Sunday, October 11, 2009

The New American Chef

The New American Chef


Do you remember when I pledged to buy no more cookbooks? I tossed that oath out into the blogosphere and it returned flying on a cosmic karma boomerang. What was on my cosmic karma boomerang, you might ask? Well, a cookbook, of course. And not just a cookbook, but an autographed cookbook, and not just an autographed cookbook, but an autographed cookbook, actually autographed to me!!!

To Me!


That's right, my new BFF's Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, sent me a cookbook, their cookbook! Remember when I posted about the anniversary of The Flavor Bible. As an appreciation, they sent me The New American Chef: Cooking with the Best of Flavors and Techniques from Around the World!

Oh my. What a cookbook it is! Well, first of all, I don't even know if I would call it a cookbook, it's almost more like a textbook. (Since I'm a teacher, we know how I feel about that). But really, there is so much to learn in this book. I am actually reading it cover to cover. It starts out with a 20 page introduction (which that right there should tell you something). It's all about how to learn to cook a specific cuisine. How to immerse yourself in the cuisine and learn to discriminate the flavors.

Some of my favorite parts are where Rick Bayless talks about learning to cook Thai. I highlighted one of his quotes (yes, it's that kind of book, you want to have a highlighter handy), "It is important to go into something with a completely open mind and to do what you are told. People laugh when I tell them that when I cook from other people's books, I literally follow every single direction. I measure everything out, cook exactly the way they say for as long as they say, and try to experience what they are trying to teach me. That is the way to learn a cuisine."

Where is my highlighter?


After the introduction, the book is divided into sections: Japan, Italy, Spain, France, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, and Morocco. Each section opens with an introduction to that cuisine. Again, this is about 20-30 pages of reading. Different chefs make comments and give suggestions. There is everything from techniques, to holidays, to menus, to a recommend reading list, and more! Then there is a handful of recipes from that cuisine.

I know that there are a lot of people, who do the Cook the Books, where they cook through an entire cookbook. That never really appealed to me, but with this book it really does. One because, there is not an overwhelming number of recipes, and two because I think I could really learn something.

Also, you know the whole cosmic karma boomerang thing that I mentioned in the first paragraph, well, let it be known that I am now pledging to buy no more shoes.

23 comments:

Chris said...

That sounds like a great cookbook! I love cook books that TEACH and don't just recite a recipe. That's why Joy of Cooking is still one of my favorites, because it was the first one that taught me about the food I was cooking before telling me HOW to cook it.

I've got two signed cook books so far, one by Alton Brown and the other by Chris Lilly (Big Bob Gibson's BBQ). The next one I have my eyes set on is Jaden's Steamy Kitchen that comes out this month.

wyo said...

No more shoes?? That's crazy! (Just kidding.) I love signed books. :)

As an aside, not sure how you feel about having your last name "out there", but you could fuzz it out a little bit or put a black bar across it and still share the picture with a bit more privacy (just a thought).

shabby girl said...

You are so lucky, in a cosmic karma boomerang-y kind of way! I think Hubby would like this for Christmas. Not that he needs another cookbook either!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I like the idea about the shoes...

I love the cookbook! This sounds like page turner. I look forward to some recipes.

buffalodick said...

I've got around 260 cook books, and I made the same promise!

Joanne said...

Oh my. I pledge to never buy another cookbook again constantly and all that ever happens is that I walk into a bookstore and pledge to never buy another cookbook again after tomorrow. This is too awesome!

That cookbook sounds amazing. I am going to put it on my amazon wish list.

Kate said...

Love your post! I love new cookbooks...and it is all about the shoes..and the cookbooks at my house!

Rachel Cotterill said...

Sounds like a really interesting book :) I'll look forward to seeing some of the things you make from it.

Joy said...

Congrats on the autographed cookbook! Cool. Good luck on getting an autographed pair of shoes in the mail.

tale of many cities said...

just LOVE this post, Pam! you made me laugh so hard on the first paragraph, i had to explain.. then read it to the hubster! LOL
congrats on the autographed & info-filled cookbook!! :D

have a great week!

Marjie said...

Lucky you! I wait with bated breath to see what happens with shoes.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

This looks like a great book, how nice of them to send it to you!

Amy said...

Most excellent!

I could never pledge never to buy another cookbook or pair of shoes again. That's just setting myself up for failure.

SusanD said...

You have the best collection of cook books! I'm seriously going to put more effort into getting a better selection. Thanks for all your recommendations. Blessings, SusanD

SweetPeaSurry said...

That sounds like a fabulous book and signed too!!! YAY!!!

I'd do the cook the books on that one, taking one recipe from each region ... then doing that over and over until it was exhausted. Who wants thai food every night right?

bright blessings!

Pam said...

I am so jealous! The cookbook sounds amazing - looking forward to seeing the recipes on your blog.

the ungourmet said...

This looks like such a cool book! How great to have so much valuable info all in one place!

Nancy said...

How nice of them! Because of your last post on this subject, I have their books on my next Amazon order for Christmas. It will be perfect for my daughter and son-in-law, and then I can borrow it. :-)

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

This looks like a great book! I may have to add it to my extensive collection. Thanks for the recommendation!

Debinhawaii said...

I make the same vow and break it all the time! I got a copy of this book used and I have not delved into it yet but I am excited to after reading your review.

a good yarn said...

I'm right behind you. Not another pair. Never, ever, ever. Or handbags. I won't be buying any of those either.

Barbara said...

What a wonderful cookbook! Going to put it on my Christmas wish lisst- although I really, really don't have any more room!
No more shoes????

SDK said...

Pam, you are big girl blogger getting signed cookbooks! I am so impressed!