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Cooking School Secrets For Real World Cooks
By Linda Carucci
Chronicle Books, 2005
ISBN 0811842436
Review By William I. Lengeman III

If you're looking for just one book to get your food/cookbook library going this wouldn't be a bad place to start. Carucci's opening section - fifty very useful pages worth of Cooking Basics - is, in itself, almost worth the price of admission.

Among the topics covered here are everything from equipment selection and knife skills to a list of which conventionally grown fruits are likely to contain the most pesticide residues.

The second section - the recipes - makes up the bulk of the book, with more than 100 recipes in all. Included are everything from soups to sweets, with nearly twenty pages alone devoted to risotto and pasta.

Along with the recipes, which are presented in a chatty, down to earth manner, are numerous informative sidebars and recipe secrets, all of which makes for interesting reading, even if you don't plan on preparing the recipes.

The slim but useful third section is devoted to matching recipes to the most appropriate seasons and also includes sample menus and sources for some of the ingredients that might be more difficult to find.

Freelance food writer William I. Lengeman III maintains Tea Guy Speaks, a Web site devoted to the appreciation of tea.

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