200 Skills Every Cook Must Have
Authors: Clara Paul and Eric Treuille
Publisher: Firefly Books 2013
Genre: How-To
251 pages
Source: Library copy

Here’s a book that changed my in-the-kitchen point of view. When I lifted this book off the shelf, the thoughts flashing through my mind went something like this: I don’t need any more cooking equipment I have no place to store, I don’t need complicated instructions or to learn difficult cooking techniques, This cookbook is of little interest to me.

But as I paged through this book, and then spent some time reading, I decided I might discover better ways to complete routine tasks. Maybe there were techniques I could execute in a more simple and effective manner. The book did appear packed with useful information.

And it is. It is a wise, easy-to-read illustrated guide to cooking techniques and equipment. It includes all sorts of useful information to make your time in your kitchen more successful.

The page on vinaigrette is organized as Tools and Ingredients, Method and Expert Tips, along with helpful photos. Vinaigrette is something I whisk together nearly every day, and still I learned something on this page. White Sauce is another example. Though I don’t make it very often, and I’ve known how to do it for years, the tips are helpful. An example of a piece of equipment that would benefit my kitchen is a smaller fine mesh strainer. That item would take up little space. I don’t expect to scale or fillet fish, yet it makes for some interesting reading. Cooking fish in parchment paper so it tastes yummy––there’s something I need to learn.

The book is readable, well organized and includes excellent illustrations. The graphic design and print are both totally inviting. Each page is a quick read. The book presents helpful information on equipment, skills, a glossary, dictionary, resources and charts and more.

This guide is not only for the novice cook. I’m not sure I can get along without it. This is a cooking book I know I would find useful. Check it out and see what you think.

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