The Cooks Book: Techniques and tips from the worlds master chefs

ISBN 10: 0756613027 / ISBN 13: 9780756613020
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Synopsis: Bursting with luscious color photography and clear step-by-step techniques drawn from the world's top chefs, this is a one-stop reference for all home cooks-from those who want to gain more confidence in the kitchen and hone their skills- to anyone who is eager to learn basic methods from scratch.

Review: If you have somehow never cooked and yet want to, there's always that troublesome problem of where to begin. Fortunately, The Cook's Book, edited by Jill Norman and published by those masters of how-to books, Dorling Kindersley, has answered that question in over 600 glorious pages. With The Cook's Book you can pick your point of entry and launch yourself into the world of food with no fear.

You could order take-out for everything but dessert, for example, and start there. And whose holding your hand? Well, Pierre Hermé, one of the great pastry chefs in the world. Or how about if you build a dinner party around a fish course and order in everything else? Charlie Trotter will see you through to an excellent end. There are fully 18 internationally renown chefs represented between the covers of The Cook's Book. These are not the sort of folks who generally give introductory courses, and yet that's what this tome delivers in depth. Trotter's chapter on fish, the way it is lavishly illustrated and carefully explained, is a publishable masterpiece on its own. But it's only one chapter among 24 that guides the new cook through basic prep and cooking technique with side trips into a variety of international cuisines. Everything is explained editorially and visually in this brilliantly designed production. One glance at the photo of creamy risotto and you’ll know if your risotto is creamy or not.

This isn't to say seasoned cooks won't find themselves slavishly turning these gorgeous pages and licking their chops as well. But what's wonderfully important about The Cook's Book is that it is the answer for any neophyte wondering where to begin. --Schuyler Ingle

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