Where can twentysomethings learn to cook? Basic Cooking
, first published in Germany and now Americanized, is a good starting place. Relying on bold layouts to keep things visually spirited and a "hip" authorial voice that jollies readers along, the book imparts solid cooking information and core recipes in a direct, friendly way. "Think basic and have fun," the authors exhort; most readers, of whatever age, will.
Assuming kitchen innocence but informed taste, the book offers its readers data on shopping and pantry setup (a sidebar usefully dissects refrigerator space), basic techniques (the labels "strong" and "gentle" cooking are its helpful way of dividing the wet-cooking methods), and over 150 attractive recipes. Recipe chapters begin with basic info--on rice types, for example--and then present photo-illustrated formulas for the likes of spaghetti with clams, caesar salad, baked salmon, and chocolate pudding. The recipes, which include extensive prep information, cover not only simple dishes, as above, but more sophisticated ones such as Whole Fish Baked in Salt, Provincial Vegetable Ragout, and Crème Caramel. With small tutorials such as "Five 5-Minute Savory Sauces" among its trove of show-and-tell material, the book should attract its intended audience and others as well. --Arthur Boehm
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German