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A Cook's Guide to Chicago Paperback – February 22, 2006


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Paperback, February 22, 2006
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Claremont Press; 2 edition (February 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 189312147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893121478
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,908,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

This is not a cookbook. It's a cook's book!

* Would edible silver paper, lily bulbs, or chrysanthemum leaves give your palate a boost?

* Have a recipe you'd love to try if only you knew where to buy masa harina or garam masala?

* Been meaning to get those knives sharpened or upgrade your kitchen gadgetry?

* Want to visit the markets of Korea or Vietnam without getting on an airplane?

* Interested in tasting fresh turmeric, or daring a sniff of the infamous durian?

It's all right under your nose if you know where to look! With the first edition of A Cook's Guide to Chicago, chef Marilyn Pocius took food lovers and serious home cooks on a tasty romp into Chicago's secret culinary corners and forever changed the way they shop, cook, and eat.

Get in on the knowing, as she continues her explorations of local foodways. Discover how specialty food and equipment shops like gourmet stores, health food emporiums, butchers, fishmongers, produce stands, spice shops, ethnic grocers, and restaurant supplies dealers can make your life delicious. Investigate the farmers markets, knife sharpeners, foodie clubs, and cooking classes that are right for you. And, with Marilyn's "Top 10" lists, extra recipes, and tips that familiarize you with the uncommon items found in ethnic supermarkets, you'll be making these ingredients your own and incorporating them into your menus in no time.

Finally, A Cook's Guide's index makes it easy to find what you need: egusi seeds, emapanda dough, frozen tropical fruit pulp, kishke, live crabs, mugwort flour, rose petal spread, smoked mozzarella, zizyphus, and over 2,000 other items you didn't know you couldn't live without!

Marilyn Pocius is a chef, teacher, cookbook editor, and ethnic market tour guide. She grew up on the Southwest Side eating kolackys and black bread. At an early age she discovered risotto, mole sauce, and tandoori chicken. Ever since, she's been exploring Chicago food--from the hot to the haute, from the exotic to the everyday. She lives in Oak Park with her daughter, a dog, a cat, and a fridge full of weird ingredients.

About the Author

Marilyn Pocius is a chef, food writer, and columnist. She grew up on the Southwest Side of Chicago eating kolackys and black bread. At an early age she discovered risotto, mole sauce, and tandori chicken. Ever since she’s been exploring Chicago foodways, from the hot to the haute, from the exotic to the everyday. She lives with her daughter, a dog, a cat, and a fridge full of weird ingredients. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a resident of Chicago, I am grateful to the author for writing this book. Now, I know where to have my knives sharpened, buy fresh ginger, and find the best teas.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis K. on June 28, 2002
Format: Paperback
I was delighted to have come across this book. While I'm not much of a cook, I like to think that I could be. This book makes it sound easy and, more importantly, FUN. I recommend it to anyone interested in eating, shopping, or cooking or for an "off the beaten track" cultural/culinary tour of our great city of Chicago. Hats off to the author; she probably weighs a ton by now but it must have been an interesting journey. (Great cover, too!)
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Format: Paperback
As a frequent visitor to Chicago, I love to take advantage of a big city's resources. I found "A Cook's Guide to Chicago" to be an invaluable culinary guidebook. Written in a humorous and easy to read style, the book demystifies those strange foods I can't identify, and lists stores that carry the exotic foods I love but can't find in my own neighborhood. Better yet, the author offers tips and recipes that feature them. With this book, I'm armed with a resource that enables me to search out foods I didn't even know existed!
Each chapter is filled with interesting facts that make identifying and locating groceries and cooking utensils fun.
(The description of South Water Market made me want to shop there just to see the area.) The book's layout makes it simple to use, and it is thoroughly indexed. The graphic design is a visual treat.
But the best part about this book, for me, is not the facts, but the feeling it gave me while reading it. I fell in love with food and spices and cooking all over again. Suddenly, just going down the same aisle at my usual supermaket to make the same predictable meal just didn't cut it. With these newly defined foods and locations of ethnic grocery stores, I was ready for a culinary adventure. The author's skill in writing, her sense of humor and love of food all combine to portray cooking as a sensual and exotic world. "The Cook's Guide" is the perfect companion to explore that world - I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Kornelia Longoria for Reader Views (9/06)

Chicago is very well known for being a home of many great restaurants and delicious cuisine. Marylin Poncius, who grew up on the Southwest Side, was introduced to all types of ethnic food in her earliest years and grew up expanding her taste buds with a wonderful variety of tastes. In her book "A Cook's Guide to Chicago", she put collected what's best in the city and its surrounding areas and put it all together into a great source of information for both tourists as well as Chicagoans. It's a book for everyone for anyone who enjoys cooking and fine foods.

The book is organized into themed chapters, where each type of food has its own chapter. Reading the guide the reader has a chance to travel through many different types of cuisine, such as Italian, Easter European, German, Middle Eastern, Japanese and many more and learn about the main characteristics and specific ingredients for each of them. Each chapter starts with a little introduction followed by the addresses of carefully chosen restaurants, grocery stores or other unique places revolving around food. Furthermore, each chapter has a delicious recipe as well as a grocery list, so we can experience tastes we have never experienced before.

Being an import from Poland myself, I really enjoyed the Easter European part, where I could find an array of Polish stores and restaurants. This is a great help, especially when you just move to Chicago from across the ocean and become homesick. The recipe for home made kolackys will instantly pick you up.

To sum it all up, A Cook's Guide to Chicago is an unique reference book which is very enjoyable to read and even more enjoyable to use in practice to discover the parts of Chicago one had no idea about.

Book received free of charge.
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Format: Paperback
If you love exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago & trying new dishes, this book will tell you where to go to find that special ingredient. It is a treasure trove of info & will make you want to spend time exploring this magnificent city and then try to recreate your meals & snacks when you get back home.
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