Book Review Week – Empty Bottle Moments by Clive Berkman

Written by Diana - July 30, 2009 1 Comment

Of all the books I’m reviewing this week, this is the most drool worthy.  I love the title Empty Bottle Moments, Cooking with Clive. Clive Berkman talks about his cooking experiences and how he came to think of the best of the best as empty bottle moments.

Clive states in his book

Clive Berkman's Empty Bottle Moments

For years, I’ve kept empty bottles that remind me of warm and wonderful times. Full bottles speak of possibilities, but empty ones tell great stories about couples celebrating an anniversary, parents enjoying a child’s birthday, an engagement, a graduation and a hundred other treasured moments.  All the work of preparation, attention to detail and presentation are designed to create those magic moments from the raw ingredients of food creativity and love.  To me, empty bottles symbolize memorable moments in the riches relationships in life.  And for that reason, they aren’t empty at all- they’re actually full and overflowing with meaning.

Clive tells the stories behind his passion for cooking and how he looks at a meal as a way to create a special moment. He grew up in South Africa the son of a demanding engineer and an actress mother who learned to cook and as a result became a teacher of cooking.  His mother’s cooking classes were his first exposure to cooking.  This book tells of his journey to the place he is now, telling the good and the bad.  Even the not so good is important because it’s an opportunity to learn and change something.  Clive has cooked for a president, football players, and his own restaurant guests.  He teaches cooking classes and demonstrations.  He’s a chef, a restaurateur and tries to create wonderful experiences for everyone.

This book isn’t just about his life and his journey, it has plenty of delicious, scrumptious looking recipes.  I really mean drool worthy recipes using lots of fresh vegetables, meat and fish.  Most of the recipes include ingredients we use in regular cooking, with a few specialty items here and there.  You probably need to plan ahead for some of these meals because they’re not the really quick throw together after work stuff, but really nice medium fast cooked meals that take a little bit time(though not too much) to prepare in order to create the perfect empty bottle moment. 

My recommendation – this would make a great gift for someone (even yourself) who loves to prepare a special meal. There are plenty of recipes and a very well written memoir.   Clive Berkman thinks people should read cookbooks the way they do novels, and his book was easily enjoyed.  My grade A.

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  1. By Clive Berkman’s Sirloin Steak : Cookerati on July 31, 2009 at 7:25 am

    […] way used to be aluminum foil packs for everything, but I’m converting him.  I followed Clive Berkman’s Empty Bottle Moments recipe for Sirloin Steak for dinner.  It’s a simple preparation, but I think brings out the […]

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