Modern Potluck

Anna Derlaga

3.5 Stars

July 18, 2016

Kristin Donnelly's cookbook, Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share, is put together in an attractive fashion--gorgeous full-page photos of finished recipes, highly readable content complete with mini-introductions that give a personal touch to each recipe, and a couple pages worth of helpful potluck advice. Donnelly's aim was to create a cookbook that gave people "foolproof, crowd-pleasing" recipes that would both please and inspire. Based on the selection of recipes, I would say that her goal has been accomplished for a very specific audience--people who make enough to afford the ingredients (either in terms of type or amount) and who belong to a crowd of people who are passionate foodies interested in trying new dishes. In short, this is a niche cookbook. It is the perfect cookbook for modern urbanites, especially millennial hipsters who have the time and money to assemble these dishes for a rooftop neighbor get-togethers. Would it find a lot of success with the more average (and in some cases, bland) tastes of modern suburbia who tend to bring different types of pasta salad, crock-pot dishes, or store-bought cookies to potlucks? I'd wager not so much.