Hardcover: 1056 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; HAR/DVD edition (September 22, 2006)
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 2.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (189 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #81,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #52 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods > Gourmet #142 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking #193 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Reference
`The Gourmet Cookbook' edited by Ruth Reichl of `Gourmet' magazine is a major effort by the leading culinary magazine in the country, edited by arguably the most important active culinary journalist in the country. At over 1000 pages and 1000 recipes collected by one of the best culinary writing staffs in the country, it is not easy to come to a decision on the value of this book. The fact that it is not easy after reading a few pages is a sure sign that the book is neither excellent nor terrible, but somewhere in between.For starters, let me identify that this book is not a new `Joy of Cooking' or `James Beard's American Cookery' or Mark Bittman's `How to Cook Everything'. These three very large recipe collections are systematic teaching texts. Every chapter includes notes on the primary raw material and the primary cooking method. `The Gourmet Cookbook' is primarily a collection of recipes claimed to be the 1000 best, selected from 60 years of publishing over 10,000 recipes. The most famous similar cookbook is Craig Claiborne's `The New York Times Cookbook'. Reichl has improved a bit on Claiborne by adding some features appearing in the `Joy of Cooking' style of book such as sidebars on ingredients, tips, and techniques. I will approach evaluating this very big book by evaluating individual aspects and adding up the score at the end.Selection of Topics: Comprehensive, but just a bit oddly organized. The chapter titles represent either a type of ingredient such as poultry, vegetables, and shellfish; a type of dish such as soup, salad, bread, and pie; or meal such as breakfast and brunch and first courses. I had a hard time finding the sticky bun recipe Reichl touted on the `Today' show because it was in `Breakfast and Brunch' and not in `Breads'.
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