Movies Books Music Food Tv Shows Technology Politics Video Games Parenting Fashion Green Living more >

Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » One Big Table: 800 Recipes from the Nation's Best Home Cooks, Farmers, Pit-Masters and Chefs » User review


  • 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

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
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 :)
About the reviewer
Gail Cooke ()
Ranked #137
Member Since: Nov 1, 2008
Last Login: Aug 19, 2012 07:37 PM UTC
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this book


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 celebrates the nation's culinary diversity, both ethnically and agriculturally, and offers a uniquely intimate look at what home cooking in America is truly like today. O'Neill crossed the country, interviewing home cooks and spending time in the kitchens of recent immigrants. The results are enticing recipes that intertwine family stories, personal histories, and food. From stuffed Danish pancakes in Utah to tamales in Santa Fe and Vietnamese shrimp pancakes in Mississippi, this eclectic collection showcases the best this country has to offer. O'Neill also includes old-style American fare, including black-eyed pea and mustard greens soup, corn chowder, campfire trout, and bluegrass bass with Kentucky caviar. Sidebars abound on everything from black sea bass to Johnny Appleseed, Elvis to shrimp. As engaging in the armchair as it is in the kitchen, this book is an enduring testament to our historic traditions and the new culinary forays being made by American home cooks. (Nov.) (c) 
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
view wiki


ISBN-10: 0743232704
ISBN-13: 978-0743232708
Author: Molly O'Neill
Genre: Cookbooks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: November 16, 2010
Polls with this book
First to Review
© 2014 Lunch.com, LLC All Rights Reserved
Lunch.com - Relevant reviews by real people.
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since