Read it and Eat

The New Zealand Cook’s Bible: Classic Recipes & Step-by-Step Techniques, by Lesley Christensen-Yule & Hamish McRae

This comprehensive overview of how to work a kitchen is a must-have on your bookshelf, and will, I promise you, become one of your most-used and trusted companions. It has a reassuring text-book tone which makes you feel you’re in good hands, and you are, since both Christensen-Yule and McRae teach professional cookery and the book was born from a gap in the market for a cookbook that would provide more than recipes and pretty pictures.

I like that it covers all the basics. Many in my generation (myself included), and today’s youngsters, are learning to cook in a somewhat haphazard manner, without ever acquiring the time-honoured foundations of traditional cookery. That’s not always a bad thing, because it means don’t feel constrained by rules and principals when cooking. But basic knowledge of cooking methods can only be of benefit, no matter how you use it, and there is so much informative material in this book to be soaked up by anyone eager to get a better handle on how to be in charge of taking food and turning it into cuisine. It is, indeed, a manual for kitchen use, and as such, I’d bet there a many copies around the country (and abroad) gradually collecting soup splatters, dog ears and the fond gaze of a grateful owner.

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