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Reviews by: ChefTalk.com

Tasting Good...

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Pros: A great book lots of great recipes and some beautiful colour pictures, a great gift idea

Cons: A little too big to use in the kitchen, a hybrid travel/cook/picture book

  Reviewed by: Wayne Crich   I have always loved Indian food but like many who have never traveled to India itself i have often wondered how authentic the Indian food i have eaten actually is. This book has convinced me of one thing to truly learn about Indian food you have to go to India. Indian food is so diverse and complex that many visits are needed to get your head around this marvelous cuisine. That is precisely what Christine Manfield has done.   Christine has a solid reputation as a chef who is all about food. In a recent interview she thanked her patient stuff who have borne with her desire to travel and to research....
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Winners All Around

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Pros: Fresh, appealing recipes

Cons: Some recipes call for unusual ingredients that might not be for the less adventurous diner

  Review by Sharyn Harding   When Merrill Stubbs was assisting Amanda Hesser on The Essential New York Times Cookbook they realized that some of the best recipes had come from home cooks.  Perhaps it’s that whole necessity-as-the-mother-of-invention that gets mothers tweaking recipes to make them easy to prepare or appealing to picky eaters.  To showcase this creativity, the FOOD52 website was created.  They ran recipe contests each week for a year with categories such as Best Apple Cake or Best Recipe for Beans and the winner in each category is presented in the book.   The recipes are grouped by season and all have photos, information about the...
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A Fresh Perspective

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Pros: Nice variety of recipes, Good procedure explanations

Cons: Not enough pictures, no calorie or nutrition information on the recipes, Preparation Times would be nice.

  Reviewed by Cami Rawlins   I was really excited to get this book in the mail. I am always looking for ways to make my meals healthier for myself and my family.  I was especially happy because it is written by the Culinary Institute of America. I am a big fan of their cookbooks because they seem to have recipes that appeal to all levels of cooks.  I have been impressed with their books that I have read in the past.  Let’s just say I had high expectations for their new healthy cooking cookbook.    First I thumbed through all the pictures to see what caught my eye. By the way, these were nice durable pages. If you could see me when I am...
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A vegetarian cookbook by a meat-eater – this should be interesting!

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Pros: This is a very appealing book with appetizing pictures and excellent recipes, all of which are very well explained.

Cons: The recipes are sometimes somewhat fussy and measures unintuitive. Some of them require too much preparation steps for everyday use.

  Veggies For Carnivores Reviewed by Elaine Luti   A vegetarian cookbook by a meat-eater – this should be interesting!     And it is.     I love meat.  I’m not crazy about stews and complex meat dishes - I like my meat simply grilled or roasted and juicy, so I don’t generally look for meat recipes.  But I’m always on the lookout for good, interesting and unusual vegetable dishes.  Most cookbooks lack the kind of variety I crave.  Meals are generally thought of as a “main course” (usually meat) and “side dishes” (usually vegetables) and sometimes will include a “first courses” like pasta or soup or “starters”, but in most...
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Buon appetito!

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Pros: Enticing photos, variety of recipes

Cons: Some recipes were better than others

  Reviewed by Sharyn Harding   Italian food for dinner?  Sì, grazie.   I grew up on Italian food, though the very Americanized version.  It has only been as an adult that I have discovered more authentic Italian dishes and grown to love those, too.   Italian Cooking is part of the Culinary Institute of America’s At Home cooking series.  This is the style of cookbook that can really grab my attention from the moment I start flipping the pages.  The photo on the cover, of sausage sauce over polenta, makes my mouth water.  In fact, many of the recipes have gorgeous photos of the type of food that makes me hungry.  There aren’t...
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Ignite Your Passion for Gourmet Cooking

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Pros: Plenty of step-by-step instructions accompanied by lots of beautiful pictures.

Cons: All of the recipes are not listed alphabetically in the Index. Some of them are only listed as a subcategory under the ingredient.

    Reviewed by Cami Rawlins   Does sitting down to a lovely gourmet meal every night of the week sound like your idea of culinary bliss? Are you wondering how your bank account and waist line can handle such frivolity? Look no further, the Culinary Institute of America has put out a true gem that will get you serving fancier food in the same amount of time it takes to do hamburgers or hot dogs on the grill.    No disrespect to those time honored grill traditions, but sometimes I want something considerably more, well, sophisticated.  I guess it gives me delusions of cooking in a well-equipped professional kitchen like I see on Food Network –...
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Approachable book by the untouchable chef

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Pros: beautiful prose, nice photography, excellent quality recipes

Cons: time-consuming recipes, may be too advanced for some novices

  Reviewed by Nicholas Beebe   During a relatively slow lunch, I was chatting with my chef at the time. “So I saw a YouTube video yesterday of Thomas Keller demonstrating how to blanch green beans,” I told him, “He's standing there with a little pot of water and green beans, watching them boil. He pulls one out, tastes it, and says that it's done. End of video.” We joked about how odd it was that the president of the American Bocuse d'Or team, owner of two different three Michelin star restaurants, and the chef described by Anthony Bourdain as “untouchable” put together a video about something so seemingly simple and mundane. I purchased The French Laundry Cookbook not...
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Eating Your Veggies

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Pros: Nice variety of vegetarian dishes from around the world

Cons: Recipes are a little hit or miss, some instructions are vague.

Reviewed by Sharyn Harding     I love vegetables, but I love all of the other categories of food, too.  So, sometimes getting the recommended 5 servings a day just doesn’t happen and having the occasional meatless meal seems like a good solution.  One World Vegetarian by Troth Wells is a book that contains recipes from around the world for a variety of vegetarian and sometimes vegan dishes.     The cookbook contains photos of most of the recipes and also lists which country or region the dish comes from.  There is a nice variety, with many dishes that were new to me.  I would imagine that if you were sticking to a strictly vegetarian...
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Everything That’s Wrong With TV Cooks

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Pros: wide variety of recipe types, celebrity writer

Cons: condescending tones, basic recipes, lacked challenging recipes

  Reviewed by Pamela Grant   I have never been a huge fan of TV cooks, nor have I been a huge fan of those cooks who use to many shortcuts (canned items or pre prepared items) to make a “unique” signature dish.   I am from a bygone era, where making wholesome homemade food from scratch with the best possible ingredients is a natural easy thing to do.  Sure everyone makes an occasional quickie dish using canned items when time is short or resources are low, but as a rule I much prefer to make things the old fashioned way lovingly made from scratch using fresh wholesome ingredients.  Today’s TV cooks seem to make a habit out of making things with not only as...
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