26 March 2016

Weekend Cooking: The Young Chef by The Culinary Institute of America

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Review: The Young Chef by the Culinary Institute of AmericaHave you ever bought a kids' cookbook and been disappointed? The recipes seem too cutesy or they rely too heavily on processed foods or they don't offer any real information for budding cooks. That's been my experience too, so I approached the Culinary Institute of America's The Young Chef with a healthy dose of skepticism.

The good news is this cookbook is everything you'd want a kids' cookbook to be. Actually, it's everything you'd want for a still-learning cook of any age. I'll go even further and recommend The Young Chef to anyone who wants to practice her kitchen skills and learn new recipes.

First, The Young Chef is a fount of great information, such as food safety, cooking tips, and how to use equipment. The book also includes a guide to food prep (cutting, chopping, mise en place) and tips for proper measuring. I particularly loved the flavor profile chapter, where I learned, for example, which spices they use in Spain. This is no dumbed-down cookbook. Ever want to know the proper way to saute, steam, or grill? The Culinary Institute has it covered.

copyright Culinary Institute of America: The Young ChefThe recipes themselves are amazingly appealing. I like the family-friendly choices, like pizza (with homemade dough), lasagna, and BBQ chicken as well as the more global choices, such as curries, pot stickers, and tacos. There are breakfast dishes, homemade crackers, soft pretzels, roasted potatoes, and ice pops. You'll also find a great variety of homemade sauces and salad dressings.

The recipes directions are easy to follow and many recipes are accompanied by tips, variations, and other useful information. I'm also happy to report that there are a good number of vegetarian choices and few (if any) recipes call for processed foods. Click the scan to see a recipe and all the information that comes with it. This how kids (and adults) learn so much more than just how to follow a recipe. Note that there are many color photos throughout the book, so we can see exactly what is going on.

I love the Culinary Institute of America's The Young Chef so much that I'm recommending it not only to those of you who cook with kids but to anyone who wants to learn more or wants to feel more confident in the kitchen.

Photo note: The scan comes from page 111 and is used here in the context of a review. All rights remain with the original copyright holder: The Culinary Institute of America.

Published by Houghton Mifflin, April 2016
ISBN-13: 9780470928660
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 3/26/16, 6:52 AM  

This sounds great. I may run out and get it to have for Christmas for my two nieces! (getting them now will give me plenty of time to peruse them for myself!)

Mae Travels 3/26/16, 7:14 AM  

You make this scholarly and complete book sound excellent, BUT...

Youtube is so full of skillfully-made food videos of all sorts that it's really a rival for the reviewed cookbook. I feel like there's a whole new world, really a rival to the written instructions and background. I'm visiting Alice, age 13, who has watched an incredible variety on Youtube. She has really learned a lot of the same types of things you mention -- from meat recipes to techniques for spreading icing on a cake. This week, she and I made one of my favorite Julia Child dishs -- she seems ready to follow almost any recipe.

I'm linking to the Julia Child post in addition to the one I originally planned for "Weekend Cooking" -- and again, thanks for hosting this entertaining meme.

best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Molly 3/26/16, 7:36 AM  

While I would expect nothing less of the CIA, it's nice to know they followed through :)

I look forward to the day when my granddaughter and I can cook together. I'd like to preview the book myself though - sounds like some great information and recipes I can use now.

Tina 3/26/16, 8:19 AM  

Well I guess when I sneezed as I was editing my title i added it twice, with the word look added too. If you can delete a link that would be great!

bermudaonion 3/26/16, 8:39 AM  

This looks outstanding!!

jama 3/26/16, 8:56 AM  

Thanks for featuring this one. I'll have to make a note to remember it for future gifts. There are lots of kids' cookbooks out there and it's good to know this is so well done.

Katherine P 3/26/16, 9:46 AM  

I like the look of this one. I've gotten a few kids cookbooks from the library but was never impressed by them. The food was either all about appearance and decoration or just kind of silly. This looks like what I'm looking for.

Deb in Hawaii 3/26/16, 12:52 PM  

Great Review! This does look like a wonderful book for kids and to your point, anyone who wants a good resource for improving skills and confidence in the kitchen. I like how clear the instructions in the example are and the ideas for changing the base and add-ins and taking the dish to a different level. When I was starting out cooking, having something very clear and written down where I could go back and refer was a big help. ;-)

Claudia 3/26/16, 1:35 PM  

It is so encouraging to give prospective cooks and chefs a book to enjoy and be inspired by.

Carole 3/26/16, 2:09 PM  

What a great book. Thanks,as always, for hosting. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

RealLifeReading 3/26/16, 4:21 PM  

I like that they have different ideas on the page, like for the fried rice page you attached. I'll have to see if my library has it and maybe can cook something with my kids!

Tina 3/27/16, 8:38 AM  

Thank you for adjusting my Weekend cooking submission. That will teach me to try and use anything electronic before a full cup of coffee!

Les 3/27/16, 9:15 AM  

Looks like a perfect cookbook for my 13-year-old granddaughter. She knows how to cook quite a bit, but this looks like one that will teach her some of the finer points.

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