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Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook Hardcover – April 9, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“I can only think of one thing better than enjoying Alex Guarnaschelli's food in one of her restaurants . . . cooking Alex Guarnaschelli's food in your own kitchen, preferably while wearing pajamas.”
--Alton Brown
 
“Some of my best recipes are from Alex, who has taught me a lot about cooking just by being my friend. Reading her book is just like hanging out with your best friend in the kitchen.”
 --Isaac Mizrahi
 
“I really have had a good time watching Alex graduate from a young line cook at my restaurant to the soulful and successful chef she is today. Her book’s approach to simple home recipes has many restaurant tricks that I am sure inspired cooks will be happy to discover.”
--Daniel Boulud

“Alex Guarnaschelli, who rightfully won her chops working with the great names in cuisine on both sides of the Atlantic, brings her skills to real-world food. This is where most of us live with our tight schedules, hungry families, and a yen for something really good at the end of the day. Alex lives there, too, but she has the solutions. This is one of those books destined to become very messy.”
--Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Host of The Splendid Table® from American Public Media

“Alex Guarnaschelli is a brilliantly talented cook and this book makes me want to throw on my apron on a Sunday afternoon and start cooking for my family!”
--Anne Burrell

About the Author

ALEX GUARNASCHELLI is the executive chef of the New York City restaurants Butter and The Darby. A graduate of Barnard College and La Varenne cooking school, she trained with acclaimed chefs Guy Savoy in Paris and Daniel Boulud in New York. An Iron Chef on Iron Chef America and a judge on Chopped, she has hosted and appeared on numerous Food Network shows, including Alex’s Day Off and The Cooking Loft, and writes a blog on foodnetwork.com. She makes her home in New York City with her daughter.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 3.10.2013 edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307956555
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307956552
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By NancyB on May 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alex has been a favorite of mine for some time. Her book met all my expectations. The recipes are easy to follow, wonderfully tasty and the ingredients are easy to find. I love her recipes because they are delicious without being too "grand", just luscious but great for regular people. I like that she makes it easy to follow her instructions. I think that this is a terrific book for all cooks, and would be a good gift to new cooks. My grandson is about to be married and likes to cook so this will be one of my gifts to him. It covers all types of meals and tells wonderful stories all through the book that are truly human and interesting. I am so happy that she became an Iron Chef. She really deserves this recognition.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By The Enabling Cook on April 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Over the years, I have enjoyed watching chef Alex Guarnaschelli on Food Network. Alex’s Day Off was one of my favorites. I also enjoy her work as a judge on Chopped. Her work—along with that of Anne Burrell, Bobby Flay, and Michael Symon—on The Big Waste was eye-opening and life-changing for me. Of course I was pleased when she became the newest Iron Chef America. And I mean really, a restaurant called Butter? Gotta love it.

I also follow her on Twitter. It was there I learned about her first cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook. I immediately preordered it, and it arrived last week. When you’ve been eagerly awaiting something, sadly, when it arrives, you can be disappointed. I’ve not been disappointed with Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook.

First, a word about the title. Many of these are not exactly things I immediately think of when it comes to comfort food or how I learned to cook. But then my mother isn’t a cookbook editor. (I mean really. I’ve been in publishing for more than 20 years. How do I get one of those gigs?) I’d venture to guess the same may be true for many of you. So you’re expecting the same-old, same-old, you probably won’t find it here. And that’s a good thing.

The book is beautifully designed. The photos are gorgeous, as you’d expect from a Clarkson Potter book. The seemingly handwritten notes and hand-drawn pictures are interesting and informative, and the “Old-School Tips” are very helpful.

If you’re one of those who read a cookbook like a novel, and even if you aren’t, Alex’s brief history of her childhood and career are interesting and help put everything in context. Don’t skip that section. Seriously.

Her recipes are well written and easy to follow.
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57 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. P. O'Neil on April 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love Alex Guarnaschelli. This cookbook is a disappointment. I expected comfort foods and hardly find the selections comfort food. If you consider papillote of striped bass and rack of pork with a side of harissa comfort food then this cookbook is for you. Unfortunately it is not for me.
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159 of 212 people found the following review helpful By M Faire on April 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When someone says "comfort food" your mind is automatically taken to thoughts of mostly southern type dishes like fried chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings, mashed potatoes, peach cobbler, buttermilk biscuits, banana pudding, corn bread, macaroni and cheese, lemon meringue pie, bread pudding and so forth. Actually if you Google comfort food, many of those dishes and more will come up.

While I was thinking "who needs more comfort food recipes" I chose to purchase this book for a couple of reasons. 1. today the bulk of "comfort food" recipes are made with pre-packaged foods like cream of whatever soup, or potato chips (for the crunch factor). I personally find that disgusting. When I make meatloaf, it's going to be a loaf mostly made out of meat. Not equal parts of meat (or less even) mixed with oatmeal, rice crispy, corn flakes, or chips! Bread crumbs is tried and true for me, and takes a back seat to the main ingredient of meat. To enhance not over-power. So I mistakenly thought that this book would have tried and true old school (meaning no soup or other prepacked goods) above mentioned type of comfort foods made with actual real food ingredients that require real cooking. 2. The absolute main reason I bought this cookbook is that my 10 year old daughter wants to be a chef and from the first time she saw her on The Food Network, Alex Guarnaschelli has been her "role model".

Alex Guarnaschelli has a different view of comfort food. No doubt comfort to her reminding her of the foods her mother made. Most of us were not raised in Manhattan with a mother who made pate. Chef Guarnaschelli says she fell in love with food in her mothers kitchen, recalling watching her mother make a souffle (of which she doesn't include a souffle recipe in her book).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Avid Mystery Reader VINE VOICE on May 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have been seeing this book advertised on Food Network and I just had to have this. I admire this Chef and think her food looks really good on TV. This is a lovely cookbook, sort of the old fashioned design and binding yet still new a vibrant. What I love are all the pictures of the food so that you know what it is supposed to look like as an end product. So many cookbooks do not have enough pictures and so when you make something, you kind of wonder if you did it right. This book has a very nice assortment of recipes and when it says "old School", they really mean it. Almost every recipes has a section that talks about tips for making this recipe like you mom or grandmother might have done. I think it is sort of fun to read these tips. This cookbook is not only useful but a fun read.
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