Cookbook recommendation for a REAL beginner. I mean, a REAL beginner.
Bittman, Child, and Garten would be too much.
I want to teach my brother-in-law to cook but he is a complete beginner. I mean, he once put a frozen pizza into the oven upside down!!
But, he's a stay-at-home dad, and honestly, I'm getting concerned with what my nephew is eating.
Something with lots of pictures would be best!
I always recommend "Martha Stewart's Cooking School." Lots of illustrations and straight-forward instructions on how to hold a knife,etc. I've never come across a better book for the novice in the kitchen.
If he's that challenged in the kitchen DVDs might be a good way to go. Safe knife skills and basics like bake/braise/saute/fry, etc.
Some people learn better visually.
I still have a copy of "The Idiot's Guide to Cooking Basics"---it starts with something like "this is a measuring cup" and gets about as advanced as "how to roast a chicken." I liked it. Haven't pulled it out in awhile, but it's good for building up confidence.