cover image HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING: Bittman Takes On America's Chefs

HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING: Bittman Takes On America's Chefs

Mark Bittman, . . Wiley, $24.95 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-7645-7014-8

The cheeky title on the latest from high-profile Bittman explains it all. Thirteen chefs—from four-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud to the lesser known Kerry Simon of Las Vegas and James Boyce of Laguna Beach—present their recipes and then Bittman concocts simpler versions that use fewer ingredients and take less effort and time. The results vary. Michel Richard (of Citronelle in Washington, D.C.) offers a complex Layered Vitello Tonnato, and Bittman comes up with inspired Turkey (Tonnato) Sandwiches, which call for a tonnato-type sauce on turkey slices from the local deli. On the other hand, Anna Klinger (of Al Di La in New York City) presents Beet Ravioli with Butter and Poppy Seeds, and Bittman counters with Pasta with Savoy Cabbage, which has nothing in common with Klinger's dish except that it includes pasta. Thus the concept is a gimmick that at times compares apples and oranges. Nevertheless, with the continuing public adoration of trendy chefs and the more practical wish to prepare chef-worthy meals at home, this book will attract Bittman's legion of fans, who will be tuning in to this spring's PBS series upon which the book is based. (Apr.)