Williams-Sonoma: Cooking at Home

Chuck Williams, Author, Kristine Kidd, Author
Edited by Chuck Williams and Kristine Kidd, Weldon Owen (S&S, dist.), $34.95 (640p) ISBN 978-1740899772
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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This upscale cookbook is a visual and tactile treat containing a comprehensive array of eclectic cooking and prep tips (two per page) presented with a sophisticated aesthetic that works right into a chef's approach to total presentation. The author, W-S founder and passionate cook Williams partners with Kidd (Thanksgiving), longtime Bon Appetit food editor, for a vast collection of recipes. A range of truly fascinating tips teach readers to fix cracks in dough or shape a meat patty (thinner in the middle), advise that "custards should wiggle" when they come out of the oven, and inform that zakushi means "little bite" in Russian. Excellent graphics clearly depict cuts of meat, and a comprehensive section on vinaigrettes and advisory asides ("all about capers" for instance) will aid the budding chef. Many cooks will find some of the 1,000 recipes here familiar, but each is meticulously crafted to bring the finished product to perfection. The more esoteric offerings (of which there are many) arrive with comments on ingredients and methods. This is a book for everyone, a beautiful gift, and a practical long-term tool for the coziest room in the house. (Nov.)
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