What matters isn't what chefs want; it's what your prospective readers want. You said that you know what you look for -- that's a lot more important. If you, as a user of cookbooks, want a certain level of instruction, or a certain degree of description, it's a pretty safe bet that people like you want that, too.
Have you looked at any of the other books that do what you want to? I can't say I love Your Shirt Is Not an Oven Mitt!
(even though I worked on it -- some of the recipes are just not my type :eek: ), but it is meant for young people clueless in the kitchen. Another book I love for beginning cooks is The New Cook, by Mary Berry and Marlena Spieler.
What's great about that one is that it is chockfull of pictures to show the reader what everything is supposed to look like -- not just the finished dish, but the steps along the way. I hope your publisher will be willing to put a lot of money into photos, because your readers will really need them.
Of course, unless you just want to self-publish and sell (or give) the book to a small number of folks whom you know, you'll need to tell your story -- because yes, a good cookbook tells a compelling story, and, as KYHeirloomer points out, isn't just a bunch of recipe -- with a distinct voice, and offer something that no one else offers.
So what you really want to know is: What do the folks here who are just learning their way around the kitchen want to see in a book? Quite the other end of the spectrum from your original question, don't you think? :D (If you want to change the title of this thread to something more in line with that, just let me or one of the other moderators know, and we'll do it for you. :) )