Cooking & Entertaining

The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America's Most Spectacular Restaurant

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.

About The Author

Barton G. Weiss is the wizard behind the restaurants Barton G., Prelude, and The Villa in Miami, as well as a second Barton G. in Los Angeles. He has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Forbes, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. He appeared as a guest judge on Top Chef and Giada de Laurentiis's Behind the Bash.

  • Publish Date: April 22, 2014
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Cooking - Entertaining
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 7-3/4 x 9-3/4
  • Pages: 192
  • US Price: $30.00
  • CDN Price: $30.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-7893-2720-8


"There’s not a recipe in this book that doesn’t offer a major serving of WOW." -Cookbooks365

"If you're into edible whimsy and culinary puns, this could be the cookbook for you. Miami (and soon LA) eventsman/restaurateur Barton G. Weiss describes his tricks of the trade — think cheesecakes that look like wheels of cheese and savory lobster pop tarts — that are sure to "cheer up even the grumpiest of guests and make anyone feel like a kid again."

"Barton G. Weiss, the creative mastermind behind restaurants Barton G., Prelude and The Villa in Miami, has come up with his next big project— a whimsical and over-the-top cookbook. Aptly named The Big Dish: Recipes to Dazzle and Amaze from America’s Most Spectacular Restaurant, the highly anticipated cookbook reveals Barton G.’s secrets to his unforgettable food and extravagant presentations. With the cookbook, readers will be able to re-create the dishes served in his beloved restaurants right at home. With Barton G., the only thing to expect is the unexpected. For the creative chef, cooking represents an opportunity to let the imagination run wild. He strongly believes in playing with his food and simply having fun."

“His goal in all is “to create drama and theater, devising a different story to pair with each situation and individual.” The results are flamboyant, full of lush dishes overflowing with food and trompe l’oeil displays producing intriguing illusions. This cookbook can enliven Spoleto entertaining, with its colorful backdrop…” –Post and Courier

“…the book is unlike most on the market and an inspiring resource for those looking to shake up the typical dinner party.” –Departures

“If you’re looking for recipes that will truly amaze and amuse your guests’ minds and palates, you have to check out The Big Dish. Your guests will be hoping for a return invite the minute you say good night.” –Leite’s Culinaria

“Whether readers plan to tackle these complex creations or leave the work to professionals, The Big Dish is pleasing to look at.” –Miami New Times

“…a new book that celebrates his wild and imaginary take on food.” –Previews InsideOut