Since I've started this blog, I've been itching to start posting my own reviews on the many cookbooks available. This book specifically is one of my frequent reads when I hit the local Borders.
The first thing that you see is its size; it's 3 paperback books thick (I have engineering books that rival that thickness!) and just as heavy. Since I only read it when I go to Borders for one or two hours, I haven't finished it completely.
Like her other (huge) book, The Encyclopedia Of Crafts, it covers a spectrum of topics, all pertinent to cooking techniques. It starts off with soups and works its way through the meals to finish with the dessert. Topics include:
-Stocks and Soups
-Meat, Fish & Poultry
-Dried Beans and Grains
expertly covering each technique involved with their respective tools and ingredients.
Unfortunately, it's extremely expensive for a cooking book ($45) so it's unrealistic to buy it unless you're in culinary school. The equipment and some of the techniques displayed are too much of a strain for a full time student, some recipes requiring hours to complete with tools that are too cumbersome. Also, this book is aimed towards relative beginners (ie, not burn water...yes it CAN happen) to mid level cooks, so it might be too simple for a graduated chef.
Overall, it's a beautifully crafted book, with colorful and instructive photographs and simple, easy to read instructions. It's a great gift for anyone who you think would like to improve on their cooking, or would like to see what possibilities can be found in their talents.