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- 600 hard-working recipes everyone should know how to make-from the perfect roasted chicken to bouillabaisse and apple pie.
- 1,500 instructional photos, showing exactly how recipes are made, teach food-literate novices to cook with confidence and more advanced cooks to expand their repertoire.
- James Peterson has more than 1 million cookbooks in print.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 51.
- Review Date: 2007-09-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Peterson's masterful survey of kitchen skills is a refreshing dose of tradition for anyone weary of quick-and-simple recipe books. The substantial volume is replete with step-by-step color photos, often 10 to 15 per recipe or process, that show the stages of a steak's doneness or how to make napoleons. The immense store of “recipes to learn by” is arranged partly by course and partly by main ingredient, with each section proceeding through many of his 10 basic techniques. Peterson is careful to include a range of dishes for every skill level, and cooks with any amount of experience will appreciate the numerous boxes that highlight preparation tips and tricks. Dominated by recipes like Fish Meunière and Boeuf à la Bourguignonne and with a prodigious chapter on sauces, the book feels like an old-fashioned French culinary education slightly updated with some nominally international dishes (Lamb Korma, Chiles Rellenos with Tomatillo Sauce), an attribute that may turn off some modern-minded cooks, but will reward those keen to absorb Peterson's deep knowledge of food and well-honed explanations for how best to prepare it. Color photos not seen by PW. (Oct.)
It's October, the holidays are just around the corner and the big fall cookbooks are beginning to pile up. Cooking by James Peterson qualifies as big in every way, with well over 500 pages, 600 recipes from starters to sweets, and 650 instructional photos. And it has a big goalto teach you all the basic cooking methods you need along with valuable tricks of the trade. If, as Peterson suggests, you cook your way through his book (it's OK to just dip in, too), you'll understand that "there are no secrets" and that "good cooking is based on doing lots of little things correctly without taking shortcuts." Peterson, who "teaches, writes about, photographs, lives, breathes, and cooks fine food," has written 13 cookbooks and is known for the extraordinary depth he brings to every subject he turns his talented hand to. He has cooked for more than 40 years, dealt with his students' mistakes and with his own and learned about as much as one can learnand he shares it all here. If you're a novice, you'll be able to build the confidence you need to cook anything you choose. If you're a well-seasoned cook, you'll find this an energizing, refreshing, reliable reference. Cooking is basic and beyond, simple and elegant, accessible and authoritativean instant, indispensable culinary classic.