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$13.96 $13.31 list($19.95)
1. The Wine Bible
$23.77 list($34.95)
2. The Instant Cook
$13.96 $11.97 list($19.95)
3. Super Baby Food
$10.17 $9.54 list($14.95)
4. The New Food Lover's Companion:
$18.87 $17.48 list($29.95)
5. Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook
$23.10 $17.98 list($35.00)
6. The Cake Bible
$12.21 $3.95 list($17.95)
7. The Low-Carb Barbecue Book: Over
$18.15 $17.98 list($27.50)
8. Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen
$40.95 list($65.00)
9. Garde Manger, The Art and Craft
$37.80 $13.15 list($60.00)
10. Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine
$22.05 list($35.00)
11. The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition
$28.32 $28.00 list($44.95)
12. New Food of Life: Ancient Persian
$59.75 $36.55 list($69.60)
13. Cooking Essentials for the New
$20.47 $20.46 list($32.50)
14. I'm Just Here for the Food: Food
$22.05 $20.99 list($35.00)
15. How to Cook Everything: Simple
$11.53 $9.90 list($16.95)
16. Cheese Primer
$81.40 $56.00
17. Food Around the World: A Cultural
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18. Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes,
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19. Field Guide to Produce: How to
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20. Kitchen Essentials : The Complete

1. The Wine Bible
by Karen MacNeil
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1563054345
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Sales Rank: 163
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

Though it drinks deep of its subject, Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible deftly avoids two traps many wine books fall into: talking down to wine novices or talking up to more experienced enophiles. The book avoids these traps through MacNeil's obvious, and infectious, love of her subject, which comes out in almost every sentence of the book, and which lets her talk about wine in a way that combines the good teacher, the trusted friend, and the expert sommelier. As director of the wine program at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, California, MacNeil is one of the world's true experts on wine. After reading a chapter on the Burgenland, for example, you've learned about the region's sweet wines while feeling like you're actually there, toasting a glass of Cuvee Suss with the author. It is this passion that leads to describing an Italian riservas as "mesmerizing" and a Cabernet Sauvignon as having "texture like cashmere."

The Wine Bible is broken into countries, hitting all of the major wine producers and most of the minor ones. Each section gives detailed descriptions of the country's wines (with chapters on individual regions when necessary), highlighting specific wine producers and individual wines, as well as talking about local foods, customs, and other tidbits that add to the reading experience. MacNeil begins her journey through the world's wine with an invaluable section on "Mastering Wine," which lets a reader get ready before uncorking separate sections. --A.J. Rathbun ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Ripe Pick!
The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is the perfect introduction to wine for new wine drinkers or a springboard for those wanting to explore deeper into the fascinating world of wines! Ms. MacNeil takes you through the introductory levels of wine making, wine regions and wine procedures (ie temperature, pouring, glasses, storage, etc) in a friendly teacher tone, not a snobby looking down your glass tone so often found in wine books. Her writing style is light, relaxing and friendly throughout the whole book. Each chapter is sprinkled with excellent little tidbits on everything from information on the former owner of a vineyard to what may cause your wine to take on a offensive smell! After the introductory sections, Karen takes you into each of the world's major wine producing regions giving you the skinny on their history, their terrior, their wines and some of the better producers (in the recommendation section). I am stationed in Germany and have tried four of her German wine picks, all of them were perfect! Expand your knowledge of the worlds favorite drink, raise a glass and say "Cheers!" (or Slainte`) to Karen MacNeil's Wine Bible!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Title Is Correct -- The Bible of Wine
I think "The Wine Bible" (TWB) should be the third book purchase for wine beginners (after "Wine for Dummies" and "Windows on the World Complete Wine Course"). TWB is full of good information. Of course, the first section is a must-read. Then, the sections are split into separate geographical areas and are very good and very detailed, while still being easy to read (the author's "education" background is readily apparent and helpful to the reader). I especially liked the depth of information that is presented in a friendly manner. For example, I wanted more in-depth information on Valpolicella. Most books given only a paragraph to it, if they give anything at all. Over several sections, this book probably had close to three pages (a lot of text on each page) which is about ten times the information of the competition. And no, this book is not lopsided in favor of information on Italy. That is just one example of why this book gets five stars. There are many other cases of information that other books do not contain or they gloss over. This book has a lot to offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tastefully written-eminently sippable
It was certainly a surprise when my wife presented me with my copy of Karen MacNeil's The Wine Bible. She had been doing some Amazon gift shopping for a friend and took the opportunity to give a gift to her husband as well. Seems she had recently attended a cooking demonstration at one of Manhattan's great restaurants, Tabla, and Tracy, the sommelier, suggested that The Wine Bible was one of the most comprehensive and up to date books on the subject. One does not digest 910 pages in a sitting, but a perusal of several known wine areas, and a careful review of the indexes indicate that this is a book to be reckoned with. You won't find every wine, but those you do are sure to please. Written with clear, unpretentious prose, this book is one you will be happy to have on your reference shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exactly the book I was wanting to find
I'm not going to go much in depth about the specifics of this book since I feel other reviewers have already done that. All I want to say is that this is precisely the book I was wanting to find on wine.

I was, like possibly most people who would buy this book, not totally in the dark regarding wine; but I didn't know there was this much to know about it! Karen MacNeil does a great job of presenting a huge amount of information clearly and specifically.

The book is never boring. I managed to finish it all in a one week vacation in Huatulco Mexico (not the best place to look for the wines mentioned in the book). Got the best tan I've had in a long time!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Wine Bible by MacNeil
This book is an excellent reference for admirers of fine wine.
The author sets forth a series of distinguishing characteristics
which set apart great wine from the imitations. These particulars
are variety, integration, expression and complexity. Wines
evolve from a process of picking, crushing, fermentation,
barreling, filtering and bottling. An experienced wine taster
utilizes a systematic approach consisting of sipping, smelling,
swirling and setting apart outside influences from the
evaluation. The book provides classic wines on a country-by-
country basis. For instance, French Beaujolais wines are
described in the preferred mode of St. Amour or Chenas.
The Cote d'Or is highlighted as the most important wine in the
burgundy family. Important historical data is provided.
i.e. The Swiss are famous for their white wines.
Purchase this work if you plan to entertain a guest list
from all over the world. It is a good investment. ... Read more

2. The Instant Cook
by Donna Hay
list price: $34.95
our price: $23.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060772921
Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Sales Rank: 85581
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3. Super Baby Food
by Ruth Yaron
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0965260313
Catlog: Book (1998-06)
Publisher: F. J. Roberts Publishing
Sales Rank: 693
Average Customer Review: 4.02 out of 5 stars
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Ruth Yaron cares deeply about what your baby is eating--so much so that her bestselling Super Baby Food is encyclopedic in both scope and size. Ounce for hefty ounce, this manual/cookbook/reference guide is worth its weight in formula, packed as it is with detailed information on homemade baby food, nutritional data, feeding schedules, cooking techniques, recipes, and other invaluable feeding tips. Yaron builds her compelling argument for making baby food at home on the simple premise that food profoundly impacts health, especially when an infant's developing digestive tract is involved. Parents will learn why babies should start out on rice porridge, bananas, avocados, and sweet potatoes before advancing to more difficult-to-digest foods such as wheat cereals and milk products. While Yaron's passionate stance and vegetarian bias may turn off some parents, others will be grateful for her strict attention to potentially harmful additives and chemicals. No matter what their eating philosophy, most parents will appreciate the economy and surprising ease of making baby food at home. This is not gourmet cooking; all you have to do is learn how to boil water and operate a blender. For veggies, simply steam some vegetable chunks and blend. For baby porridge, just grind some whole grains in a blender and boil. It's that simple. And when you're feeding your baby, simple is best. --Sumi Hahn ... Read more

Reviews (348)

5-0 out of 5 stars My super baby is now a toddler!
I used this book to make my own baby food starting when my son turned 6 months. The suggestions for how to prepare and store the different foods was invaluable. I then looked each new food up in my New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. It was a wonderful opportunity to really increase my knowledge of nutrition and implement it not only for my baby, but for my husband and I as well. Being a vegetarian, the protein complementarity charts were very useful. I made use of the homemade diaper wipe solution a lot! My son is now over two! I still use the book for recipes for snacks occasionally and for the party and craft ideas. Liam loved his super porridge... I don't know why I ever stopped feeding it to him. Now I have a very picky toddler eater and WISH he would get a full day's supply of nutrients at breakfast, his best-eaten meal of the day! I'll get use out of this reference for years to come!

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, invaluable resource guide!
Wow! Where to start? First, I bought this and The Healthy Baby Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel at the same time. While Karmel's book is "prettier" and has some interesting looking recipes, this one far outweighs it as a resource tool, which was what I was looking for. I admit, I was intimidated at first by the sheer volume of information contained in this book, but after reading the author's suggestion on how to read the book, I felt that I had a better handle on it. The book is very well organized, from when to introduce specific foods, to how to prepare and store them (one of my favorite sections!), to the recipes, which I really haven't gotten to yet. Yaron doesn't make the reader feel guilty about having a few jars of commerical baby food on hand, so in this sense, she's not militant about doing Everything from scratch.

The only area which I feel is a bit weak is the very short chapter on meat, which she states she added for the "readers who (no matter what I say!) have decided to feed it to their babies." Yaron is very obviously a vegetarian, which is fine, however, I (and many other moms) are not. This does not stop me from enjoying her book, and I probably will start preparing more grains-and- legumes meals as a result of what I'm learning, for variety, if not for the health benefits.

This is definitely the book to own if you can only buy one!

2-0 out of 5 stars Additional Note on Microwaving
This is supplemental to a review already posted. The info presented doesn't reflect recent research on how microwaving destroys nutrients (see below), so when preparing or reheating food, try to avoid using the microwave; otherwise you might be better off using commercial organic baby food.

"PARIS, Oct 22 (AFP) - Cooking by microwave is the worst way to preserve a key nutrient in vegetables, while steaming is the best, according to a Spanish study reported in New Scientist.

Researchers from the national scientific research council CEBAS-CSIC measured antioxidants, a compound believed to protect cells from damaging reactive chemicals called free radicals, in broccoli that had been either steamed, pressure-cooked, boiled or microwaved.

Steaming the veggies left the antioxidants almost untouched, but microwaving virtually eliminated them, probably because this heated the broccoli from inside and generated too high a temperature."

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Information buried in layers of eccentricity
Here's the process of using the book..."OK, let's make some healthy baby food...Right, what chapter [flips through book}, six months Chapter is on page 250...complimentary proteins..on Page 400...[flips through book]...what's she on about super baby 350..[more flipping]'s freaking out from hunger...right, sod this for a game of soldiers." [Opens a jar of organic commercial baby food].

There is good information in this book, but it is poorly organized, and buried in a lot of eccentric verbiage.

Plus, the author has a lot of bizaare beliefs - that there are 22 amino acids (which will surprise a lot of molecular biologists), and that you should stand away from blenders because of EMF radiation. It's harder to take the author seriously when she espouses some quack beliefs. And harder when she doesn't realize that working parents don't have the time to wade through her idiosyncratic ramblings to get to the information we need (how much should I feed, what foods should I mix with each other, etc).

Frustrated, I bought the Fresh Baby Kit, which, though more expensive, presented the information needed in a short cookbook + 1 card (!).

2-0 out of 5 stars Book better if 1/2 the size & covered 2x the range of food
I purchased this book because I, like the author, care deeply about what our children eat. However, she could have given all of her fabulous ideas about food portions, prep and storage techniques, and nutrition in about 1/4 of the amount of text. Even better if it had been without dizzying cross-referencing, moronic "tips" after every other paragraph (can't believe an editor even glanced at this book) and morbid horror-stories meant to "warn us" about choking and burns. The book is also very unbalanced by assuming that everyone is open to excluding meat and giving their child supplements like brewer's yeast and dessicated liver on a regular basis in order to achieve the "perfect diet". ... Read more

4. The New Food Lover's Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms (Barron's Cooking Guide)
by Sharon Tyler Herbst
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764112589
Catlog: Book (2001-03-01)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 723
Average Customer Review: 4.95 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The new edition of one of America's best-selling culinary reference books is bigger and better than ever, with almost 6,000 listings on subjects related to food and drink. Hailed by Bon Appétit magazine as "one of the best reference books we've seen, a must for every cook's library," it's the ultimate kitchen tool. Here are answers to questions about cooking techniques, meat cuts, kitchen utensils, food, wine, cocktail terms, and much more. Readers will also find a completely revised and expanded appendix containing a pasta glossary, a pan substitution chart, consumer information contacts, ingredient equivalents and substitutions, and more. A million readers can't be wrong--and they've found previous editions of this book invaluable. For anybody who cooks--or who simply loves food--here's a terrific reference source and an outstanding cookbook supplement. ... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource!
I'm constantly reaching for this book. Every time I intend to look up one word I end up perusing the book for about a half hour. It's brimming with interesting information from the basic to the obscure. Ever wonder what a prairie oyster is? Or how to pronounce those French menu items? Look no further. This book makes a great gift.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who ever cooks or eats.
I have a penchant for reference books, and I must say, this is one of my favorites. This is an amazing little book. In addition to the wealth of food definitions, it has great appendices (29 of them), including a pan substitution chart, ingredient equivalents (for example, how much volume-wise a pound of broccoli will be once it is chopped up), substituting ingredients, fatty acid profiles of popular oils, a pasta glossary, consumer information sources, and the list goes on.
In addition to simply looking up ingredients which you have not heard of, I find it great for looking up things that I THINK I know what they are, but just want to make sure, or for looking up the origins of different foods (did you know that ketchup was originally made in China of pickled fish, no tomatoes?).
This book is also very well-written and very easy to read and use. Buy a copy for yourself and another to give to someone who doesn't.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Food Reference Book Ever!
"Food Lover's Companion" by Sharon Tyler Herbst is one of my favorite reference books of all times. Not only does she define culinary terms used in cookbooks, but she also translates foreign terms, like flambé, and describes fruits and vegetables!

I, originally, heard about this book at, and then later learned that Emeril Lagasse (celebrity chef) recommended this book. In fact, I just used the book when my mother-in-law was in town. We were ordering Chinese food and we wondered what the difference was between chow mien noodles and lo mien noodles...and it's in there!

There is a section in the back that helps you choose herbs and spices to go with certain foods, where to get more information about certain foods, oven temperatures, conversions from metric to imperial, what some common additives found in your food are, food conversions (1 apple = 1/3 pound), common British and American terminologies as well as meat charts (so you can see what cuts of meat come from which part of the animal)!

I definitely recommend this book to everyone, whether you are a great cook or just starting out. This book has everything you need to know!

5-0 out of 5 stars Better -- and more fun -- than you can imagine
This book resides in my kitchen and is used regularly to check food names, food origins, answer questions about particular dishes or cooking methods -- it's all here! In addition to the main dictionary-body of the book, the appendices are chock full of useful explanatory charts & diagrams (Conversions, Substitutions, "Retail Cuts of Beef/Pork/Lamb/Veal", Herb & Spice Chart, etc.). Extremely user-friendly, the book has a wonderful feel and heft, and is a great gift, but not just for foodies...anybody who eats would enjoy it. I was intrigued and picked it up years ago in a Fresh Fields Store, and now can't imagine not having it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Star!
This is the ONLY book I keep on my desk for food reference. Well researched. Clearly written. --- & clearly the BEST! ... Read more

5. Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook (Betty Crocker)
by Betty Crocker, Betty Crocker
list price: $29.95
our price: $18.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028627717
Catlog: Book (1998-10-26)
Publisher: Betty Crocker
Sales Rank: 1111
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

First published in 1950, Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book is now reprinted in all its old-fashioned glory. Betty immerses you in a time when women were homemakers, cakes had at least two layers, and salad was iceberg lettuce. You may hesitate to recreate what your mother or grandmother probably cooked--if so, consider that back then we ate simply, in the days before the word foodie was invented. Many of the recipes suit today's harried lifestyle, as you see in Six Layer Dinner, combining eight cups of vegetables with a pound of ground meat, and Dainty Tea Brownies topped with colorful chopped pistachios.

Hundreds of black-and-white photos, animated drawings, and quaint color spreads of prepared dishes aid you in using the recipes. Beginners learn how to measure ingredients, choose the best economical cuts of meat, and cut up round and sheet cakes for serving. There is even a section on how to set the table. This loose-leaf book contains enough recipes to fill a 12-page, double-column index. Best of all, perhaps, is the "Shortcut" section, where useful tips include cleaning a grater of cheese residue by rubbing it with a piece of stale bread. These are interspersed with 15 ways to recuperate from overwork. One suggestion is to lie down on the kitchen floor on your back and relax for three to five minutes. Still a good idea, though few people have a kitchen large enough to try this. --Dana Jacobi ... Read more

Reviews (61)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful nostalgic cookbook
My Mom bought her original copy as a new bride in the early 1950's, at the Liberty House department store in downtown Honolulu. As I grew up in the 1960's, this was the book she taught me to cook from. I now have her copy, rather worn for wear, and was absolutely delighted to find this reprint, faithful to the original. The recipes still stand, especially those wonderful cake, bread and cookie recipes. I hope my daughter (now four) will take away as many wonderful memories of this book as I have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recipes, nostalgia and history
My mother bought her cookbook in 1951, the year I was born. This cookbook was always in use. As I learned to cook it was my Bible. Parties were planned sitting around the kitchen table flipping through the recipes. When my mother died three years ago, we all wanted this book, not only for it's useful information, but for nostalgic reasons. I have faithfully searched used bookstores for the past three years trying to find a copy. When I saw that Betty Crocker had reissued their 1950 edition I was thrilled. Not only is this cookbook a necessity for every cook, but it is rich in history. Thank you Betty Crocker. I can't wait to make my favorite poppy seed cake, I thought that recipe was gone forever. If you've never used the Berry and Cream Pie recipe, you're in for a real treat during blueberry and peach seasons. I plan to buy a copy now for both my teenage son and daughter.

5-0 out of 5 stars the difinitive american cookbook
I love this cookbook. I first discovered my grandmothers original addition which was yellowed and almost falling apart. When they came out with a revival I bought it immediately. This cookbook is especially ideal for cooking things like cakes pies and cookies. Their pie crust recipe has gotten rave reviews every time I make it. It also has wonderful nostalgic information about preparing the table and how to feed teenagers. However, it has really useful information such as definitions of cooking terms and what various types of service entail. This is a wonderful basic cookbook that gives you the technique to make anything.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nostalgically precious
Another of my favorite browsing books.

FOR BROWSING: A must-have. The 1950s text and pictures will make you laugh out loud. My favorite part is the Tips section at the back: "Try to notice things all day so you'll have something to talk about at dinner." Also interesting from a gastronomically historic viewpoint - raw eggs and sticks of butter galore.

FOR COOKING: Sometimes, I prefer this to the more health conscious Everything You Need to Know to Cook Today book simply because of the sheer volume of recipes. I agree that sometimes Betty only offers basic meals that lack in imagination, and this book is no exception. However, it manages to fit a dozen or so cake recipes and variations on one page. I like the "Key Recipe" structure and I always like Betty's step-by-step process.

I am a very restless chef who often doesn't like to make a dish twice, but this is one of my favorite books to own. Any experienced chef who likes to have a book around to keep him or her grounded and to pique his or her curiosity of the history of American cuisine, consider this book.

Beginners, get it, but get the modern version too. You don't want to rely solely on the extremely dated health and menu-planning ideas in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I have the original copy of this book, but have been hesitant to use it on a regular basis since the paper is so old and getting fragile. I recieved a hardbound copy of this for Christmas and wow! A huge number of things I remember making with my grandparents are in this book, in nice easy to read and easy to make recipes. This is just a great book to have around. ... Read more

6. The Cake Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
list price: $35.00
our price: $23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0688044026
Catlog: Book (1988-09-20)
Publisher: Morrow Cookbooks
Sales Rank: 2061
Average Customer Review: 4.31 out of 5 stars
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Rose Levy Beranbaum is a kitchen chemist extraordinaire--this, afterall, is the woman who wrote her master's thesis on the effects of sifting on thequality of yellow cake. In The Cake Bible, she explains the sciencebehind types of leavening, the merits (or not) of sifting, melting chocolate,preheating ovens, and more. There are precise and detailed instructions forintricate wedding cakes as well as cakes that can be mixed and in the oven infive minutes. In addition, nutrition information is included with every recipe.Cake scientist Beranbaum doesn't forget the art, either; pencil drawings teachnovice bakers how to create a garden full of flowers from royal icing andmushrooms from piped meringue. It's no wonder that the International Associationof Culinary Professionals picked The Cake Bible as their cookbook of theyear for 1988--this book has something to teach bakers at every level. ... Read more

Reviews (107)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Too much butter?" Yes, it is possible...
This book is the source of the single-most-baked-cake in my household: the white chocolate whisper cake. Rose Levy Berenbaum shows her genious in this one simple recipe. Not only does the white chocolate add wonderful flavor, but because it melts at a different temperature than butter, it stands up better to icing and cutting while still melting in your mouth! This cookbook is full of such wonderful gems--recipes that produce not good cakes, but *amazing* cakes.

This book is aimed at someone with a bit of experience in the kitchen. Pretty much everything is measured by weight, as is normal with professional pastry chefs since it's much more accurate than measuring dry ingredients by volume or eggs by number of eggs. Some of the more complex creations will require experience, an artistic hand, and/or specialized equipment, but even if you don't want to make those, the basic recipes are stupendous. The fruit sauces meant to go with the cakes, for example, make us swoon! Try serving that white chocolate whisper cake, for example, with a raspberry sauce.

My one complaint about this cookbook is the icings. Buttercream icings, in my experience, come in three varieties: lots of shortening (blech!), lots of butter, or lots of sugar. I'm really not fond of the lots-of-butter variety, as I find that it unpleasantly masks the flavor of the cake beneath. Unfortunately the buttercream frostings in this cookbook are of the lots-of-butter variety.

Do keep in mind that many of the recipes in this cookbook are *not* aimed at beginners. It's a great primer, though, for anyone who wants to make a true exploration into the world of cake-baking!

4-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Results
I have had mixed results with this book. The cakes that turned out well (downy yellow butter and golden almond, for example) were among the best cakes I've ever tasted. The ones that didn't, however (including the white spice pound cake and chocolate genoise) were dry and tasteless. I recommend this book for the intrepid experimenter: you will probably not like all the recipes in this book, but the ones that you like, you will love. The directions are extremely clear and detailed; I am an intermediate baker and I learned a lot from this book. Two words of advice: 1. Start checking your cakes a good 5-10 minutes before the suggested baking time; many of these cakes dry out in a heartbeat and are best just a touch underdone (and my oven temperature is perfect). 2. Berenbaum's buttercream is not for the faint of heart (4 sticks to frost one cake)! You might want to look elsewhere for buttercream recipes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cake baking primer
This is a wonderful book and tho in possession of 2 bookshelves full of baking books, this is one i always return to. Her instructions are always very detailed, leaving no guesses for the beginner to the advanced baker. All her recipes that I've tried seem to be foolproof (and appreciated at all my german in-laws functions) and the range of cakes in this book (catering to bakers of all levels) lives up to its name - a real cake bible (unlike some other cake book authors). From basic pound cakes to cheesecakes, chiffon and angel food cakes to the more complicated tortes, Rose's got a variety for her readers to choose from. I won't trade this book for any other book in my shelf.After having this book, I won't buy any Sara Lee pound cake anymore - even when I'm screaming for time. Rose's pound cake tastes 10 times more heavenly. In fact, this book's so well-loved and used that I've got to get 2 more copies - one for my mom and another to replace a tattered copy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Finally, High Altitude Recommendations!
I live at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet and this is the first book I have found that addresses baking at high altitude! I have been trying to teach myself to bake cakes for about 4 years now and they have been a disappointing 4 years--until I found this book. I searched many baking books only to be disappointed with their lacks of high altitude recommendations. As soon as I read the section of recommeneded adjustments for baking at high altitude in The Cake Bible I quickly made the sour cream cake and it turned out FABULOUSLY! The crumb was perfect! I decreased the leaving and increased the flour. Finally, success! No more wet cakes that cave in the middle.

There are soooo many cakes I want to try in this book and now I have the tools necessary to bake with success. Thank you Rose!

5-0 out of 5 stars Love the Cake Bible, outstanding!
I spent the first three days I had the book just reading it from cover to cover. My sister owns the cake bible also. We have both made many of the recipes, such as the Downy yellow butter cake and the white cake, domingo chocolate cake and the wedding cakes, and must not forget the delicious cheese cake. The lemon curd is to die for. We both loved all of those. I did not like the egg based butter cream at all. It tasted like I frosted the cake with a stick of butter, and had a nasty after taste. My sister and I have made three special occasion cakes that served 100-150. We received rave reviews by our friends. The cakes all disappeared which did not happen before we started using the cake bible.

I have incorporated some of her methods in my other baking as well with improved results. I like the fact that she explains the why's and what for's of baking. She has an excellent trouble shooting guide on page 476. One thing I found was that you need to use the size and depth pans that she recommends. I started with three inch deep pans, since then I have purchased the 2" deep pans that all most all her recipes call for. Make sure you have a good oven thermometer and that you use the exact temperature she recommends. If you don't have a 5 quart stand mixer you will be frustrated with these recipes. I started out with a kitchenaid 5 speed hand mixer. My first cakes tasted great but all fell in the middle. It was rather frustrating. My sister bought me a kitchenaid stand mixer and since then my cakes have been beautiful. (With Rose's help)

I have ordered the Bread Bible and the Pie and Pastry Bible as well. I hope my results with those Books will be as good as I have experienced with the Cake Bible. ... Read more

7. The Low-Carb Barbecue Book: Over 200 Recipes for the Grill and Picnic Table
by Dana Carpender, Dana Carpenter
list price: $17.95
our price: $12.21
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 159233055X
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: Fair Winds Press
Sales Rank: 7826
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Everyone is eating low-carb these days, and grilling is an easy way to make your protein-focused meals delicious. The problem is that most marinades and sauces are full of sugar.

Dana Carpender comes to the rescue with over 200 low-carb recipes perfect for backyard picnics and barbecues, from meats and side dishes to cocktails and desserts.

This book also features all-new recipes for condiments, sauces, and marinades that can replace the sugar-laden store-bought varieties and allow the low-carber to enjoy previously forbidden foods. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great BBQ and Grilling for Low Carbers
Dana Carpender has done it again with The Low-Carb Barbecue Book. I really have to say this is the book to have to create delicious, healthy summer foods!

Grilling is of course just about perfect low carb food - it involves fresh fish, fresh chicken, and lots of fresh vegetables. However, there are a few dishes in classic BBQ that are notoriously high carb, like potato salad and baked beans. Dana helps with everything.

There are of course the rubs and marinades, the instructions on grilling and BBQing (and how they differ). There are lots of great spice combos that can be helpful to new cooks, but are second-hand to experienced grillers.

Where the book really shines is in the side dishes and extras. The variety of mock-potato salad are great. There are various slaws and salads, plus a wide array of desserts.

The drinks section is fun but again, what low carb drinker doesn't know about mixing rum and diet coke? Is vodka plus sugar-free lemonade really worth a mention? I'd much rather have had those pages pointed at appetizers or more side dishes.

Still, summertime's parties and picnics will become much easier for low carbers who don't have to worry if something is OK to eat or not. By following the recipes in this book, you're sure to get a delicious dish that is truly low carb and healthy for you.

Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner!
My husband does the BBQing in our house, so I haven't gotten as much use out of this one as Dana's previous two cookbooks--but he's having a great time! I made the Lime Cheesecake with Ginger Almond Crust and it was wonderful--made it for some regular carbers and they didn't know the difference. So far everything he's BBQed has been great, too--my favorite however is the Orange-Tangerine Up-the-Butt Chicken. We couldn't find the tangerine Diet Rite, so my husband used beer with a bit of orange extract in it (left over from the Orange Blossom Turkey Breast--another winner--lots of leftovers--we used them for Mondo quesadillas from 15 minute low-carb recipes). There are so many slaws I can't wait to try them all, but we love Dana's original so much we haven't gotten around to it yet! My husband *loves* this cookbook--it has made his life so much easier (in the past, before he grilled he would consult his other grill books and always have to ask me "Can we eat this?")--he grills from it every weekend.

5-0 out of 5 stars BEST BBQ BOOK
Dana Carpender is a great author, knowledgable and fun to read. ALL her books are fantastic! This is the best BBQ book ever! I give it 5 stars! ... Read more

8. Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen
by Alton Brown
list price: $27.50
our price: $18.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584792965
Catlog: Book (2003-10-01)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 554
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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"I think cooking is a lot of fun and I hate to see people not having fun doing it just because they don't have the right tools--which is not to say they need the prettiest, best, most expensive tools. They just need the tools that are right for them." Such is the organizing principle of Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen by the selfsame Alton Brown, star of Food Network's Good Eats as well as award-winning author of I'm Just Here for the Food. It's an interesting, effective principle. It comes from a guy who serves pie with a four-dollar mortar trowel he picked up at the hardware store.

Brown's opening challenge is a 60-day, four phase process of ridding your kitchen of all things unused and insignificant--easy on the surface, but tough in the doing. That leaves room for essential gear. And to help make those choices, Brown looks at pots and pans, sharp things (not just knives, but graters, mandolins, and cheese slicers, too), small things with plugs (as in small appliances--from food processors to coffee makers to deep fat fryers), kitchen tools unplugged (those items that fill drawers), storage and containment, and safety and sanitation.

If this were just an encyclopedia, what an unwholesome bore it would be. But Brown turns this relevant information into a romp. He's talking about the tools he uses, after all, and has no fear of naming likes and dislikes--based on his own experience. He also includes unending side chatter about cutting corners, saving money, and actually putting good tools to work. You'll find recipes throughout, and techniques, too. Like, how to bake a chicken in a flower pot. If you wonder why you would even want to attempt it in the first place, Brown clues you in. Alton Brown's Gear for Your Kitchen is about as guilt free as pleasure will ever get. --Schuyler Ingle ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous! Quality time spent with husband...
If you like the show, you'll like the books. Both my spouse and I love to cook, but we're no Julia Childses. When I met my husband, he could cook standard meals, but never really took the plunge to try something new. Alton Brown's books are entertaining, colorful, and (ugg...) educational. After every episode, my husband has the courage to try something new, (lucky me!) and it has resulted in eating a more varied and exciting diet. We can't help but feel that we are reliving our childhoods, because AB reminds us a bit of Mr. Wizard, but way cooler and way better looking! After the wedding, we were left to our own devices to figure out what half the gadgets we rec'd did. We have an autographed copy of this book, and use it constantly to figure out what our next kitchen purchase should be, and how to use it properly. His books are all great supplements to his show. Cooking has become one of our favorite things to do together. However, we'd better learn a sport soon...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Cooks of Any Caliber
"Gear for your Kitchen" provides a fairly in-depth discussion on the whys and hows of choosing various sorts of kitchen implements, from cutlery to pans to small appliances. Alton Brown uses his sense of humor to help present this information in a book that is truly easy and pleasurable to read. There is another book of this nature, a very large and diverse treatise, which attempts to showcase all the various sorts of kitchen gear available to the home cook. But unlike "Gear" it doesn't provide the information that we really need to choose our cookware.

What is great about this book is that in addition to giving actual suggestions of specific products for various sorts of implements, it also goes into great detail to show you how to choose items that will work for you. Brown is careful to highlight areas where paying more money isn't likely in your best interest (e.g. the non-stick fry pans as mentioned in another review, for instance) and where it is (e.g. cutlery).

The goal of having the smallest set of kitchen wear to do all the cooking you need to do is a running theme in this book. In addition to a suggested exercise in minimizing your current kitchen implements, there are many suggestions on how you can use items for tasks other than they are intended, instead of buying specialty pieces (e.g. using the bottom of a heavy fry pan in the place of a meat pounder).

This book is a great resource for cooks of all sorts, from beginners to those with years of experience. It will make a great gift for those people who are just starting out on their own!

5-0 out of 5 stars Alton Hits It Again
Whether or not you agree with Alton Brown on every point he makes, you have to admit that he is not shy about giving his opinion, often in the face of generations of contrary tradition. Alton believes in multi-tasking, and he has a point; in my kitchen, most likely in yours, 20 percent of the implements do 80 percent of the work. Even in the most capacious kitchens, space comes at a premium. Ever injure yourself clattering through a drawer-full of this and that? You get my point. Kitchen tools and implements need to earn their stripes in terms of both quality and utility. For this reason, Alton's great taxonomy in "Gear" lays out an extremely useful framework, if anything, to avoid buying something expensive and needless. The serious cook cannot help but disagree with something Alton propounds, and yet still benefit from the depth of his viewpoint. This is an important culinary work, and a good read as well.

Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at

5-0 out of 5 stars I don't like the new Cuisinart either
I'm a hobby cook and also a gadget-junkie, so I was delighted to discover this book by one of my favorite people on the Food Network. Brown covers much more than simply can-openers and veggie-peelers, though. His topical chapters cover pots and pans, storage containers, small miscellaneous utensils, safety items, "sharp things," and "small things with plugs," and perhaps the best way to read the book is to browse from the beginning and then read his descriptions, comments, and opinions on certain items as they come to mind. I'm a regular reader of the consumer tests in COOK'S ILLUSTRATED, too, and I think Brown and Christopher Kimball would agree in many ways on what makes a particular tool useful and what features to look for among the products available. Brown's judgments are admittedly personal but he explains them very clearly. Not everything must be specially purchased, either; he recommends a length of dental floss for cutting slices of soft cheese, and he boils eggs in an electric kettle that automatically turns itself off when it reaches a boil. (Great idea!) The book's page design is also quite nice, with good photos and drawings of the tools he discusses, side discussions and tips highlighted in color, and lots of open space. All his sources appear at the back of the book. I certainly hope he does a revised and updated edition in about five years.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have
Nominated this year for another James Beard Award (for Tools and Techniques), Alton Brown has yet another gem for all to enjoy, "Gear For Your Kitchen". In this wonderful gem, Alton Brown explains how you can declutter your kitchen within 60 days and stock your kitchen with useful tools that you will actually use!

As any "Good Eats" fan will tell you, Alton Brown believes in "multi-taskers." His logic is: Why have a yogurt maker when you only use it once a year? Instead, he shows us, on one of his shows, how he utilizes a heating pad and a couple of canisters to achieve the same results.

Not only does he suggest unusual items for your kitchen (a cigar cutter to chop chives), but he also recommends traditional items. He explains the process with which one should consider before purchasing any item. He does explain how he chose that certain coffee maker, but he explains how we need to figure out which one is best for us.

Being as he is forever in search of a great utensil or appliance, he is quick to point out which items are more difficult to clean, and not worth buying, and which ones are worth buying. In the section devoted purely to pots and pans, he explains each metal used for cooking, the best uses for that metal, how to care for it and the good and bad points with each metal.

Instead of purchasing that expensive imported terra-cotta cookware, he suggests (with diagrams) on how to create your own cookware from flowerpots...I mean, they are both made from the same material. Why pay more because one says "cookware"?

And he doesn't stop there. He also helps his readers by helping them select safety and sanitation supplies for their kitchens!

And if you thought that was not enough, he has a large resource section, in the back of the book, where he recommends some excellent places to purchase your items, either through mail, telephone or Internet!

This book is complete with Alton Brown's sense of humor, wit and enthusiasm. He is one of the only people out there creating books for people who never went to culinary school. I appreciate his thoroughness, and recommend this book to all new cooks, and for the more seasoned chefs as well. ... Read more

9. Garde Manger, The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen
by The Culinary Institute ofAmerica
list price: $65.00
our price: $40.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471468495
Catlog: Book (2004-05-28)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sales Rank: 59657
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

With nearly 500 inspiring recipes, Garde Manger is the most comprehensive reference book available on the subject. Bringing the kitchen-tested wisdom of The Culinary Institute of America's chefs and teachers to the reader, the comprehensive book covers a range of topics, from salads and sandwiches to hors d'oeuvres and appetizers--all the hot and cold food preparation knowledge the skilled garde manger needs. All-new photographs by award-winning photographer Ben Fink show finished dishes and important techniques to help the reader visualize key concepts, from curing salmon and bacon to making and decanting flavored oils. ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedic Authority on Cold Food Prep and Service
One could compare this book, 'Garde Manger' by the Culinary Institute of America to Martha Stewart's 'Entertaining' like a comparison of Richard Feynman's Lectures on Physics to a popular history of 20th century physics. Unfortunately, that comparison does not hold up. The more appropriate comparison would be between a technical work on wood joinery to a glossy 'This Old House' imprimatur book on cabinet making. The difference between the classroom and the home kitchen is simply not that large. One can even bend the simile around on itself to say that the laboratory in which new culinary thoughts arise is in the home kitchen and not in the teaching classrooms of the Culinary Institute of America.

All this playing with comparisons is simply meant to make the point that while this book is presented as a textbook by the most prestigious culinary training institution in the country, it's material is simply not that different from a book with more obviously commercial origins.

This book does have a lot of material you will not find in a Martha Stewart or Ina Garten or Paula Deen book. High on the list of interesting background information is the history of how the French Revolution may have been a major contributor to the rise of restaurants and the great strength and variety in French cuisine.

The real story here is cold food and how it is prepared and served in (French) restaurants. On this subject, this book is a delightful source of both recipes and Alton Brown / Shirley Corriher type background. Honestly, the true culinary counterpart to Feynman's lectures would be Harold McGee's oft quoted books on food science.

This CIA book gives a wealth of recipes for salad dressings and other cold sauces, cold salads, sandwiches, cured and smoked foods, sausage, forcemeats, cheese, hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, condiments, and basic recipes (spice mixes and the like). One thing that immediately endeared me to the book is its treatment of vinaigrettes, which easily outdoes even Martha Stewart's better than average treatment. This material is worth the price of admission. Another service it supplies, with the authority of a teaching institution, is to simplify some culinary terms. For example, it always bedeviled me to know the difference between, for example, a relish, a salsa, and a chutney. Turns out that they simply are three different words for the same basic preparation. Like 'plains', 'veldt', and 'pampas', they are different words for the same thing reflecting three different ethnic sources.

The chapters on curing and sausage may interest fewer readers than most, but there is much you can get from these chapters even if you never make a sausage. I was particularly struck by the fact that government regulations require that pork used in sausage making be 'certified'. That's a little fact that people like Emeril and even Alton leave out of their little how to shows on sausage making. As a great believer in serendipity, I believe you never can tell what inspiration you can get from unfamiliar material. Here lies the greatest value to this book. It tells you a lot of the things which more popular treatments of the same subject can easily overlook. This includes things like sanitation, shelf life, and equipment care. As an aging hippie whose fantasies were fueled by the 'Whole Earth Catalogue', I find the chapter on cheeses to be worth a month's run of 'Good Eats' shows.

One can say that this book is really meant for the restaurant professional, but I believe it has many uses for the home cook. The most important use is as a resource for making pantry items like prepared catsup, mustard, relish, crackers, spice mixes, salad dressings, and stocks which one may typically buy at the supermarket. If you put your mind to it, you will certainly attain a better tasting product. What may be more important is that you will also certainly attain a better tasting product with no laboratory chemical ingredients.

For the real foodie, this book is a treasure. It gives recipes for lots of things few other books take the trouble to cover. The danger to the newbie is that they may not see those points at which the book's coverage is not complete. One area is in the recipes for stocks. These recipes are 'bare bones' instructions with none of the usual cautions and explanations given in some other books. If you are really serious about stock making, consult 'Jeremiah Tower Cooks' or Judy Rodgers's 'The Zuni Café Cookbook' or even the CIA's 'New Professional Chef' text. One can excuse this somewhat since these are hot preparations in a book about cold food. I would have preferred a reference to a work that gave the subject a more complete coverage.

One irritating thing I find in some reviews is a complaint about something which is outside stated range of the book. This book is about cold food. Do not expect details on baking or hot cuisine. Any material on those matters should be taken as a convenience to the reader.

I was a bit surprised to find at least one typo in this textbook by a respected school, published by textbook specialist Wiley. I found no errors that will mislead the home cook.

The book has several features I consider essential in a textbook. One is an bibliography. Another is a list of sources. Another is a glossary of terms. Another, very important, is an index of recipes.

This book is excellent if you are building a culinary library or do a lot of entertaining or are especially fond of salads and sandwiches, or simply like to read about food. The only reservation an interested reader may have is the price. The $60 list price inhibited me for several months, but I believe the book is worth it if you do any entertaining or make any quick cold lunches in your kitchen. Highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for making salads and sandwiches
I love this book, but I thought it did not cover baking very well. I purchased the Study Guide for Baking ISBN 0974328707. This book covers all the basics of baking and there is also another book on Advance Baking ISBN 0974328715. This book goes more into depth of baking, including custards and frozen desserts. These books help me greatly getting through my culinary courses.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for making salads and sandwiches
I needed to purchase this book for my Garde manger course and I never knew there were so many different types of salads and dressings. I also purchased the Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations and it helped me greatly on all levels of sanitation. Unfortunately, the Garde manger book of CIA does not cover the subject. Even handling vegetables, fruits and salads you have to be careful. This sanitation book even help me with my other culinary subjects.

4-0 out of 5 stars Title should read "For Professionals Only"
This is a book that is geared toward the professional chef only. The layperson might glean a few tips from it but it would never be used on a regular basis for cooking at home.

4-0 out of 5 stars encouraging
This volume is fantastic. It is encouraging to see culinary professionalism displayed so everyone can see the bones of it. I am a chef and enjoy its purism and sense of direction. It is a great culinary tool for myself and my cooks. I am currently teaching a class in garde manger for which I have ordered this book as a text. This is a must for your collection. ... Read more

10. Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine
by Michael Broadbent
list price: $60.00
our price: $37.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0151007047
Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
Publisher: Harcourt
Sales Rank: 55024
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Unquestionably unique, demonstrably delightful, Michael Broadbent's Vintage Wine is the culmination of one of the most extraordinary careers in the world of wine. Michael Broadbent quite possibly knows more about fine, old wines than anyone else alive, and he writes about them with unparalleled expertise.
Hired by Christie's in 1966 to revive their wine auctions, Broadbent threw himself into his work, searching out great collections of the world's finest wine--and keeping meticulous tasting notes. Here are evocations of Chateau d'Yquem from 1784--one of Thomas Jefferson's favorites--and hundreds of vintages and thousands of wines right up to the present.
Years of "cellars visited and pillaged, involving the checking and packing of dust- and grime-laden bottles in distinctly dank and chilly conditions," jet-set auctions around the world, legendary tastings and society events, have all helped to create an unrivalled store of vinous anecdotes as well as an unsurpassed wine-tasting history.


From a tasting of 1784 Chateau Yquem:
"The most renowned vintage of the late 18th century and well-documented thanks mainly to the original copies of the letters and orders of Thomas Jefferson. . . . Jefferson did not trust wine merchants and insisted on bottling at the chateau. . . . The wine has a warm mahogany-amber colour with a pronounced yellow-green rim. Initially, the nose, unsurprisingly, was creakingly old but after fifteen minutes settled down to reveal a remarkably rich, tangy, honeyed scent."
... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Wine's Grand Old Men
By Bill Marsano. We can divide wine drinkers into three classes. Ordinaire Joe, who'd rather drink wine than talk about it, is here advised to flee: This book will bore him stupid. The Wine Geek is just the opposite; for him wine is an excuse to prattle about clonal selection and hints of toffee on the nose. He'll love this book--will take it to bed with him. It is a gold mine of tasting notes covering many decades and innumerable wines from most regions of the world. The emphasis is on France, with Germany a distant third (there is no second), Italy a distant fifth (there is no fourth) and everybody else reduced to odds and ends. There's lots of stuff on champagne and port, too--a quintessentially British slant.

Never mind: The author, Michael Broadbent, is British, and the British have always leant that way. He is also one of the Great Men of Wine: revitalizer of Christie's wine auctions since 1966, writer, advisor, globe-trotting taster and collector of anecdotes and memories. In Japan such a person is officially labeled a Living National Treasure.

That makes this book of value and interest to the third class of wine drinkers--the Sub-Geek (or perhaps wannabe) who recognizes that his enjoyment of wine can be enhanced by a little more knowledge of its history and traditions, its lore and learing, its famous places and personages. There's a lot of that in this book, and it's always modestly and charmingly delivered. The reader must patiently winkle it out, however. It's all wrapped up in sidebars among those endless pages of tasting notes (about 500 of them) and is sometimes hidden inside individual tasting notes themselves.

This is the sort of book that will grace a shelf for a long time. There's no possibility of reading straight through it, and that's the wrong approach anyway. This book sits and waits for those late evenings with a last glass and an inquiring mind. It is to be leafed through for the pleasure of Broadbent's company.
--Bill Marsano is a wine and spirits writer who has won a James Beard medal and other awards.

5-0 out of 5 stars A reading indulgence.
Even if you haven't / will not try most of the wines tasted by MB, the mere description of the wines in his unique British style will make your taste buds shiver. A pleasure for all wine lovers - everything else put excellently well by the previous reviewer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Dreams are Made of These
I first fell under Mr. Broadbent's spell during my earliest days as a fledgling sommelier. His slender volume, Michael Broadbent's Complete Guide to Wine Tasting and Wine Cellars (1982) has long been, like they say about middleweight boxers, pound-for-pound the best book I've ever read about appreciating wine. When the wine auction scene arrived in Chicago in the mid-eighties. I can still remember attending some of the first few events at the University Club, sponsored by Christie's and conducted by the legendary MB. I was overwhelmed watching him lead auctions, but way too shy and in awe of him to introduce myself.

Because MB is a wine tasting hero. He's quite possibly the most accomplished wine taster in the world, certainly when it comes to Bordeaux, and heir to centuries of Britain's dominance as the arbiter of European and thus the world's best wines. This book, Vintage Wines, is a compilation of tasting notes spanning his career. It presents notes on thousands of wines in MB's impeccable, staccato style in which he is often able to elucidate the innate character or value of a wine in a few succinct phrases, along with his 0-5 star rating system. It also weaves in wonderful details of vintages, wines, and people he has known and loved.

Mr. Broadbent is a classicist, by which I mean his definition of quality predates Robert Parker's arrival on the wine scene. Inconceivable as it may be to many Americans, good wines were both made and enjoyed before Parker redefined the terms. Which is not to say that Parker adds no value to the debate, it's just that more modest authorities like Mr. Broadbent advocate a traditional style of wine making in which the individual character provided by soil and climate is given its expression rather than the creation of souless fruit-bombs. Finesse, breed, elegance, typicity, potential to improve with age, but most of all drinkability and compatibility with food are the hallmarks of great wines for Mr. Broadbent.

Nothing illustrates the comparison better or helps you understand why you would want to consult MB's notes more than a look at the ratings of the same wines presented by MB's Vintage Wines, the Wine Spectator, and the Wine Advocate.

Chateau Pavie, 2000. Very deep, velvety; tobacco-like, sweaty tannins;sweet ,full-bodied, charred and tarry taste. Impressive, but I much prefer the late Jean-Paul Valette's Pavie, which was so much more drinkable. For me. **. For wine competitions and our American cousins, (*****). (Michael Broadbent)

"2000 Chateau Pavie (St.-Emilion): This is a super model of a wine. Super grapey, with red licorice and perfumed aromas. Full-bodied and very tight, with racy tannins and a sleek finish. Best wine of the hillsides of St.-Emilion. Lasts for minutes." 95-100 Points - Wine Spectator, March 30, 2001

"2000 Chateau Pavie (St.-Emilion): With no shortage of confidence, Gerard Perse feels the 2000 is the greatest Pavie ever produced. Premature you say? Don't discount the proprietor's rhetoric. A blend of 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a backward, super-concentrated effort displaying an inky purple color, and a thrilling bouquet of minerals, black fruits, vitamins, and toast. It possesses a wealth of fruit, glycerin, and extract as well as high levels of tannin, and a finish that lasts nearly a minute. It will undoubtedly close down after bottling, and not be close to prime time drinking until 2010 or later. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2050." 96-98 Points - Robert M. Parker, Jr.'s, The Wine Advocate, Issue 139

Are they all talking about the same wine? Who is right? Only you can be the judge. While this happens to be a wine that MB doesn't much care for, you can get a good feeling for how his notes work. It's important to point out that he is definitely willing to call a spade a spade when he doesn't like a wine and the book has many such graceful and witty putdowns.

Back to the book itself. The book is arranged by wine growing region, and while it touches all corners of the wine world, the pages devoted to each area are a telltale sign of where Mr. Broadbent's passion and experience lie. For example, here are the regions with the most notes, with pages in (): Red Bordeaux (150), White Bordeaux (46), Red Burgundy (58), White Burgundy (29), Germany (50), Italy (18), California (35). Each chapter starts out with a few paragraphs of background and then presents the notes, all arranged by vintage from the oldest to the most recent. Fortunately, the book was published in time to allow him to include some notes from the heralded 2000 Bordeaux vintage.

I think it would be fair to say that Mr. Broadbent has access to and gets to taste a lot higher quality of wine than most of us, so many of the reviews are probably for wines that we will never see let alone get a chance to try. He starts each Bordeaux vintage with the first growths and the Burgundy vintage with DRC wines, such that if I bought a single bottle of each in one vintage it would cost more than I spend on wine in total in a good year.

So that brings us to the downside of this wonderful compendium. What is it good for? If you're a die-hard MB fan like me, it's a treat to enter his world and vicariously taste yourself through his lifetime in wine. For others, it will prove valuable if you've got the money and inclination to buy great wines at auction (and avoid some over-rated clunkers). Even then, it's not by any means exhaustive, and if you're buying anything but the best of the best you can't always find what you want. For many of us it's a little like having your nose pressed against the glass, wishing that just once we'd get to taste (or even smell!) the 1945 Latour that MB has tasted and dutifully logged 28 times.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Vintage Wine Guide
This is indeed Broadbent's best work to date. He combines his 50 years of experience to rate wines from the 17th century to 2001 Vintages. Each page includes everything from average price to serving suggestions for dinner. This is a great book for the aspiring beginner as well as the seasoned expert. ... Read more

11. The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition with 1,000 Recipes
by Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazine
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0936184744
Catlog: Book (2004-10-15)
Publisher: America's Test Kitchen
Sales Rank: 120
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Book Description

With The New Best Recipe, we invite you into America’s Test Kitchen where you will stand by our side as we try to develop the best macaroni and cheese, the best meatloaf, the best roast chicken, the best brownie, and nearly 1,000 more best recipes for all your favorite home-cooked foods.

Behind this book is a deeply felt understanding of how frustrating it can be to spend time planning, shopping and cooking only to turn out dishes that are mediocre at best. With The New Best Recipe in hand, you will have access to a wealth of practical information that will not only make you a better cook but a more confident one as well. In fact, as long as you follow our instructions, we guarantee that these recipes will work the first and every time.

We have also included 800 illustrations showing you the best way to do almost everything from how to carve a turkey and beat egg whites properly to how to frost a layer cake and set up your grill. Also, get valuable information on how and when to splurge on that expensive knife or baking pan and when the basic model will do just fine. We also explain the science of cooking since understanding the science of food can help anyone become a better cook.Complete with recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, The New Best Recipe ... Read more

12. New Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies
by Najmieh Khalili Batmanglij
list price: $44.95
our price: $28.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0934211345
Catlog: Book (1992-12-01)
Publisher: Mage Publishers
Sales Rank: 8395
Average Customer Review: 4.96 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is it!
This is the only Persian cookbook you will ever need. It has every imaginable Persian recipe, it is laid out clearly and easy to follow with beautiful photographs. Some of the recipes are very elaborate but after having done them a few times they become easy and quicker to make. A great book for everybody who loves to cook. Both, children of Persians who grew up outside of Iran and don't know how to cook the food their moms cooked for them as well as just people who enjoy good, rich food will really appreciate this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent cookbook
"New Food of Life" is an excellent Persian recipe book. I have tired a few other Persian cookbooks before and none them has been as clearly written. It is very easy to follow the recipes. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who loves Persian food.

5-0 out of 5 stars You will impress your Persian friends!
I am an American who loves many kinds of ethnic cuisine. When I married my husband (who is from Iran), we received this book as a wedding gift. The first dish I made was the fresh herb stew, which is my husband's favorite. He was so delighted with how it turned out, he said, "It tastes very much like what my Mom used to make!"

The directions for each recipe are clearly written. There are beautiful pictures, interesting tidbits and cultural info scattered throughout. It is THE book I turn to when we have Persian gatherings at our house, not only for the recipes but also for learning about the culture.

I have made many of the recipes in this book and they have all turned out wonderful. I recently made Halva (saffron brownie) which is served in memorial of the passing of a loved one. Our guests could not believe the American wife could make great tasting Halva! Many of the Persian wives either don't know how to make it well or say it's too difficult to bother with. Thanks to the author for helping me to impress our guests!

5-0 out of 5 stars In the Top 10 Best Cookbooks of all Time
I consider this book as one of the best cookbooks of all time, and let me just say that I have read a lot of cookbooks in my day. Its recipes, photos, stories and passion for cooking make it an outstanding work. The author knows what she is talking about and mixes her know-how with a love for food and culture. Not only does one learn how to make a meal but also how to enjoy it and where it comes from. There is nothing phony or forced about this cookbook. It is mouthwatering to read and allows me to make mouthwatering dishes for my family and my friends. Kudos! And I think everyone should have a copy and give one out as a gift. I received this book as a gift and cannot think of a better present. It's a door into a whole new world. Thank You.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is the bible of Persian cooking!
When my aunt decided it was time that I learned to cook persian food (I am half-Persian and all american :-)), she sent me out to buy this book. The carefully she would mark the recipes with special changes she had made herself over the years. Most receipes remained unchanged. Even my beoved aunt couldn't improve on this. My cousin, when he proposed to his opera-singer wife, presented her with a copy of this book and a diamond engagement ring tied ot the ribbon pagemarker.
Today I ordered one for my sister, a pediatrician in Nashville. It's time we passed down the recipes to her. :-)
These reciped are so good and so easy, you'll claim they are longtime family recipes kept secret over the generations...a little white lie I doubt the author would mind. :-)

Parry Aftab ... Read more

13. Cooking Essentials for the New Professional Chef
by Mary DeirdreDonovan
list price: $69.60
our price: $59.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471287172
Catlog: Book (1996-09-09)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 220314
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Cooking Essentials for The New Professional Chef offers students an opportunity to learn the basics of cooking while using the actual reference that professional chefs have relied on for over a generation—The New Professional Chef™. In addition to providing an excellent foundation in such cooking essentials as raw ingredients, tools, classic techniques, and foundation recipes, the academic version of this professional reference clarifies every concept with supportive text, step-by-step photos in full color, illustrations, and tables. Special features designed to assist both students and instructors include the following:

  • Chapter Objectives emphasize key concepts and guide reading
  • Highlighted Key Terms and Concepts offer a quick recap of the language a chef should be able to use fluently
  • Footnotes define terms that might be unfamiliar the first time they appear in text
  • Self-Study Questions and Activities reinforce concepts and help students apply them in a problem-solving format
  • Tables and Charts put important technical information at the students’ fingertips
  • Sidebars highlight professional development issues, techniques, kitchen management strategies, and historical context
  • Chapter Summaries recap the lessons that should be mastered
To help students build technique, the over 300 foundation recipes—conveniently grouped at the back of the book—are organized from simple to complex, with similar types grouped together. Students can quickly locate extra help with recipes by referring to the technique cross-reference feature that accompanies each recipe. In addition, color photos, tips, and historical notes provide additional support. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for culinary students
This book gives great information on preparing and handling food properly and of course the most important is how to store food before and after cooking. This book was a requirement for class but another book I purchase was not a requirement but I thought was extremely helpful was The Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam. This book had very similar questions to what's in class and on the exam and it help me pass with high grades. Thank you Dr. Leonardi and Ms. Heilman

4-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know the hows and whys, this is a good book
This book is required for the Culinary school that I attend and I have found it extremely helpful. As its title implies, it is for the serious student and a good reference book to keep because it identifies foods, explains proper handling, storage, and preparation tecnique, and also includes recipes. If you just want to throw together a recipe, buy a Betty Crocker cookbook. If you want to do it the professional way, buy this book. ... Read more

14. I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking
by Alton Brown
list price: $32.50
our price: $20.47
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1584790830
Catlog: Book (2002-05-01)
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Sales Rank: 91
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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Alton Brown, host of Food Network's Good Eats, is not your typical TV cook. Equal parts Jacques Pépin and Mr. Science, with a dash of MacGyver, Brown goes to great lengths to get the most out of his ingredients and tools to discover the right cooking method for the dish at hand. With his debut cookbook, I'm Just Here for the Food, Brown explores the foundation of cooking: heat. From searing and roasting to braising, frying, and boiling, he covers the spectrum of cooking techniques, stopping along the way to explain the science behind it all, often adding a pun and recipe or two (usually combined, as with Miller Thyme Trout).

I'm Just Here for the Food is chock-full of information, but Brown teaches the science of cooking with a soft touch, adding humor even to the book's illustrations--his channeling of the conveyer belt episode of I Love Lucy to explain heat convection is a hoot. The techniques are thoroughly explained, and Brown also frequently adds how to augment the cooking to get optimal results, including a tip on modifying a grill with a hair dryer for more heat combustion. But what about the food? Brown sticks largely to the traditional, from roast turkey to braised chicken piccata, though he does throw a curveball or two, such as Bar-B-Fu (marinated, barbecued tofu). And you'll quickly be a convert of his French method of scrambling eggs via a specially rigged double boiler--the resulting dish is soft, succulent, and lovely. But more than just a recipe book, I'm Just Here for the Food is a fascinating, delightful tour de force about the love of food and the joy of discovery. --Agen Schmitz ... Read more

Reviews (116)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best
Alton Brown is the mastermind behind the Food Network's show, "Good Eats". As "Good Eats" success began to blossom, Alton decided to try his hand at a book. As fans began to wait in anticipation of "I'm Just Here For The Food: Food + Heat = Cooking," it was assumed that this book would be a take off from his show "Good Eats". However, it is not, but does show you what Alton enjoys most of cooking - the science, the understanding of what goes on in the kitchen.

The book's chapters are divided into cooking processes, such as grilling, braising, microwaving and more. In each chapter, he explains the type of heat, what method is best for applying this heat and some recipes as examples. By understanding the heating process, and thus, the science behind cooking, the more in control of each meal or recipe you will be.

He explains scientific terms in a manner in which a layman can understand. He also explains those unspoken rules to cooking that most cookbooks do not explain, either from the assumption that you went to culinary school too, or because the writer did not know these rules either.

His usual humor and wit is ever present in this book. In fact, you feel like Alton is actually reading the book to you! He uses his own terms for things, such as "software" (food), "hardware" (pots, pans, and utensils) and "application" (cooking process). He even has funny diagrams and photographs in case you wanted an extra chuckle.

Also included in this book is an explanation of ingredients, such as the varieties of butter: unsalted, clarified, whipped, buttermilk and margarine. So, if you were at all confused, you will no longer be.

At the end of the book, he includes recommended reading, so we can be just as smart as he is, plus places to purchase our food and supplies!

And not only was this a great book, it received a James Beard Award in 2003 for the Best Reference Book! So, you just have to buy it now, because! Seriously, if you want to understand more about what is going on in your kitchen, and how to enjoy your cooking, buy this book!

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny & Informative Read on the Hows & Whys of Cooking
Sure, you can follow a recipe, but did you ever wonder why it says to "rest" a cut of meat after cooking? Or how exactly to properly sear or saute something? Or do you follow instructions and end up with dry, overcooked, or otherwise inedible food nonetheless? Then Alton Brown's I'm Just Here for the Food: Food + Heat = Cooking is definitely for you.

Alton's tone makes the book a quick and enjoyable read. Capturing the essence of his Food Network program "Good Eats" in printed form, the book's text is often funny and always informative. Illustrations accompany the text in strategic locations, including one particularly funny one demonstrating the consequences of poor safety when deep frying.

The book covers the basics from searing to grilling to broiling to cooking with water (steaming, simmering, etc.) and frying. Each section explains the processes at work and the reasons each technique should be used and why they work. Whereas other texts do cover the same techniques as this book--and some even delve into the hows & whys behind the various methods of cooking--Food + Heat = Cooking makes the explanations readable and memorable without coming across like a textbook.

Fans of Brown's show on Food Network will certainly want the book. However, don't buy this book if you're looking for lots of glossy, yummy photos of food. Do buy it if you can't get recipes to work correctly or find their directions unclear or just want to improvise on occasion and have your dishes turn out great. Although the book does contain quite a few recipes, its true value is in the techniques and the whys & hows of cooking.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative and Entertaining
I don't consider myself a chef, but I love to cook, and people love what I cook. This wasn't the first cookbook that I read from cover to cover either. However, I have never enjoyed a cookbook quite so much. It is very entertaining and informative. I've been cooking for years, and yet, I learned so much from this book. I learned some new cooking techniques, and although I was already familiar with quite a few of the techniques that Alton Brown uses, I learned why I do it that way. My picata recipe only varied slightly from Alton's but his was definitely an improvement! I really think men would read and use this cookbook more than any other. I will probably be getting a copy for my son. There are a few typographical errors that I've discovered as a transcribe some recipes into my recipe program, such as 1/4 tsp ground in the Marinated Flank Steak Recipe. I decided to ignore that ingredient, and my recipe still turned out fine. I don't think he meant dirt...did you, Alton? Anyway, I still give it 5 stars and recommend it highly!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hey, Alton, where's the sequel?
Really great book, one that everyone should own. Fans of "Good Eats" will appreciate it even more. I have two complaints: The book is very big and heavy, so I had to make a special place for it on one of my cookbook shelves; a lighter book would be easier to handle. I also would love to see Mr. Brown write a similar book that focuses on the many sweets he has done on his program: ice cream, pie, fudge, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars This books makes curious people better cooks
If you better understand *how* when you know *why*, and you learn best when entertained, I'm Just Here for the Food is your cookbook. It's actually better stated as a how-to-cook book organized by method of heat transmission, with some exceptions such as the chapter devoted to eggs. All the publishing details are done right here also, such as the index, bookbinding, color, readable typeface, and useful appendices and equipment and safety.

Using sound science sugar-coated with humor, I'm Just Here for the Food aims to fulfill the adage that if you give a man a fish, you feed him for day; teach him to fish, and you've fed him for a lifetime. Alton may not teach you how to fish, but count on learning how, when, and why to grill, braise, fry, bake, poach and more.

This book is a perfect companion to his "Good Eats" TV show, as he uses and recommends the same techniques and tools throughout without being redundant on the recipes. Unlike some of his TV chef counterparts, Alton generally employs ingredients and utensils found well within a modest budget, and he doesn't clown around with flashy but impractical dishes meant to delight barking-seal audiences.

Beyond an excellent introduction to the culinary arts, this book is a flat-out milestone achievement in creative interdisciplinary education. If food and science were taught like this in US schools, America would be a nation of genius gourmands. Most importantly, however, it will arm you with the knowledge to cook up some seriously Good Eats. ... Read more

15. How to Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food
by MarkBittman
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0028610105
Catlog: Book (1998-08-14)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 303
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Mark Bittman, award-winning author of such fundamental books as Fish and Leafy Greens and food columnist for the New York Times ("The Minimalist"), has turned in what has to be the weightiest tome of the year. There are more than 900 pages in this sucker--over 1,500 recipes! This isn't just the big top of cookbooks: it's the entire three-ring circus. This isn't just how to cook everything: it's how to cook everything you have ever wanted to have in your mouth. And then some.

Bittman starts with Roasted Buttered Nuts and Real Buttered Popcorn, and moves right along, section by section, from the likes of Black Bean Soup (eight different ways), to Beet and Fennel Salad, to Mussels (Portuguese-style over Pasta), to Cream Scones--and he hasn't even reached seafood, poultry, meat, or vegetables yet, let alone desserts. There are 23 sections in this cookbook (!) that reflect directly on the how-to of cooking, be that equipment, technique, or recipe.

Every inch of the way the reader finds Bittman's calm, helpful, encouraging voice. "Anyone can cook," he says at the beginning, "and most everyone should." More than a few college kids are going to head off to their first apartments with Bittman's book under arm. More than a few marriages will benefit with this book on the shelf. And anyone who loves cooking and the sound of a great food voice is going to enjoy letting this book fall open where it may. No matter what the page, it's bound to be a tasty and rewarding experience. --Schuyler Ingle ... Read more

Reviews (231)

5-0 out of 5 stars Useful and fun
"How to Cook Everything" is the most useful cookbook I've ever owned. Each type of food has a "Basics" section which includes lots of preparation tips. The recipes themselves are detailed enough for beginners, and not so esoteric that you have to make a trip to a specialty grocery store every time you want to cook something. Especially helpful are the suggestions for expanding on each dish. For example, after the basic Chicken Kebab recipe, there are four modifications, including Chicken Kebabs in Yogurt-Cumin Sauce.

I'm re-learning the way I prepare even the most basic things, like sandwiches and scrambled eggs! Who would have thought scrambled eggs could be so good? And the Pan-Grilled steak has weaned me from the backyard grill forever. No other cookbook would warn you that "clouds of smoke will instantly appear; do not turn down the heat." That bit of fear that your fire alarm will go off at any second just adds spice to the whole cooking experience.

The breadth of this book is just amazing. Besides having nearly every type of Western cooking you can imagine, it also has recipes from Japan, India, Thailand, and... you get the idea.

There is one drawback-this book has no photos, just a few hand-drawn illustrations. However, the book is just so huge that if it did have photos, it would probably cost much more than it does.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Kitchen Essential!
This is a wonderful all-around cookbook, much easier to follow than the "Joy of Cooking". Cooking has always been my passion, but my creations were always fairly complex, adventurous dishes ... I never really learned how to make simple, every day meals. This book really helped me out with that! This would be a perfect gift for someone who has recently moved out on their own or for the single guy who needs a break from frozen pizzas! Even if most of the book were useless (which it is not), it would be a worthwhile purchase simply for the section entitled "28 Meals You Can Prepare in the Time it Takes to Boil Pasta" ... the recipes in this section are all simple, require usually less than 5 ingredients and can be prepared in just a few minutes. There are wonderfully detailed explanations in the books about simple, time-saving cooking techniques, as well as the reasons why certain things are prepared the way they are, so that the cook will have a better understanding of what they are doing. I would recommend this cookbook to everyone!

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Cooking Core Book
I come from a restaurant family and am an avid collector of all types of cookbooks from vintage to Martha and I consistently grab Bittman's How to Cook Everything for how to "cut to the chase." His writing style is terrific for: explanations, definitions, useful tips and information, technique and recipes that I can't find in my vast collection of cook books. I must have in anyone's cookbook library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stays on my counter
I have owned this cookbook for at least four years. When I first got it, I hardly cooked anything that didn't come from a box, can, or jar. I was afraid to deviate from the recipe and found most cookbook recipes too complicated, with too many ingredients. This book changed all that. In this book, you are encouraged to improvise, and helpful pointers for doing just that are provided throughout. Every section explains the basics of that type of cooking, then tells you how to expand on that. The fruit and vegetable sections are the best, with an alphabetical listing of fruits and vegetables, explaining how to select them and what to do with them. I only wish I had the copy with the CD-rom. Oh, and I wish it came in a ring-bound format, as my copy is falling out of its binding now from so much use (and many of the pages are a bit sticky)!

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book with a few problems
I haven't done a lot of cooking in my life, and only recently I started cooking regularly for family. How to Cook Everything has been the only cookbook I've used in eons. Therefore, I don't have a good basis for comparison to other cookbooks. I can, however, compare the food I cook to what I eat and enjoy in restaurants. I've made about 40-50 recipes from this book.

Some advantages of the book:

- It assumes you know virtually nothing about cooking. There are sections on how to mince garlic, dice an onion, core a bell pepper... For me, and for many others, it's great. Experienced chefs can easily skip these parts.

- It's huge. It has an example of just about every (Western) food you might want to cook. Certainly, one could go much further in each area by buying specialty cookbooks.

- The philosophy of the book is ideal for home cooking. Pick good ingredients, add minimal flavorings, cook, and serve. Most of the recipes are fairly quick.


- The prep time of many recipes seems significantly underestimated, and often needs to be doubled. Maybe the time printed in the book is amount of time Bittman takes, but as more of a beginning chef, I can't fathom it.

- Ingredients can be a pain to find, and what Bittman says is easily available in supermarkets often doesn't seem to be available anywhere around Harrisburg, PA (not exactly an out-of-the-way place), without checking dozens of specialty markets. What this and the previous statement mean is that cooking these recipes becomes significantly less easy to do after work.

- My biggest problem is that the results, while generally good for home cooking, have been a bit hit-or-miss. I enjoy good restaurant food, and I'd like to think that I could cook the same quality food at home. Bittman's best recipes are excellent, food that I would praise in a restaurant, and it's a treat to find one of them. His worst recipes are purely average, or even a bit below.

What I've surmised so far, although I've only cooked a small percentage of the book's recipes, is that Bittman is at his worst with foods that need a lot of added flavor or spice. I've noticed this in his Italian, Chinese, and Thai recipes - all of them seem to be clearly missing some crucial element of flavor. If I were more experienced as a cook, I'm sure I could identify what it was, but I'm not.

Generally I think this is more a problem with quality control and scope than anything else - with 700 recipes, it's hard for Bittman to wholeheartedly recommend and repeatedly test all of them. I still have no problem recommending this book to everyone as a base cookbook, with the caveats above. ... Read more

16. Cheese Primer
by Steven Jenkins
list price: $16.95
our price: $11.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0894807625
Catlog: Book (1996-10-01)
Publisher: Workman Publishing
Sales Rank: 3603
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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If you want a fascinating food book, say Cheese Primer. For 20 years, Steve Jenkins has lead the way in upgrading the quality of cheese sold at fine food stores in the U.S. Finally, in this volume, he shares his encyclopedic knowledge. Jenkins tells all about cheesemaking at the commercial as well as the artistic level. Generously punctuated with maps and photos, the book includes all kinds of historical and other relevant information. Jenkins seems to describe every kind of cheese made in the U.S.and Europe, including when to eat them, how and with what. His passion and blunt opinions make it easy to travel the 548 pages of this book if you have even the smallest interest in cheese. The guide to pronunciation is particularly helpful. ... Read more

Reviews (15)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good guide, but don't let it intimidate you
If Anthony Bourdain's motto in "A Cook's Tour" is "Eat what the locals eat," the author of "Steven Jenkins Cheese Primer" (no apostrophe) might add the corollary, "Don't eat what the locals eat if you're not where the locals are." For one of the most important, if depressing, pieces of information in this info-packed book is that we in this country are banned, through the wisdom of our government, from eating authentic European cheeses the way they were intended to be eaten (i.e., made from unpasteurized milk). As a result, many "European" cheeses sold in the US, Jenkins tells us, are pallid and bland -- if not downright heretical -- imitations of their European namesakes. If we want to try, for example, a "real" Camembert, we'll just have to wait until we get to France.

(Interestingly, Camembert cheese is not made in the village of Camembert, Jenkins informs us, nor is cheddar cheese made in the English town of Cheddar. Not any more, anyway. And needless to say, "real" cheddar cheese is apparently a very different thing from the mass-produced yellow bricks we find in our grocery store.)

The cover of this book describes Steven Jenkins as "America's most opinionated authority" when it comes to cheese, and I've no doubt that's true. His opinions do in fact come through loud and clear. As with any "authority" on matters of taste, you can give his opinions as much weight as you think they deserve. There's no question, though, that Jenkins is immensely informed about his topic. And if you feel a little self-conscious carrying this Primer to your local *crémerie*, rest assured that it would still be easier than trying to memorize all the facts, tips, recommendations, and warnings the book contains.

4-0 out of 5 stars Comte = very few small holes Emmentaler = lots of big holes
I worked as a cheesemonger for five years, have shopped at Mr. Jenkins counter at Fairway in NYC, and have attended American Cheese Society conferences where he has spoken. When I've heard him speak, he has always admitted that there is incorrect and out of date information in this book - it was published in 1996, and since then, some cheeses that were unavailable in the U.S., or only available in pasteurized versions have become available or additionally available in raw milk versions. For example, on p. 159, he states that Bleu d'Auvergne is only made with pasteurized milk. There are versions now that you can buy in the U.S. made with raw milk and have been for at least five years.

It's not a huge problem for a casual reader that there are errors in the book - though some of them are factual, many of them are changes caused by the growth in interest in good cheese in the U.S. Availability is changeable, and we get to eat more delicious treasures because of greater interest in cheeses here in America, which includes the promotion of cheeses by Mr. Jenkins. I've heard that he's working on a second edition, but that was a couple years ago, and a revision of a work like this is certainly a long process.

That being said, the picture on p. 116 *is* captioned incorrectly. The text above the picture is about Emmentaler. A wheel of Emmentaler (originally from Bern, a bulging Swiss cheese with holes produced by the action of innocuous bacteria added to the curd in production and a smooth, brushed rind) is identified as a wheel of Comte (a cheese from the Franche-Comte region of France with a few small holes, and a flat, bumpy, natural brown rind, pictured on p. 114). This is obviously an editing mistake. Believe me, your average book editor is not going to be identify cheeses by sight at ten paces as a cheesemonger can. If you turn the book upside down and look closely, you will be able to read the words "Grand Cru" on the top of the cheese. It's Grand Cru Emmentaler.

Mr. Jenkins tells us himself, "I'm opinionated about flavor and pull no punches." He is opinionated, and his likes and dislikes come through strongly. Don't decide to dismiss a cheese entirely because he doesn't like it, or accept it just because he loves it. You just can't do that with food. This is a chatty, enjoyable, conversational read, but if you want to learn about cheese, don't just read this book. Read others too, and *most importantly*, go out and meet your local cheesemonger and taste all the different types of cheese you can!

3-0 out of 5 stars Cheese Primer
Pity this book doesn't have clear colour photographs. The content is excellent but the edition I have looks rather badly reproduced.

4-0 out of 5 stars As a Primer It's Great but It's Not a Bible
I credit this book with opening my eyes to the wide world of cheese. As a true neophyte, I use this book as a starting point whenever I head out to Whole Foods to bring another cheese back to the family (sorry, The Cheese Shop in Beverly Hills is just too darned far). Do keep in mind two things about this book. One, it is a cheese primer, not the bible of all things cheese. Use it to pique your curiousity and to get ideas. Two, taste is subjective and just because a cheese expert likes something does not mean you will (and vice versa). Take Taleggio and Oka. Mr. Jenkins finds Taleggio to be sublime and meaty. I find it to be stinky and bad tasting. Mr. Jenkins finds Oka to be stinky and mediocre. I think it rocks (my wife does find it stinky, though--okay it's a bit stinky but it tastes really good). He's also dismissive of Mimolette while my whole family loves it. Not a ding against Mr. Jenkins, though, because I would not have tried Mimolette if his book had not inspired me to try everything. Just remember to take his subjective opinions with a grain of salt and you will be fine.

5-0 out of 5 stars What have you got against Steven? This is a GREAT book!
Evidently the reviewer whose words are displayed below has something personal against Steven Jenkins. What's the deal with that? No one in their right mind who knows and loves cheese would ever feel that way about this fabulous book. In any case, be advised that the reviewer below is flat-out wrong on almost all of the errors he cites from the Cheese Primer. I repeat: they do not exist! Not only is the cheese in the picture on page 116 indeed Compte (one of the said reviewer's "favorite" errors), but for it to be msitaken for Grand Cru Emmenthal is not only a careless, but utterly misinformed remark. As for the cheeses the anonymous reviewer (too ashamed to reveal his name!) describes as "boring" and "mundane", their very appeal lies in their ability to intensify and flourish as time goes by. Perhaps someone doesn't have the patience to wait until his cheese have arrived at the appropriate age.

When determining the quality of fine cheese, why take the word of an anonymous reviewer rather than someone who ahs obviously worked with cheese for more than 30 years, and has travelled all over the world simply to examine it like Steven Jenkins has?! Perhaps if this reviewer's name were confident enough about his opinions to post his name, one might feel more confidence in his review; also, we Amazon shoppers could judge his credibilty for ourselves.

In any case, Steven Jenkins' Cheese Primer, to these eyes (and nose, and most importantly, taste buds)seems to be refreshingly lucid, awesomely comprehenseive and chock-full of fromage jewels from anywhere and everywhere. A good buy! ... Read more

17. Food Around the World: A Cultural Perspective
by Margaret McWilliams, Holly Heller
list price: $81.40
our price: $81.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0130944564
Catlog: Book (2002-07-24)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Sales Rank: 580728
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18. Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to Bring Your Family Back to the Table
by Leanne Ely
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345464869
Catlog: Book (2003-09-30)
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Sales Rank: 493
Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Certified nutritionist Leanne Ely has a simple philosophy: “Make it and they will come.” Dinner, that is. Take-out, opening a can, or microwave fare shouldn’t pass for a nice, healthy meal–and nothing can replace a family’s time together. Believe it or not, preparing dinner can be a stress-free endeavor. Even your time in the supermarket can be cut in half!

Full of practical tips on simple, healthy meal planning, Saving Dinner is the ideal solution for today’s busy parents who would love to have their family sitting around the dinner table once again–sharing stories along with a nutritious meal. Efficiently divided by season, each section features six weeks of menus with delicious recipes, side dish suggestions, and an itemized grocery list that is organized by product (dairy, meat, produce) to make one-stop shopping a snap. Plus the book is packed with helpful hints and short cuts in the kitchen that make cooking easier and more fun.

From Big Basil Burgers and Salmon Carbonara to Crockpot Chili and Spicy Apricot Chicken, Saving Dinner will have your family coming back to the table–and back again for seconds!
Leanne Ely is considered the expert on family cooking and healthy eating. Between her popular “Heart of a Woman” radio show in Southern California and her weekly “Food for Thought” column on the ever-popular Web site, thousands of fans have already discovered Leanne’s secrets to easily prepared, well-balanced meals.
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Reviews (84)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Way To Plan Meals!
I have been waiting for this book to be available! I already knew of Leanne Ely from Flylady, and had already tried several of her recipes with great success. Leanne has taught me a lot about healthy cooking, how to stock my pantry, and how to plan a well balanced meal. All this from her Food for Thought essays through Flylady. So when I heard she had written a new book, I couldn't wait to get it. One of my favorite things about Saving Dinner are the side-dish suggestions with each meal. I feel so good knowing I am feeding my family completely healthy meals. My family RAVED over the Crock Beef Sandwiches on page 7, which was one of the easiest meals I have prepared in a long time. My husband and I also loved the Apple Chicken. We look forward to trying more and more recipes from Saving Dinner, and I am adding Leanne Ely's other cookbooks to my Christmas list! Thank you, Leanne! I wish I could come see you at the Flyfest in Chattanooga!

5-0 out of 5 stars Saving Dinner a Success!
Saving Dinner has saved my home, probably my marriage and made dinner time around our house a much more pleasant experience! I have had a very different experience than these last few reviews. I bought Saving Dinner just after it was published and half heartedly thought it would work for me. Being skeptical, my hubby and I marked all the recipes we liked and put together our own "shopping list" like Leanne's. Every night was a great review. I intermixed the meals with our good ol' standbys to keep the 4 kids (10 and under) happier as we started to change our eating habits and enjoying new foods and tastes. Occasionally there are things that they don't like, but hey, they didn't like half the stuff I cooked before Saving Dinner either! Now I just print out the shopping lists as is and hit the grocery store.

I think some of the suggested cons are misleading in these prior postings. You can probably find similar recipes online, but this book is more than just recipes. The hardest part of cooking is putting together a shopping list and knowing it is complete. It's quick to adapt and you can also print out the shopping lists from the website. I even got really sick one night and my hubby took the list off the computer and went shopping. He thought it was totally cool and was happy knowing we had everything to eat for a full week.

You may use more pots and pans, because you'll actually be making a meal - not a main course from a box or a can! Ingredients MAY be hard to find depending on your grocery store and where you live but half the challenge may be learning that your local store carries 10,000+ products and just learning where they have them and what they look like is the actual problem. You can also ask your grocer to carry products. If it will keep you shopping at their store, they'll order it in. Shelf space is a premium - supply and demand is what stocks the shelves.

If you've never used spices, the meals may seem spicier so...just cut back a little on the spices. Some people complain that they aren't spicy enough! The recipes are very, very flexible to adapt to a wide variety of food preferences. Meats can be substituted for one another - beef for pork, chicken for beef, fish for chicken, etc. This makes it easy to buy what's on sale and adapt it, too, if you desire.

If you are buying name brand, red capped spices then yes, you'll be broke! Check out the spices in the little baggies over by the int'l food section of your store or at the dollar store. (If you've never seen that section, then that might be why you are having trouble finding ingredients. LOL) I've never paid more than $1 for a bag of spices. Watch sales and learn to shop. You'll find that you'll actually be saving money as you cut back on eating out, don't go to the store as often and picking up eroneous unplanned items, etc.

Side dishes are only suggestions and marked very distinctly on the menus and shopping list. I buy the ones we like and buy more of the ones we like and cross off the ones we don't. My kids will eat corn 5 days in a row if you let them, and there's really nothing wrong with that.

My "picky eaters" are now eating asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, squash, fish and things that I never imagined! We play a game and rank the foods each night pretending that we are food critics and I mark the ones we like the best. Those with super high rankings, I mix back in on day 7 or in-between every 3-4 meals to help them begin to recognize the meals more and more as "ours".

I actually started a support group for the book on yahoogroups - simplysavingdinner - where we discuss and help each other learn how to use the great meals in this book that has changed my life! We share helps on the ingredients and are learning together how to really cook great meals that take relatively little time (typically 30 min. or less) and developing the skills to keep my family at home around the table and out of the drive thru line.

5-0 out of 5 stars End the meal planning nightmare
This book is very helpful. It has quick, easy-to-cook recipes laid out into menus with shopping lists. The meals may not be stellar, but they are all good. The cooking directions aren't great, either, but they are good enough. The things that I really do love about the book are the menus and shopping lists (with optional items marked as such)--they make dinner planning a snap. Plus, the meals are all well-balanced and healthy. And, unlike many other pre-made menus, the meals fit together so that you don't have a surplus of wasted food at the end of the week. I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks menu planning is a chore. (Leanne also has a website where you can get weekly menus emailed to you if the book doesn't suit you:

5-0 out of 5 stars Convenience for Healthy Eaters
Around 5:00 at the place where I work, you can hear the women asking each other "So, what's for dinner at your house?" One coworker says she doesn't mind the cooking, but she wishes she didn't have to think up what to eat every day. Another bemoans the fact that her family ends up with take-out food so often. Ely's book can really help with this situation.
Each week, you can print out a shopping list from the website associated with this book, write in breakfast and lunch items, and head to the store with confidence. You will be able to come home from work every night and cook a healthy, balanced meal for your family. I live in a rural area, but still have no trouble finding the items on the list.
The menus for each week include a soup or salad meal, fish, a crockpot meal (most families nowadays have at least one day a week when they need to eat in a hurry, so this is a plus!), and beef and chicken dishes. The meals rely on seasonally available produce, and cooking methods reflect the seasons -- for example, you don't need to use your oven in the summer. There are only six meals given for each week, so you can pull a family favorite together for the seventh day, or have a meal out. Having used the book for a few months, I have found that the shopping lists leave me with enough extra food to cook for the seventh night. There are no breakfast or dessert suggestions, but the neatly categorized lists print out with space to write the needed items in.
The recipes themselves are very good -- if you like vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and spices instead of salt, fat and sugar. If you are concerned about your health, this is the way you should be eating, so it's worth giving it a try. I am not going to pretend that my kids get excited about brussels sprouts, but they are gradually getting accustomed to eating healthy foods, and I appreciate that. The variety of dishes is excellent -- there are homey foods like burgers and elegant dishes like Chicken Pasta with Artichokes. All are quick, easy, and flavorful. I probably wouldn't have bought this book just for the recipes, but I have been surprised by how good these simple dishes taste.
I still use my large collection of cookbooks (after all, you only have 6 dinners for each week in this book -- that is not all the cooking required of moms), and occasionally pull a recipe from the internet when I am willing to go to the amount of trouble involved in that. But I love this book, and I think that most family cooks will find that they save time and money by using it, even if dinner doesn't need saving.

3-0 out of 5 stars Question nutrition information
I have been using this cookbook for about four months. It has provided us with a variety of recipes and menus that we would have not tried otherwise. We liked that. We have had to make changes to the recipes because of our personal preference for foods that are not spicey and we do not like chicken breasts. She uses a LOT of recipes using chicken breasts. But, overall, I had been using this cookbook more than any other I have ever had.

However, I have a new problem with it. I recently joined Weight Watchers so am carefully looking at the nutrition information after the recipes. I have found some that just don't make sense. For example, her Cincinnati Chili recipe shows 711 calories and 36 grams of fat per serving and it doesn't even contain any meat! Where are all the calories and fat grams coming from? (If those numbers are correct, I certainly could not use that recipe in my diet.) In contrast, a chili-pasta skillet dish from a Better Homes and Garden cookbook has only 311 calories and 24 grams of protein and it contains ground beef. The difference doesn't make sense to me. I prefer to believe Better Homes and Garden nutrition information since they have been tried and tested over the years.

I also don't understand her how she determines which dishes are for the different seasons. I would have thought the chili dish would be a winter dish. I don't know why it would be considered a summer dish. The concept of having different menus for different seasons sounds good in theory but I don't think the cookbook author has made it work practically. ... Read more

19. Field Guide to Produce: How to Identify, Select, and Prepare Virtually Every Fruit and Vegetable at the Market
by Aliza Green
list price: $14.95
our price: $10.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1931686807
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Publisher: Quirk Books
Sales Rank: 7734
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Produce: It's not just apples and oranges anymore. Today's supermarket shelves are stocked with strange, exotic, and delightful items such as quince, jicama, kumquats, amaranth, yuzus, and wing beans. But you don't need a degree in botany to make sense of it all -- just carry along Field Guide to Produce! This practical guide to the world's most popular fruits and vegetables features more than 200 full-color photographs -- plus detailed descriptions, selection tips, and guidelines on peeling, blanching, cooking, and eating.Award-winning chef Aliza Green describes everything you're likely to find at your local grocery store and farmer's market -- from common cabbages and coconuts to more adventurous fare like chayote and cherimoya. Grocery shopping -- and dinner -- will never be the same again! ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Guide Which Accomplishes its Objectives. Recommended
I generally expect to find one or more deficiencies in small guides like this volume from Aliza Green, so I was not surprised to find some. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book also covered a lot more ground than I expected.

The first positive aspect of the book is the title, 'Field Guide to PRODUCE'. It would have been easy and misleading to say it was a guide to fruits and vegetables, when many items in the book such as chestnuts and mushrooms are neither fruits nor vegetables. The book should have taken this positive title one step further and not divided entries up into fruits and vegetables. As I said, chestnuts and mushrooms are neither, and other products such as tomatoes are classified under their commercial category of vegetable instead of their botanical category of fruit.

The next positive aspect of the book is that the only product I could not find in either a primary entry such as 'cabbage' or as an entry type such as 'Brussels Sprouts' was the truffle. I will forgive them this omission, as it is the rare megamart that even carries truffles. On the other hand, the book did include such rarities as durian, loquat, and mung beans (although I thought the coverage of mung beans could have been a bit better).

Another positive aspect is that for produce such as apples, pears, cabbage, and tomatoes, several major cultivars are cited, with the best uses for each given.

The single biggest use for this book would probably be to find out when produce is in season, how to choose the best specimens, how to clean them, and how to store them. I will not be searching this book for the best fruits for a particular dish, although I may refer to the properties of apples to pick the best variety for a tart. On this subject, the book is excellent. It tends to be very conservative in specifying storage times. It gives apples about two weeks in a refrigerated produce drawer, while I have successfully kept some there for two months with little degradation.

Another use may possibly be to help identify a particular item in the grocery store. I often run across tamarind in South Asian recipes, but I would be hard pressed to describe exactly what it looks like, and most written descriptions really don't seem to hit the mark. A picture here is truly worth a thousand words. For this reason, there is probably a virtue in bringing all photographs together in a single section rather than having them accompany the article of the product. Another reason is probably because this was cheaper to publish.

Useful aspects of many articles are things like the climates in which the plants flourish, the land in which the product was first cultivated, the origin of 'manmade' products such as grapefruit (from orange and pomelo), the scientific name, and best uses for products. I am constantly amazed at how many of our most commonly used fruits and vegetables originated in or near the Fertile Crescent formed by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Several alternate names like 'aubergine' for eggplant are given; however, the author would have made this feature immensely more useful by including the alternate names in the index. Great help for people scratching their heads over 'rocket' in Italian salads.

One 'expected oversight' is the absence of cross-reference entries. Brussels Sprouts, for example is in the index, pointing to a paragraph in the article about cabbage, but there is no entry for 'Brussels Sprouts, See Cabbage' in the main text. Broccoli and Cauliflower are derived from cabbage and even have the same scientific name, yet they get their own articles. This rant is probably due entirely due to my fondness for Brussels Sprouts, so you can take it with a grain of salt. Missed opportunities are the absence of a tabular presentation of produce seasons and tables of uses versus varieties for major families of products such as apples, pears, cabbage, oranges, and tomatoes. A fun feature, albeit somewhat difficult to accomplish may have been a table or 'tree' of food preparation techniques with most useful products.

I could add more nice things to see, but most of these would lead to a full-sized volume, loosing the utility of the 'field guide' size.

This is a better than average book of its type. If you need something to make the best of finding, selecting, cleaning, and storing produce, this is your book. It will also help you pick the best apple for the pie and the best potato for your salad.

5-0 out of 5 stars Carry this little book whenever you shop for produce!
I'm a Philadelphian, like the author, and have taken cooking classes with her. She's as good a writer as she is a teacher.

This book is pretty complete, even to including things as exotic as African horned cucumber, caltrope and yautia. Her advice on using each item is clear and specific, accesible to the rawest cooking beginner and still helpful to the expert. The pictures are beautiful, full-color photos that make identification very easy. I only wish she had ncluded more pictures of different kinds of beans, squashes, tomatoes, greens and so forth. Of course, the book might just get too big to carry to the produce vender's. At Philadelphia's justly famous Reading Terminal Market, such a book is particularly useful as the venders regularly offer all sorts of unusual produce. This lovely book will make the explorations much more fun. Anybody who goes to farmer's markets will find it useful. It's a good read, too; I've read it cover to cover.

5-0 out of 5 stars Everyone who grocery shops should have this book
I read about this book in the New York Times and ran out and bought it. It's an amazing resource for anyone who shops for food (aka, pretty much everyone)! As a lifelong farmers' market patron, it's great to have this resource to refer to; I keep mine in the car so it's always on hand. ... Read more

20. Kitchen Essentials : The Complete Illustrated Reference to Ingredients, Equipment, Terms, and Techniques used by Le Cordon Bleu
by Le Cordon Bleu Chefs
list price: $35.00
our price: $22.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471393487
Catlog: Book (2000-11-17)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 31466
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A concise, colorful resource for both the novice cook and experienced chef

This comprehensive, highly illustrated book is chock-full of enlightening and eye-opening culinary information, covering a vast range of topics that teach readers what they need to know to be successful in the kitchen—from cooking techniques and equipment to essential ingredients. Le Cordon Bleu Kitchen Essentials offers expert guidance on everything from choosing pots and pans to deboning poultry to storing ingredients—as well as logical solutions to common mistakes. The easy-to-follow text, clearly defined terms, and uncommonly helpful tips make this reference a must-have for all modern kitchens. It demonstrates techniques with 1,100 step-by-step color photographs. Plus, the book outlines the vast range of equipment, along with buying tips and cleaning and care information. Le Cordon Bleu Kitchen Essentials illustrates the cleaning and preparation of food, as well as cooking times and features classic recipes to teach the principal uses of each ingredient.

Le Cordon Bleu provides expert training in cuisine, pastry, and baking. Through its six schools, a student body of over fifty nationalities, and a distinguished team of thirty international Master Chefs, Le Cordon Bleu is dedicated to preserving and passing on the mastery and appreciation of the culinary arts. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous! Useful!
I've been looking for this book for ages although I didn't know it until I found it!It tells you all the basic information about nearly every possible ingredient and some basic prep info on most--how to truss poultry, scale fish, serve duck, cut and steam fruits and veggies, etc..Also included is info about herbs and spices, different salad greens, oils, vinegars.So complete!It makes cooking seem very simple and has enabled me to experiment with confidence.And it's *beautifully* presented in full color--someone else said it could be a coffee table book and that person is absolutely right.My friends have been known to start paging through it if I leave it out.The only thing that might improve it is if there were a few actual recipes to try out--those who are looking for recipes will be disappointed as what Kitchen Essentials offers are more guidelines than recipes.I'm hoping that Le Cordon Bleu has or will put out a regular cookbook that will complement this wonderful book.

4-0 out of 5 stars essentially....great!!
This is a wonderful book for showing you how to do all the basic preparations that make cooking fun, delicious and successful.You can easily page back and forth to find the subjectsthat interest you.This is an essential reference book that is beautifully photographed, easy to follow, full of terrific information and covers a wide range of topics.Anyone who is striving to become a better cook, at home or professioonally will enjoy this book as a valuable asset.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Useful
This book is a very useful reference; it tells you everything from how to tell when a tomato is perfect for eating to how to select a knife that will cut it perfectly. It is also stuning - it could be a coffee table book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Detailed information on ingredients, equipment, & techniques
Kitchen Essentials is a compendium of culinary instruction and creations from the famed French cooking school with detailed information on ingredients, equipment, terms, and techniques utilized by their instructor chefs. Wonderfully illustrated throughout with full-color photography, Kitchen Essentials is a superbly presented, very highly recommended, single volume course for elegant cooking that covers fish and shellfish, meats, poultry and game, dairy products, bean and grains, vegetables (including seaweed and sea vegetables), fruits and nuts, and flavorings (including pantry extras, sweeteners, chocolate, coffee and teas).

5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensible Reference for Gourmets
This is an essential reference book.If you're expecting to review recipes this is not the book for you.Many preparation techniques for poultry, meat, fish, etc.Also a great index of vegetables! ... Read more

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