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Q and A with Max Brenner

Last week marked the release of chocolate guru Max Brenner’s “Chocolate: A Love Story,” a whimsical cookbook with 65 dessert recipes, including Meaningless Sweet Spaghetti and Bohemian French Toast Chocolate Sandwiches. amNY caught up with the bald man himself.

How accessible do you think these recipes are to home cooks? The vast majority are very simple. I’m not a fan of complicated dishes or flavors. I think the basic ones are ones that people come back to again and again.

Your restaurants serve savory dishes. Why didn’t you include those in the book?
I’m completely dedicated to sweets. As the title says, it’s about my love story with chocolate. Like any good romance, it started slowly. And now I’m completely in love with it. I’m using chocolate to tell my life story, like a painter or sculptor does.

What are your favorite recipes in the book?
The chocolate pizza, the chocolate burger, the white chocolate cosmo and the Parisian hot chocolate.

The book is very whimsical and very visual.
Everything I do, in a way I’m looking to change the norm and do something different. In ordinary cookbooks, there is almost an expected format. Because Max Brenner is very much about graphics and artwork, I wanted that to be a major component.

Chocolate is not all about taste. It’s about memory and associations. The idea was to take the recipe and see what the association was. There are little stories following every recipe.

Do you worry about giving away your restaurants’ trade secrets?

Not at all. For me, a restaurant is not just about the dishes, though that’s part of it. You come for the whole experience.
 

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