recipes as the means to trigger untold variations and to allow my own personal creativity to get moving). If you are looking for a dessert cookbook with beautiful photography, look no further than Another Taste of Gorgeous.

K.C. Finn

Another Taste of Gorgeous is a work of non-fiction in the cooking and food sub-genres and was penned by team creators author Johanna Harlen and photographer and chef Craig Harlen. The work is a follow up to their first foray into the world of cookbooks, A Taste of Gorgeous, and contains another fifty fantastic recipes for everyday cooks to aspire to, along with some really handy kitchen tips for tools, garnishes and finishing touches. Part cookbook and part visual coffee table journey, the work explores how standard recipes that many people can achieve can also be displayed artistically and shown off for their elegance, elevating any dessert situation.

Author team Craig and Johanna Harlen have once again delivered a visual feast that is sure to make others hungry and inspired whilst they flip through the pages of this very handy work. In terms of organization, the work is well-formatted and gorgeously presented to convey information in a logical manner, and it allows easy reference to find both the recipes and the essential tips and tricks again and again. I also love the fact that it’s not a cookbook you would want to shelve away, but one that can proudly sit on display for others to enjoy too. I also thought the wording of the actual recipes was concise, easy to follow and simple to execute even for newcomers to the cooking world. Overall, I would highly recommend Another Taste of Gorgeous to fans of mouth-watering photography, sumptuous home cooking and as an ideal gift for aspiring chefs everywhere.