When you buy a cookbook that is part of a series entitled, “Great Restaurants of the World,” you know you’re in for some lavish lessons in the culinary arts. Part homage to the famous North Dallas restaurant and part cookbook, III Forks: An Insider’s Look at the Famed Restaurant and its Cuisine offers readers a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the most luxurious dining dynasties in the world. But in this case, the lessons to be learned aren’t so much do-it-yourself as we-do-it-better.
The opening pages of this book by Whit Smyth feature a striking photograph taken at night of the impressive, beautifully lit restaurant, with the words, “The III Forks dining experience is like no other. The excitement begins with the first glimpse of this magnificent structure, like something straight from Arabian Nights …” The bold use of photography throughout the cookbook emphasizes the focus on the restaurant’s reputation and image. The second chapter describes how III Forks creator Dale Wamstad founded the steak and seafood restaurant on an idealistic vision he held of the ultimate fine-dining experience, and the restaurant’s grandeur is captured with beautiful photos of fountains, fireplaces, and musical performers in some of its twelve dining rooms. There are plenty of candid shots, as well, of Wamstad interacting with customers and of chefs preparing food in the kitchen.
To transport those dishes into your own kitchen, the book offers a handful of the restaurant’s recipes (Mushroom Sauté, Banana Bread Pudding, III Forks Off-the-Cob Cream Corn, and Grilled Campfire Trout, to name a few) in its last pages. With all the glossy, inviting photos of the restaurant—both its majestic exterior and cozy interior—and the in-depth account of how the restaurant came to be, III Forks: An Insider’s Look at the Famed Restaurant and its Cuisine may seem more like a book for your coffee table than your kitchen counter.