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Cooking School Secrets for Real-World Cooks

by Linda Carucci

Review by Jennifer A. Wickes
Other articles by Jennife A. Wickes
Linda Carucci, chef and cooking instructor, has written a food reference guide for novice cooks. Her book and recipes include tips and techniques that only a professional would know.

Award-winning cooking teacher and chef for over 20 years. She was educated at the California Culinary Academy. The International Association of Culinary Professionals voted her Cooking Teacher of the Year. She is also the Julia Child Curator of Food Arts at COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa, California. She teaches cooking in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This book has received its seal of approval from experts like Thomas Keller, Charlie Trotter and Martin Yan. Reading this book is like attending a cooking course, only the class is at your home.

There are some illustrations in this book to aid you in understanding certain techniques. The recipes are also easy-to-read, as well as prepare. Each recipe contains "recipe secrets" for added tips.

The book is broken down into chapters: (1) The Basics (Equipment Matters; Knife Skills and Cuts; Mise en Place; Food Safety; Cooking Methods; How Cooking Changes the Texture and Flavors of Food; Using Your Senses When You Cook; Understanding Your Palate; Cooking With The Seasons; Seasoning to Taste; Brining; Attentive Tasting; Menu Planning; Creative Cooking; Plate Presentation); (2) Recipes (Stocks, Soups and Salads; Risottos and Pastas; Seafood, Poultry and Meat Main Dishes; On The Side; Sweet Endings); (3) Seasonal Recipes, Menus and Sources. Indications as to which recipes are Quick, Make Ahead and Last Minute.

Some of the recipes you will find in this book are Savory Corn Pudding, Butter Lettuce with Ruby Grapefruit, Avocado and Glazed Walnuts, and Grilled Peach Ice Cream Sundaes with Shortcut Caramel Sauce.

This is a good book with a lot of tips and techniques. There are a few recommendations I would make for more advanced cooks, but for new people in the kitchen, this is perfect.


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