The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant. All photography by Ed Anderson
Outrageous and whimsical culinary creations to make a splash at any party. Would you like a shovel to serve your salad? Or a snow cone in your cocktail? With Barton G., there is only one thing to expect: the unexpected. For him, cooking represents an opportunity to let the imagination run wild. His message: Having fun in the kitchen is the most surefire way to create a fun party. In The Big Dish, Barton G. reveals the secrets to the unforgettable food and over-the-top presentations from his beloved restaurants so you can re-create this magic at your next party or special event. The element of surprise is an underlying theme: no dish is quite what it seems on first inspection. Take the Cheese Board, for example: rounds of brie and camembert turn out to be miniature cheesecakes, and those aren’t toasts alongside-they’re biscotti. Bite into what looks like a pop tart and discover a savory lobster filling. Small clay pots come planted with crudite vegetable “flowers” in black olive “soil.” Sometimes, play comes in the form of scale, such as with the Bucket o’ Bones: pork ribs, lamb chops, and chicken drumsticks served in a steel bucket accompanied by sauce and a paintbrush. Other signature constructions include Voo-doo Shrimp, Chocolate Kiss Cake, and Marshmallow Pizza. These dishes will cheer up even the grumpiest of guests and make anyone feel like a kid again.