Other Sellers on Amazon
The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated, October 2, 2007
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Some readers may look askance at advice that they search out sources for locally produced food, for example, given the everyday exigencies of shopping and getting meals on the table. Yet it is precisely the need to "remake" our relationship to food that, Waters contends, determines the ultimate success of all our cooking and dining, not to mention our health and that of the planet. This relatively small book has a large message, and good everyday recipes to back it up. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Publisher : Clarkson Potter (October 2, 2007)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 405 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307336794
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307336798
- Item Weight : 2.49 pounds
- Dimensions : 9.46 x 7.6 x 1.34 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
"The Art of Simple Food" is half how-to, with a few recipes illustrating fundamental techniques like braising, roasting, steaming, etc., in the first section. The other half is more of a standard cookbook that offers recipes organized according to appetizers, soups, entrees, etc. It is meant to be read from beginning to end because of the emphasis on building a repertoire of skills.
The good thing about "The Art of Simple Food" is that it calls for produce that is commonly found at most farmer's markets around the country or in supermarkets. As much as I admire Waters, I've not always gotten along with her other cookbooks because there is usually some deal-breaker in a recipe--usually an ingredient I can't get locally, like a Meyer lemon, golden beets or a blood orange, for instance. Though I have access to an abundant farmer's market 5 months out of the year, the selection is prosaic compared to what Waters can find 12 months out of the year in California. I've had better results cooking out of "Simple Food" but some dishes, like the braised Savoy cabbage, come out bland. Waters likes to emphasize the natural flavors, but she has access to more interesting flavors in the selection at her disposal than I do. Another issue is that for all the care in walking the reader through technique, some ingredient details are rather vague. How small is she thinking when she calls for a small head of Savoy cabbage? The smallest I could find was the size of a head and I don't think that's what she had in mind.
It's rather oddly organized. Part I: "Starting from Scratch: Lessons and Foundation Recipes," runs 212 pages, from "How to Get Started" (what utensils and pots and pans you need and how to lay them out) to "Cookies and Cake" (no explanation necessary). Each chapter starts with general advice and then presents some base recipes or exemplary recipes to illustrate the topic just covered. The second part of the book, "At the Table," is more conventionally laid out. It is an abbreviated recipe book, 173 pages long. For three decades, Waters has championed the cause of good cooking in her Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse. She is a master chef and food preparer and her advice on cooking is usually on the mark.
On the back cover of the book, she lists her fundamental guidelines for cooking and eating:
Eat locally and sustainably
Shop at farmers' markets.
Plant a garden.
Conserve, compost and recycle.
Remember food is precious.
The advice is the best part of this book. The recipes seem almost incidental. This is a good bookprovided you don't expect it to be comprehensive.