Essentials of Cooking

An award-winning cook and author of other successful volumes on soups, sauces, shellfish, and vegetables, James Peterson provides a superbly illustrated outline of cooking techniques that makes the intricacies of preparing food accessible to readers who want to move beyond a strict adherence to traditional recipes. Beginning with the basics of peeling vegetables and making broths, Peterson uses more than a thousand photographs to show how meats, poultry, fish, and vegetables are readied for effective and delicious cooking. These pictures take the mystery out of even the most simple aspects of handling food in the kitchen, and Peterson’s clear instructions are based on work done in his own Brooklyn residence.

Essentials of Cooking’s apparent simplicity is clearly the result of hard work and clear thinking on the part of the author and his publisher. They do not assume an attitude of condescension toward their readers, but have tried to anticipate questions and problems as they arise in handling individual foods. They have endeavored with a high degree of success to break cooking down into its component parts and to carry the reader through the individual steps of food preparation. The book focuses on techniques, not recipes. For the novice chef, it is a useful companion to a recipe book; experienced cooks will find new ideas and inspiration in these well-crafted pages. The book is another triumph for James Peterson and a distinguished addition to his excellent series of outstanding books on the art of cooking.