For our first Beard on Books of the year
, we're tossing those healthy resolutions out the window and sitting at the feet of Jennifer McLagan, chef, food stylist, and fat advocate. She's discussing her latest book, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes
, which was named Cookbook of the Year at the 2009 James Beard Awards. Supported by common sense and science, McLagan comes to the defense of this unfairly maligned nutrient, persuasively arguing that fat is indispensable to a complete diet and full flavor. (Not that we ever needed to be convinced of the latter.)
The book features recipes that get a boost from clever uses of oil, butter, or animal products. One of our favorites is her Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich
: the mayonnaise is made with bacon fat, a simple but genius trick that enhances the classic B.L.T. in ways we never thought possible. Somewhere, James Beard is smiling.