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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

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  119 ratings  ·  26 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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In July, the grocery store I worked for was bought by a competitor. While we were all allowed to keep our jobs, I found myself transferred from deli clerk (a job I had held for ten years) to cook (a position I had only substituted for less than a dozen times in the past). I had very little knowledge of cooking, and while some of the managers took the effort to train us, there was simply far too much to cover in the transition period and my manager never took an interest in finishing my training. ...more
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
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
Great hints and secrets to great cooking. No recipes, just good, practical advice for bringing the most out of your recipes. Everything from hand-selecting your ingredients, to experimenting with finishing salts, to seasoning and trussing a chicken. Oh! And don't boil the wine! Great addition to any cookbook collection.
Book is good for first-time cooks as the vast majority of the content is just cooking common sense. But I did learn the proper ratio for a Mirepoix (25% carrots, 25% celery, 50% onion) and the proper starting temps for a saute pan (cold pan for butter, hot pan for oil).
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
The appendix "classic combinations" is beautiful. This book is a one day read that will really make a difference, especially for beginners.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just like Michael Pollan's Food Rules, this book attempts to give you the bare essentials of its topic and no more. I loved this easily digestible book, and hope to revisit it yearly for inspiration.
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...
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.
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.
Terrific condensed teeny book full of cooking and food tips. The flavor pairings at the back of the book are especially delightful.
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!
Great practical advice, but would be most useful to someone who does not read much about cooking and food.
Concise, clear and comprehensive. An excellent guide, even if you have been cooking for awhile.
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!!!!
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.
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.
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