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43 Reviews
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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standard equipment for every kitchen
Although the cover fell off my copy years ago, I still use the book. It only makes sense there's no cover. After all, my cookbook is a first printing from about forty years ago, and was passed on through at least two other families before making its way to me.
This book covers the basics of North American/western European cuisine. I learned how to make killer...
Published on December 13, 2000 by Shantell Powell

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14 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great book for the beginner chef only
I really wanted to add a James Beard book to my collection of cookbooks and this one always got great reviews. It does have some excellent recipes, mostly classical dishes and some old world classics like Moussaka and Hungarian Goulash. It explains the techniques very well. Where I was dissappointed was in the number of recipes; there are too many variations and too...
Published on July 6, 2004 by 718191


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49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Standard equipment for every kitchen, December 13, 2000
Although the cover fell off my copy years ago, I still use the book. It only makes sense there's no cover. After all, my cookbook is a first printing from about forty years ago, and was passed on through at least two other families before making its way to me.
This book covers the basics of North American/western European cuisine. I learned how to make killer omelettes (plain, or oven-puffed with cheese sauce) with this, and my terrified-of-the-kitchen hubby learned to make a delicious ham supper. Whenever I'm sick and can't cook but we're expecting company, he always goes for this particular cookbook. If he can't find it, he whinges ferociously. None of my other books are as clear and concise, I guess.
The James Beard Cookbook is an excellent book for anyone. For the absolute novice, it details the best ways to cook bacon and eggs. For the kitchen maestro, it explains numerous sauce and souffle techniques. So, if you're looking for a good basic cookbook for yourself or for a lost-in-the-kitchen bachelor(ette), I strongly recommend this book.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely indispensable!, October 25, 2003
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This review is from: The James Beard Cookbook (Paperback)
Still using a small-format paperback copy of the original edition that we got 25 years ago! We are now replacing that copy with a better one, since our old eyes are having a little trouble with the small print, and since we want a book that lays open more easily when we are cooking.
Beard, along with Mark Bittman, are the the only two cookbooks for Americans that tell you how to do virtually any common task. If you aren't sure how to fix a particular food (or dish) they will tell you very clearly and quickly. Recipes are not particularly slavish, but suggest ready substitutions.
Some of the first things we learned from Beard how to make were omelets with herbs, red pasta sauce, chili with beans, and steaks seared in a hot frying pan. We know these sound very basic, but we still find them to be staples in our household and for company because they are so delicious.
When we first married, we used the Better Homes and Garden cookbook successfully to get started (it has pictures!) but Beard and Bittman are better for cooks with even the slightest experience (i.e., those who can find the kitchen!)
We have (and have discarded) lots of other cookbooks, but Beard will always be right at hand for quick reference.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, practical cookbook., September 24, 1998
By A Customer
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This cookbook, in its first edition, was the first I owned. After 27 years, I now own dozens of cookbooks - but Beard's is still the one I consult most frequently. The great virtue of the book is that it provides recipes of considerable culinary interest which are also, for the most part, simple and practical to execute. The recipes for chicken saute, meat sauce for spaghetti, souffles, gingerbread, beef stew and Sauerbraten are all standards in the cuisine of our home.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The creme de la creme, January 28, 2000
By A Customer
This cookbook is the basis for most of what I know and love about cooking. I read it over and over as a young person - I was fascinated by James Beard's appreciation for simple but elegant dishes. I differ with the earlier reviewer's comment that the dishes are "fancy". In fact, most of the recipes are basics - how to roast a chicken, how to cook green beans, and so on. With many of the recipes are suggestions for which dishes would go well with them. Granted, the recipe for whiskey cake does start something like, "Cut a pound of raisins in half," and you have to actually start this task to realize just how many trillions of raisins there are in a pound. I've usually avoided this excessive raisin involvement by substituting currants or chopped dates, but somehow the freshly-halved raisins do make the cake go from excellent to great.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't live without it, March 3, 1999
By A Customer
I, too, have an early (1959) edition which is held together only with spills. The other reviews convinced me this is the same book, and I am eternally grateful for that. Last night as I sorted out the separated pages to follow a favorite recipe, I knew I had to search for a replacement. I've worn it out, made it do, used it up, but I cannot do without!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from generation to generation, August 22, 2000
By A Customer
I learned to cook using an early edition of this cookbook. When it wore out, I bought another. I am now ordering a copy for my 18 year old son. He discovered in on my shelves and always goes to James Beard first. Basic techniques, theme and variation, putting together menus and learning how ingredients go together - learning by doing! - James Beard wrote the book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you only have one cookbook, this is the one., September 20, 1998
By 
noraw@ix.netcom.com (Santa Rosa, California) - See all my reviews
I am buying a new copy of this book because my old one is being held together with rubber bands. I have had this book since the early 70's. I love to cook, and am a great cook. Between this book and Julia Child, nothing is very difficult.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scratch cooking -- hundreds of great recipes, March 25, 2008
My personal volume of this fine work is a 1959 first edition (paperback). Some might jump to the conclusion that the recipes found herein are out-of-date and if you're into special diets or "healthy eating" in terms of low carbs, etc., you'd probably be better served with a more contemporary cookbook; however, if you're really into "scratch cooking," Beard was the renowned master of the art and most of his recipes are as solid today as they were back then.

The work covers appetizers; bread; cheese; desserts; eggs and breakfast meats; fish and shellfish; fruit; grain dishes; meat; pasta; poultry; salads and dressings; sauces; souffles; soups; and, vegetables and legumes. There's also a basic cooking guide in the front section.

What sorts of recipes can you expect to find herein? Pumpkin pie, corned beef hash, barley casserole, meat loaf, veal chops with cream sauce, duck with pineapple, coleslaw, stuffed mushrooms, and hundreds more. The work is inclusive of both the basic and the exotic.

This book is of equal value to the new cook as it is to the veteran chef. If I have a complaint it's that the fonts are small and it doesn't lie flat on the counter.

For the price, it would be difficult to find a better basic cookbook than this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ~ BASIC GOOD RECIPES ~, June 8, 2013
This review is from: The James Beard Cookbook (Paperback)
I've got a Copy of James Beard Cookbook, Third Revised Edition, One of the Best Basic Cookbooks in America, according to the Book, this is the one to have "If a Cook were limited to one Cookbook, this should be It" James Beard wrote this Book in 1959 for those who want to learn to Cook, and according to Him "for anybody who is conscientious enough to follow simple directions can learn to Cook, if you are among those who have never boiled water this is what you do: fill a Saucepan with cold water and put it on the stove. Adjust the burner to High. Let the water heat until it bubbles and surges, and that is boiling water" ...Many of the Recipes in this Book are as simple as Boiling water, Hundreds of Traditional Popular American Recipes

Contents: Appetizers, Bread, Cheese, Desserts, Eggs and Breakfast Meats, Fish and Shellfish, Fruit, Grain Dishes, Meat, Pasta, Poultry, Salad and Salad Dressings, Sauces, Souffles, Soups, Vegetables and Legumes. Also: Cooking Tools and Terms, Basic Cooking Equipment, Weights and Measurements, Herbs, Spices and Seeds, Condiments, Flavorings, Garnishes.

James Beard was a Pioneer in American Cuisine and one of the Country's foremost Food Experts and His Cookbook is Filled with a Great Collection of American Easy-to-Make Recipes, also many International Recipes for Wonderful Dishes all Written Clearly and with very easy to follow Instructions, there are no Pictures of any kind, but you don't really need them. Every time I want to find out how to make some specific Dish or Technique, this is the Book I reach for, Especially for Traditional Holiday Side-Dishes and Main Dishes. As James Beard would say and I Quote: "Good Food has a Magic Appeal. You may Grow Old, even Ugly, but if you are a Good Cook, People will always find the Path to your Door" ...Thank You D.D.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear and straightforward, December 27, 2004
By 
Jill Malter (jillmalter@aol.com) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The James Beard Cookbook (Paperback)
Everyone ought to have at least one cookbook that covers basic recipes for just about anything you may have to cook. And this is the one I recommend. You can be staring at a cut of meat, or a fish fillet. Or wondering what cheese and wine to serve with fresh fruit. Or trying to guess how to make a cheese fondue. Or a pie for dessert. This is the book that will help you do it all. The recipes are not particularly fancy, nor are they exotic, but they're safe.
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The James Beard Cookbook
The James Beard Cookbook by James Beard (Paperback - February 9, 2002)
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