Picks and Pans Review: Jasper White's Cooking from New England

updated 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/11/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Jasper White

Although a New Englander for less than a dozen years, Jasper White, a New Jersey-born chef and restaurateur in Boston, has caught the rock-ribbed essence of his adopted region. White's clam chowder with 10 pounds of quahogs brings a tangy whiff of the sea. A boiled dinner is traditional right down to the separately cooked beets, without which there could be no morning-after red flannel hash. A warm salad of grilled duck is laced with cranberries but also has such exotica as spiced pecans, papaya, ginger and balsamic vinegar. Poached eggs on johnnycakes are perked up with caviar.

Like many chefs who use fresh native products, White is passionate about preserving the environment, and in every chapter he takes a few potshots: against the polluting of ocean waters, for example, or the artificial breeding of chickens. You won't be stumped on where to find a Nantucket quail for grilling; White provides a source list for hard-to-come-by ingredients. These 300-plus recipes are as rich as a tutti-frutti, and there's even a version of that Down East favorite too. (Harper & Row, $25)

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