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Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Latin Cooking: Recipes & Techniques for Authentic Home-Cooked Meals Hardcover – April 20, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The first Williams-Sonoma store opened in 1956. Since then, the brand has expanded to hundreds of products from around the world, more than 250 stores nationwide, a direct-mail business that distributes millions of catalogs a year, and a highly successful e-commerce site.
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Product Details

  • Series: Williams-Sonoma Essentials
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (April 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0848733282
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848733285
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.2 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,199,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This cookbook is refreshing in that it contains fairly simple recipes with lots of flavor and minimal fuss. The beginning of the book gives some background about regions in France, and various other aspects of French culture, which that makes this cookbook even more enjoyable to read. (The recipes themselves often have a line or two about which area of France the recipes originates from.)

I think a previous reviewer is a bit misguided in complaining about the inclusion of salad recipes. First of all, this is a French cookbook -- salads are part of the French meal, so naturally they are included in a cookbook about the essentials of French cooking. Secondly, the salad recipes are interesting, and definitely not things I'd otherwise have thought to put together. Salad recipes should not be dismissed as unworthy; rather, they are -- as the cookbook title suggests -- an essential part of French cooking.

I've made a few recipes from this book with plans to make many more; it's an excellent compilation of recipes. "Basic" but still sophisticated, "authentic" without being intimidating. Highly recommend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great addition to your cooking library for those that are interested in spicing up their culinary repertoire! Whats great about he WS "Essentials" collection is that they also add in a wealth of information about the cuisine and ingredients of local regions, which is good for those people that don't just want a "recipe book" but that really want to know more about what makes latin-cooking special. Another nice thing about this collection is that nearly every recipe, if not all recipes, have a picture tied to them. I am a person that really finds it annoying when a recipe does not include a picture; how do I know of something looks good if I cannot see it? This book delivers on the high quality photos and beautiful settings.

The recipe selection from the book is very good; even though when most people think of "Latin" food, they think of Mexican cuisine (I did!), the book tries very hard to include recipes from other latin regions, like central America, South America, and the Caribbean. With so much ground to cover, the book only gets "skin-deep" with some of the dishes; for example, you will only find a handful (maybe 4-5) recipes that can be directly ascribed to "Cuban" cuisine. Still, the recipes that it does provide for a region are most likely the ones you would be interested in preparing, and given that it only has so many pages and so much regional-cuisine ground to cover, I think that this book delivers.

So far, I have only made one thing from here, and that was the Chilaquiles with Chile-Salsa Rojo (or something like that). The recipe was easy to follow, the instructions were perfectly clear, and it tasted great!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far one of the BEST Latin cookbooks!I saw it at a friends house and knew I had to order it.Arrived quickly. I was eager to start using it.Beautiful close up photographs of the dishes, well written,easy to understand and most of the items called for were in my pantry.Have made several of the recipes the first week, not disappointed. I have many cookbooks but this one stays out on the counter, as I use it almost daily!My son in law is Colombian and said the recipes are true to taste.Page 145 has an excellent Grilled steak with parsley-garlic Chimichurri.I substituted skirt steaks for the New York Strip steaks,and used fresh lime juice instead of red wine vinegar in the Chimichurri sauce. Looking forward to trying every recipe in the book!
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Format: Hardcover
Good cookbook, easy to use, no scrambling around for strange or hard to find ingredients. I enjoyed the authors combination of classics and some recipes where she takes off from the classics with a twist. A blue cheese and walnut souffle for example instead of a plain cheese souffle.

This isn't simply for beginners, she has recipes for duck confit, and other items that an experienced cook will enjoy making, but anyone who just wants some good home cooking French style will also enjoy this cookbook.

The author runs a cooking school in Provence, and is better known for her other books, including A Pig in Provence. I really liked the way she writes the recipes out, she is understanding of time and budget constraints, something not all foodies are aware of and she isn't blind to the needs of beginner cooks.

Every dish is pictured so you get an idea of the end result.

I also enjoyed the geography of the different regions of France and their cuisine. Some useful tips in buying cheese and wine to go with the meals you make from this book make it even more user friendly.

I was disturbed by the condescending tone of the two 3 star reviews. Just because it isn't difficult to make, taking all day in the kitchen, calling for expensive or difficult to get ingredients doesn't make it a bad French cookbook. In France as elsewhere, family cooks may have limited time, energy and money yet still want to provide a good meal. This book reflects that style of cooking, and it fits with the "Bonne Femme" home cookery of France.

In fact if you like this one, try Carol Colbert
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