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The City Cook by Kate McDonough
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Jan 24, 2011

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Environment seems to be a theme of several recent books, including “The City Cook” by Kate McDonough. McDonough, a Manhattanite who has slowly learned cooking through both classes and practical experience, advocates the creation of an alternative urban culinary style that doesn’t avoid restaurants and take-out, but instead creates viable alternatives to outsourcing one’s food supply. The City Cook understands the needs of urban dwellers (small kitchens, hectic schedules, etc.) and offers templates for organizing one’s meal planning, first by quality stocking – from utensils to pantries – and then by learning two types of meals; perfecting a variety of old standbys as well as allowing time for experimentation and learning new menus. (Though one drawback is that the book seems particularly skewed to NYC that unlike most urban zones has particularly small apartments and a lack of personal vehicles that most urban areas do not suffer in the same way.) It is that last part that is “the City Cook’s” main focus. Some ninety plus meals are presented here, but the real benefit is in the author’s addressing the limitations of the big city/small apartment chef and the focus on tips and resources including the new spate of urban farmer’s markets. The book is partnered with her website,

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