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Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft
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Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  22 reviews
As an essential primer of immediately useful and utterly relevant guidance, this guide can help anyone become a better cook--without a single recipe. The book's 217 notes deliver indispensable culinary truths, the highest standards of conduct, and timeless gems of cooking wisdom that have been taught and passed down by top chefs for generations. The notes provide explanato ...more
ebook, 175 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by RCR Creative Press (first published January 1st 2009)
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Carole
First of all, I really need my own copy of this book. It is full of invaluable tips, many of which I was taught in Food Prep 1...and then promptly forgot. I don't get to do a lot of cooking at home, since I have been surrounded by very picky eaters. This has recently changed, so I am going to be cooking more often. I believe this book should be in every kitchen, from the rawest beginner to the most seasoned of chefs. It is extremely well organized, with sections on everything from Understanding ...more
Angela
It’s as if someone collected everything our grandmothers seemed to innately know about cooking and combined it with the renowned expertise of a classically trained chef. Our first featured book Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft is a timeless guide to the act of cooking that allows the reader to truly appreciate the beauty in process. With a sensible, poised voice authors Russell Reich and Lauren Braun Costello deftly appeal to the integrity of serious chefs while instilling c ...more
Beth
I saw chef and restauranteur Costello on the Rachael Ray show and immediately wanted to check out her book. I thoroughly enjoyed her very practical cooking advice. This book will prove helpful to anyone who wants to become a better cook, even though it doesn't contain a single recipe. Her goal is to make her audience "think like a chef" by sharing information she learned in professional schools and textbooks. These gems of wisdom (a total of 217 concise notes) cover such topics as how to pick yo ...more
Yasmine Alfouzan
I already knew about 95% of the tips mentioned here, but that doesn't make the book any less valuable. I learned a thing or two, and I would definitely buy this as a present to the beginner cook/baker who wants to know some essentials that will dramatically improve their cooking. The thing is, though, this book does not contain any details. Just guidelines. For example, it says "Learn about types of fish and use fish from the same type in a certain recipe", but it doesn't say more. So, if you li ...more
Cheryl
A precious little kitchen reference book, designed for the less experienced home cook. Authors present 216 brief tips on food preparation, tools, and presentation, such as "Never jump food more than one temperature state (frozen, cold, room temp, warm/hot) at a time" and "Season as you go," (season when you start, taste, season again when you finish). An Appendix on "Classic Combinations" is included. For example, duck & orange; almonds & trout; miso and eggplant, etc.
Marian
At first I thought this little book's writing tone was really pretentious, but I kept it in my purse and read it through a week's worth of doctor's visits and it has lots of good advice, for the beginning professional, however,it's seems like obvious stuff that should be handled in chef school about: safety, cleanliness,experimentation etc.Some of the advice can be applied to the home chef as well.
Megan
The premise of this book seems cheesy at first glance, but many of the tips are things I'm now trying to commit to memory. Not only does Costello give insight on specific cooking methods, but she also prods us to remember WHY it is we cook.
It's a quick read and nice little addition for the cook in your life.
kirk
What a smart little book! Smartly written, smartly arranged, dozens of smart directives. A smart gift, especially for a beginning cook or someone with a beginner's mind. This provides a very easy and efficient way to learn the grammar of the kitchen.
Librarian40
Sep 03, 2009 Librarian40 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good, actually. To think I took years to learn most of this stuff and it's in such a small accessible book. I can think of several niece/nephew types getting this for X-mas...
Dan
Packed full of useful habits to adhere to in the kitchen, both commercial and domestic. It was a quick read, that will need to be re-read to next year as a refresher.
Cheryl
Mar 02, 2013 Cheryl marked it as maybe-to-read-but-not-in-clan
Probably not worth spending money on this, as I am an experienced cook, but, knowing me, there will be one or two tips I don't already know or use.
Darcy
Concise and full of helpful cooking tips - some you have heard (but a reminder is always nice) and others that will likely prove very useful.
Stephanie
Terrific condensed teeny book full of cooking and food tips. The flavor pairings at the back of the book are especially delightful.
Eliana
I so much enjoyed this book, I might even buy it. If you have any chef interest whatsoever, go get it. Yuma Main even has two copies!
Marie
Great practical advice, but would be most useful to someone who does not read much about cooking and food.
Jessica
Concise, clear and comprehensive. An excellent guide, even if you have been cooking for awhile.
Jill
Excellent, easy read. Convinced me that I need to improve in setting mise en place.
Natalie Kathryn
This is one of the best books for a cook to have! It is an amazing book!!!!
Kristina
A quick instructional, yet humorous read. I really enjoyed this book.
Michelle Young
Practical tips. Fast read. The stuff I wish my mom would teach me.
Laura
I got a lot of good cooking tips. I really enjoyed this.
Sandra Clark
Sweet book. If you see it at the library, check it.
Cindy
Cindy marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2014
Megan Heep
Megan Heep marked it as to-read
Nov 11, 2014
Alyson Walker
Alyson Walker marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Ann
Ann marked it as to-read
Oct 20, 2014
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