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Old 05-24-2010, 02:33 AM   #1
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Alice Waters - The Art of Simple Food - Good for beginner?

Hello, I'm a college student and have just moved into an apartment of my own. For the first time ever, I'm going to be cooking my own food. I happen to live in Berkeley, so I've heard about Alice Waters and Chez Panisse. I came across her book, The Art of Simple Food, and was wondering whether that would be a good first cookbook for me. I'm worried that the book might assume that the reader will know how to do basic cooking techniques. Keep in mind that I have never cooked before, and will be buying all my supplies from scratch. Thanks.

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Old 05-24-2010, 04:01 AM   #2
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Welcome, Liquidus. I'm not familiar with that cookbook but if it has a photo for every recipe and you like what you see then go for it. I only use cookbooks that have a photo for each recipe.
I'm a visual learner I guess

My suggestion is that you watch the Food Network Channel religiously while starting out...especially Rachael Ray's 30-Minute Meals. Also,The Barefoot Contessa's "Back to Basics" (Ina Garten), Tyler Florence, and Bobby Flay.

I don't know if they're doing re-runs but I learned a lot from Mario Batali's show called "Malto Mario".
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Old 05-24-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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lol, malto.

i guess he's a creamy italian.

j/k moll.

i have to agree with 30 minute meals for beginners, as well as tyler florence's shows. unfortunately, they're on the air less and less.

i caught a recent episode of emeril's new show. not bad. he's back to a cooking show, step by step.


as an aside, i've heard so many things, so much love and respect for alice waters for a long time. then i caught her on bill maher's show on hbo. unfortunately, she seemed out of touch, almost flakey. she's not one for tv.

ok, getting back: my wife learned to cook using mostly the fannie farmer cookbook, and rachael ray's 30 minute meals' cookbooks. check 'em out.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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Look for Joy of Cooking, How To Cook Everything, or even a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. These books will start you out with basic training and give you an understanding of how things work and simple recipes to get started. They also take you beyond beginner to more difficult recipes when you're ready.

Good Luck
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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I started out with "the joy of cooking" and found it to be invaluable... It's pretty basic, without having boring recipes... Might I suggest you also find a book on knife skills, and technique, I think that would help with different terms they use in cookbooks...

Welcome to DC and much luck...
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:22 AM   #6
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From reading the reviews on Amazon , most of the negatives is that this book is too simple for accomplished cooks. Way more excellent reviews than negative. From what I read, I'd go for it. 20 bucks on Amazon, that is the cost of a pizza.
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Old 05-24-2010, 01:41 PM   #7
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I made this list up for my daughter when she got her first apartment several years back - It's a list of items to have in your pantry:

Pantry items

olive oil
canned tuna
white & brown rice
canned beans (black, red, white, garbanzo)
Chicken broth ( swanson's low sodium
dried pasta
onions
garlic
shallots
potatoes
canned tomatoes
vinegars (red wine, apple)
eggs
unsalted butter
lettuce
carrots
cheese
cream/half & half
sour cream
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