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May 27, 2008 05:51 PM

Visual cookbook recommendations?

I'm trying to expand my cooking skills, and I do better with step by step pictures of the cooking process.

Are there any good cookbooks or cookbook series I could begin with?


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  1. The Cook's Book, published by DK Publishing, is a great book with lots of pictorial essays. Here's what the book flap says: "This one stop guide to every aspect of cooking will give you the confidence to cook well, with successful results every time. Perfect the skills you already have, and discover new ways to create delicious recipes from around the world...Top chefs from across four continents present the basic preparations and best methods, bringing their expertise directly to you...Every technique is is clearly explained, with photographs that show exactly how it is done--and there are lots of notes on what to do if it all goes wrong."

    I love this book; having borrowed it repeatedly from the library I finally had to have my own copy.

    Another book, a series actually, that is likely out of print is The Good Cook series from Time-Life Books. Edited by Richard Olney, it is a multi-volume series with each volume covering one topic or ingredient family. Titles range from beverages, pies and pastries, classic desserts, wines, preserving, beef, pork, poultry and game, snacks and sandwiches, vegetables, fruits, etc. Though the series may be out of print, I constantly see volumes in my library's used book sales section, and at used bookstores and thrift stores. They are easy to locate (probably could obtain the whole series or the volumes of interest from ebay too). Lots of pictures, lots of techniques explained, plus charts of ingredients, cooking techniques, times, and so much more. I heartily recommend The Good Cook series

    1. A book I think is pretty cool is "Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual" by Peter Hertzmann. It shows you how to cut everything. Since so much of cooking is chopping, I think this would be really helpful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: karykat

        I've heard about that knife skills book, karykat, and often wondered about it. Thanks for the tip!