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One Big Table: 800 Recipes from the Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Pit-Masters and Chefs

3 Ratings: 4.7

Starred Review. O'Neill, former New York Times Magazine food writer and author (New York Cookbook), has compiled an informative and heartwarming refutation of the demise of American home cooking. Ten years and many miles in the making, this collection … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cookbooks
Author: Molly O'Neill
Genre: Cookbooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: November 16, 2010
1 review about One Big Table: 800 Recipes from the Nation's...


  • Jan 3, 2011
  • by

Host of the PBS series Great Food, a long time food columnist for the New York Times Magazine, and the author of two acclaimed cookbooks Molly O'Neill is someone who not only knows food but loves and appreciates it. Thus, as we read in the introduction it concerned her when she realized that "...my colleagues and other members of the food cognoscenti began to talk about the end of American home cooking." In fact, this was such a distressing premise to her that she began to seriously consider the situation. She did more than consider - O'Neill embarked on a program of extensive research which would have her first talking with people and then in 2001 she traveled to various geographic locations throughout the country, and finally she wrote and cooked. The result became ONE BIG TABLE, 600 Recipes From The Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Fishermen, Pit-Masters, and Chefs.

This has undoubtedly been a herculean task for O'Neill but also a labor of love, which is evident in everyone she introduces, each story she tells, and all the recipes she presents. If ONE BIG TABLE were but a stand alone cookbook it would be a keeper, a comprehensive guide beginning with "Nibbles, Noshes, and Tasty Little Plates" to "Steaming Bowls: Soups, Chowders and Other Consolations" through fish and poultry to "Everything but the Squeal: Beef, Buffalo, Game, Lamb, and Pork: then closing, of course, with "The Sweet Life," desserts in all their glory.

However, ONE BIG TABLE is more than a cookbook that deserves a place in every kitchen, it is a tribute to the ethnicity of our population and a testament to our history as recipes have been passed down from one generation to the next. Beautifully illustrated and served with numerous anecdotes it is a culinary masterpiece.

- Gail Cooke

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January 12, 2011
This sounds like an amazing cookbook- I love that she marries our American culture and people with the food of each region, all the while, teaching us how to replicate those dishes! Great review, Gail and thanks for sharing :)
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