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Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft (Notes on...)

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Lauren Braun Costello

In all ways to-the-point, Costello and Reich's guidebook offer kitchen commandments for a realm that often tends to a little of this, a little of that thinking. Costello's culinary skills are well matched with Reich's pithy writing in more than 200 directives … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Lauren Braun Costello
Publisher: RCR Creative Press
1 review about Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential...

Commandments for cooks

  • Aug 18, 2009
Concise at 143 pages, including the index and several appendices, accessible and authoritative, this punchy little book commands attention to detail, from the elements of food safety to organization to picking the right egg for baking or boiling.

Costello, a cooking teacher and owner and chef of Gotham Caterers, N.Y., learned her craft from classical chefs and Reich pioneered the snappy, declarative format in his first book, Notes on Directing, with Frank Hauser.

Most experienced cooks will be familiar with 95 percent of these precepts, though it still makes for fun reading and good habits can always use reinforcement. But really this is a great book for novices and less confident cooks.

From reading a recipe to understanding the cook's job, assembling (and caring for) the proper tools, shopping, storing and preparing ingredients before beginning to cook, there is all the practical and wise advice a cook needs in short, numbered, to-the-point commands.

Proceeding with the cooking itself the authors tackle approach (tasting, thinking), temperature, the pantry, stocks and sauces. And then it's on to the central element - meat, seafood, poultry, produce, as well as baking, dairy and eggs, wine and spirits. They conclude with repairing and learning from mistakes, and attending to presentation, then finish with three very brief and useful appendices: food pairings, kitchen essentials and book recommendations.

A charming and entirely useful book.

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