Cookbook Crush

In case you haven’t noticed I have a bit of a cookbook crush on James Peterson.  And for good reason, he is remarkable.  Tremendous really.  He’s more of a culinary manual than real human being.  He knows everything and he knows how to share everything.

Sauces was the first of James Peterson’s books to find a place in our kitchen.  As it went, the Stat Man wanted to learn more about making sauces.  After a bit of research I was convinced by an article in the Washingtonian where Brendan Cox (a chef at Circle Bistro in DC) gave Sauces a shout out.  A few clicks on Amazon, and the Stat Man received an education in sauce making.  Because that is what this book really is.  An Education.

James Peterson began his culinary career in France at a three star restaurant Vivarois, and then followed with a position at George Blanc.  When he returned to the states he started his own restaurant, Le Petit Robert, and later became a teacher at the French Culinary Institute in Manhattan.  He attributes his ability to identify common cooking pitfalls and mistakes to his teaching experience.  In short, he has seen (and experienced) the problems, the failures, and the fallen soufflés.  All of them.  He guides the reader around and through the problem areas.  Peterson is incredible for that very reason.  He gives more than instructions.  He describes technique, and explains things that most other culinary writers miss or take for granted.

We also have two of his other tombs; Cooking and Baking.  The Stat Man is already eyeing Peterson’s not-yet-published Meat.  If you’re going to buy one cookbook this year, make it a Peterson one.  (Seriously, this is not an advertisement—this is me making your life better.  Toot toot.)


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