Winner of the 2015 International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Cookbook Award
Forewords by Alice Waters and Michael Pollan
In this dazzling, full color cookbook and kitchen manual filled with lush photographs and beautiful drawings, the chef of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse offers basic techniques and essential recipes that will transform anyone into a confident home cook.
When his oldest son was leaving for college, Cal Peternell, the chef of San Francisco’s legendary Chez Panisse, realized that, although he regularly made dinners for his family, he’d never taught them the basics of cooking. Based on the life-altering course of instruction he prepared and honed through many phone calls with his son, Twelve Recipes is the ultimate introduction to the kitchen. Peternell focuses on the core foods and dishes that comprise a successful home cook’s arsenal, each building skill upon skill—from toast, eggs, and beans, to vinaigrettes, pasta with tomato, and rice, to vegetables, soup, meats, and cake.
Twelve Recipes will help home cooks develop a core repertoire of skills and increase their culinary confidence. Peternell tells you what basic ingredients and tools you need for a particular recipe, and then adds variations to expand your understanding. Each tip, instruction, and recipe connects with others to weave into a larger story that illuminates the connection between food and life. A deeply personal book, it was written by the chef alone and it glows with warmth and humor as he mulls over such mundane items as toast and rice to offer surprising new insights about foods that only seem exceedingly ordinary. It’s a book you’re as likely to keep by your bedside as your stovetop. With Peternell as your guide, the journey is pure pleasure and the destination is delicious.
Twelve Recipes features gorgeous color photos and inset illustrations by Peternell’s wife and sons (all artists), and forewords by celebrated chef Alice Waters and New York Times columnist and bestselling author Michael Pollan.
Chef Peternell, chef at Chez Panisse, offers an informal crash course in the "big 12" recipes "at the heart of home cooking." His inspiration comes from his family kitchen and the realization that his son, attempting to cook while away at college, hadn't absorbed cooking know-how through osmosis. While Peternell assembles this collection of recipes, tips, and loving reflections as a gift to his son, he creates more than a handbook for beginning cooks. In this survey of cooking basics, Peternell inspires home cooks to "break some rules" and let intuition be their guide. Chapters present ingredient-focused discussions along with several foundation recipes and variations. The eggs chapter instructs how to properly fry, hard-boil, devil, poach, and scramble, and follows with recipes for omelets and frittatas. A chapter on beans discusses legume varieties, storage, and preparation, including recipes for bean soups. Other chapters focus on pasta, rice, polenta, potatoes, chicken, sauces, and cake. Many suggested recipes are woven into the book's narration while others are presented in a traditional format. There's advice on tasting, timing, and using leftovers. Illustrations are by family members, and there's plenty of anecdotes drawn from Peternell's own home table. Essays have an inviting personal tone, and Peternell encourages cooks to use good sense, relax, and enjoy the unexpected pleasures that come with cooking for yourself and for others.
This is a terriic book, an excellent instrucitonal guide to good cooking with some lovely pictures and cheerful writing style. This is excellent for a beginning cook but also for an experienced one.
A cooking class in a book
I made an omelet on the first try! This book is step by step with easy to follow techniques you can use forever yet recipes you can immediately to create a yummy dish. I've taken cooking classes, read cook books, and watched cooking shows. Nothing was as easy to follow or useful as this. It doesn't leave out any steps or assume you know anything, yet it doesn't make you feel like an idiot. Give it a try.
A unique cook-book
This book, while filled with recipes, is not really a cook-book in the conventional sense. It is more a book about food and techniques used to prepare it. Much like a set of tools which can be used to build many things, this book is a set of cooking "tools" which can be used as needed to create great food. If you like to cook, particularly, if you find yourself staring at your pantry thinking "what can I make with this?", you will love this book, as it is brimming with ideas and possibilities.
The writing is charming, quirky, but clear. His love for food and family shines through at every page. I like this book so much , I think I will buy the hard-cover version.