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Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking Hardcover – September 4, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In matters of the palate James Beard is absolutely to be trusted…He is always on target."--Chicago Tribune
 
"James Beard has done more than anybody else to popularize good food in America."--New York Times
 
"Beard was an innovator, an experimenter, a missionary in bringing the gospel of good cooking to the home table."--Craig Claiborne
 
"Too much of James Beard can never be enough for me."--Gael Greene

About the Author

Often referred to as the dean of American cookery, James Beard authored dozens of books on cooking and food before his death in 1985. Today, his Greenwich Village town house is home to the James Beard Foundation, the country's preeminent performance space and center for the culinary arts.
 
Mark Bittman is a food columnist for the New York Times and the author of the bestselling cookbooks How to Cook Anything and The Best Recipes in the World.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA; First Edition edition (September 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596914467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596914469
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By K. Zelinski on April 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
James Beard has been an inspiration for me since I found my first cookbook of his at a garage sale when I was a teenager. This collection of essays and recipes reminds me why. Despite being very much grounded in the time they were written (the limited availability of ingredients that he describes, the novelty of food ideas we now take for granted), Beard's love for food and his unbridled enthusiasm for sharing good eating with good friends is a joy to revisit. His visionary status is confirmed by his explanations and encouragement to his readers to try new things, explore different cultural influences, and not to lose sight of good plain delicious food. He was a true food voluptuary, and anyone who loves to cook and read about cooking should grab this book and savor every bite.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is laid out so well in a series of articles that Beard writes on his experiences with food, chefs, and restaurants. He not only talks about the purchase, prep and cooking, but also exquisite accounts of his memories of the recipe as he ate, sometimes with others.
Especially see his ideas about grilling hamburger. So luscious, with heavy cream, onions! So good!
This volume is chock full of treasures of tidbits from the easily recognized giant of the American culinary craft.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Patrick W. Crabtree VINE VOICE on March 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Beard's favorite dishes are not precisely companionable with 21st Century thinking on what to eat. He was a blood sausage, fondue, and pâté man at heart. But more importantly for his devotees, he took cooking from its most elemental notions and, through clear and simple processes, built upon this essential knowledge so that we can still all benefit from his inestimable culinary skills as we create modern dishes.

This particular book is a compendium of articles written by Beard, each entry containing the details of two or three theme recipes. All these recipes are complete and easy to follow. The other half of each article encapsulates the ambiance of each dish, the event, or both.

James Beard was no Shakespeare... thankfully. His writing is robust, clear, and to the point. Obviously, the text here is conveyed in the elemental literary style of the newspaper journalist, more of a promotional how-to approach of writing and very appropriate to the purpose of the work.

I'm reviewing the Knopf/Borzoi 1974, 316-page (not including the index) hardcover edition which features a dust jacket portrait of Beard rendered by Antoinette Schulte. The book illustrations (at the outset of the chapters) were drawn by Bill Greer and Beard was additionally assisted in the text of this book by José Wilson.

Beard characterizes these dishes as "American cooking." I don't really think that this is so -- I would call it (for the most part) European cooking employing American techniques or at the least, Euro-American fusion cooking. If you understand Beard's background, you can garner a more comprehensive sense of where he comes from in the world of cooking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By George W. Mead on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although old (Beard has been long dead), the book is still fresh. Not every article was of direct interest (these were first printed in the NYT), many included recipes I will use. Especially the spaghetti sauce,
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Stierman Edwards on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I first learned of James Beard in the early '70s when I was starting to learn to cook. I have owned this book since 1975 or so; I used to read the articles published in my hometown newspaper. There's not much "dated" about it. James Beard was never a "professional." He was a man with a terrific palate who made a living writing about good food as well as cooking it, but he was never a chef. I still cook from this book; made his quiche recipe last night (I find it still to be the best). We have to forget about what might be considered outdated. We have to remember that without him, we would not be finding arugula, or pesto, or cioppino, or tarte tatin, or pita bread, on menus in this country. He was a groundbreaker for much of what we now take for granted; and this book, with its intimate essays originally meant for newspaper publication, shows him at his idiosyncratic best. And some of those retro '70s recipes are worth rediscovering again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
one of my all time favorite food books - this is not, one should note, a cookbook per se, but a collection of this food maven's newspaper columns, though they almost invariably do include a recipe or two pertinent to whatever subject he's discussing. James Beard's writing style was straightforward and easy to read and understand and often witty - and his knowledge of cooking - especially of American food, was encyclopedic. If, like me, you enjoy reading about food - buying it, preparing it, serving it - you'll find this a veritable treasure trove
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a recipe-driven cookbook, although there are many recipes in it. I read cookbooks like some people read summer novels--and this one was such a treat. Each recipe comes with an essay, or homage to that food. His celebration of each food is just wonderful. My favorite chapter was the one on Bread, Cheese, and Wine, closely followed by Handwork and Gadgetry. His passion around bread is clear to see. James Beard was generally a food leader before I graduated from cookies and cakes and 4-H. I wish I had been introduced to his work earlier.
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Beard on Food: The Best Recipes and Kitchen Wisdom from the Dean of American Cooking
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