Notes on Cooking by Lauren Braun Costello and Russell Reich - Read Online
Notes on Cooking
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As an essential primer of immediately useful and utterly relevant guidance, this guide can help anyone become a better cook without a single recipe. The book’s 217 notes deliver indispensable culinary truths, the highest standards of conduct, and timeless gems of cooking wisdom that have been taught and passed down by top chefs for generations.

The notes provide explanatory commentary, helpful examples, and insights from Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud, Georges Auguste Escoffier, Leonardo da Vinci, and many others. They also include life lessons about how to bring delight, how to recognize quality, and how to see beauty in simplicity. For the beginner wanting to improve, the seasoned expert looking to review the highest culinary standards, or the food lover seeking a fascinating glimpse into the pursuit of epicurean excellence, Notes on Cooking provides a unique and invaluable apprenticeship.

Published: RCR Creative Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on
ISBN: 9780972425537
List price: $15.99
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Notes on Cooking - Lauren Braun Costello

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PRAISE FOR

Notes on

COOKING

"In Notes on Cooking, Lauren Braun Costello and Russell Reich bring you indispensable advice, experience, and know-how of many great chefs. This handsome book is both inspirational and practical, and a superb addition to the library of any passionate cook."

– DANIEL BOULUD, CHEF, RESTAURANT DANIEL

"Concise, focused, and sensible. Notes on Cooking is full of useful advice for young chefs. Well worth reading."

– JACQUES PéPIN, CHEF, COOKBOOK AUTHOR,

AND PBS–TV COOKING SERIES HOST

"Notes on Cooking is exactly what it says it is: a short guide to an essential craft. There’s enough wisdom here to inspire any home cook or seasoned professional."

– DAN BARBER, EXECUTIVE CHEF/CO–OWNER, BLUE HILL

"I wish Notes on Cooking had been written about 35 years ago, when I started cooking professionally. It is an excellent source of level-headed, practical, and essential advice; an indispensable and wonderfully succinct compendium of knowledge for anyone, both veteran and novice, who is involved with food preparation."

– MICHAEL ROMANO, CHEF,

UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY GROUP

Every cookbook should have this short book as a preface. It is the unmeasured recipe for the systematic, creative, and fun act of cooking. The message and guidance of this book is invaluable to all who dare to enter the delicious world of food preparation.

– LIDIA MATTICCHIO BASTIANICH, HOST, LIDIA’s ITALY

An abundance of tips, ideas and caveats. The list of food adjectives is one I’ll refer to myself and the list of recommendations is indispensable. The food pairings are the most insightful I’ve ever seen. Work well done.

– JAMES PETERSON, FIVE–TIME JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER

"I love the short statements that lead to long reflections. They bring me back to basics that pare away the ‘nonsense’ in the kitchen…. Listen to the common sense of Notes on Cooking and you will find yourself a happier cook."

– DOROTHY HAMILTON, FOUNDER & CEO,

THE FRENCH CULINARY INSTITUTE

It’s amazing how much cooking wisdom, sense, and technique is crammed into this little book. It’s like Mom, James Beard and Julia Child, Harold McGee and Escoffier all together in the expurgated version.

– GAEL GREENE, INSATIABLE–CRITIC.COM

Also co-authored by Russell Reich

Notes on Teaching

Notes on Directing

Notes on Cooking: A Short Guide to an Essential Craft

by Lauren Braun Costello and Russell Reich

© 2009 by RCR Creative Press Incorporated. Printed and bound in the United States of America. All rights reserved. First printing 2009.

Published by RCR Creative Press Incorporated, New York, New York

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher. Contact via RCRcreative.com

Although the authors and publisher have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and completeness of information contained in this book, we assume no responsibility for errors, inaccuracies, omissions, or any inconsistencies herein.

IMPORTANT: The authors cannot accept responsibility for any medical, nutritional, or food safety issues. If in any doubt whatsoever, seek advice from a certified doctor, nutritionist, or food safety expert.

NOTES ON is a trademark of RCR Creative Press Incorporated and may not be used without written permission.

Jacket design by Julia Reich and Daniel Tamman. Illustrations by Eric Kittelberger and Daniel Tamman. Interior design by Pneuma Books, LLC.

Also by Lauren Braun Costello

The Competent Cook: Essential Tools, Techniques, and Recipes for the Modern At–Home Cook

Cataloging–in–Publication

(Provided by The Donohue Group)

Costello, Lauren Braun.

  Notes on cooking : a short guide to an essential craft / Lauren Braun Costello,

Russell Reich; [afterword by Dorothy Hamilton].

p. : ill.; cm. -- (Notes on--)

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN: 978-0-9724255-3-7

1. Cookery--Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Cookery--Quotations, maxims, etc.

I. Reich, Russell, 1963- II. Hamilton, Dorothy M. III. Title.

TX652 .C67 2009

641.5 2008939351

PRINTED AND BOUND IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

on acid ∞ free paper

18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09        01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

DEDICATED TO

MARCIA S. COHEN

AND IN MEMORY OF

FRANK HAUSER

Table of Contents

Notes on Notes on Cooking

More Notes on Notes on Cooking

I. Understanding the Recipe

1. Read the recipe

2. Read it again

3. Read at least three similar recipes

4. If it’s in the title, leave it alone

5. Target the result more than the timing

6. Recognize that recipes are often compromises

7. When you’re ready, mess with the recipe

8. Do it again

9. Do not be surprised by surprising results

10. Your soul is in the food

II. The Cook’s Role

11. The cook’s first job is to delight

12. Feed others as they wish to be fed

13. Feed others as only you can feed them

14. Work from your strength

15. Aim at mastery of craft, not at art

16. Don’t TRY to be different

17. Embrace the mundane

18. Cook globally

19. Justify your food in at least two ways

20. Please, PLEASE slow down

21. Above all, do no harm

22. Dare to do less

23. Preside happily over accidents

24. Don’t be grim

25. The best compliment for a cook…

26. Eat

III. Tools & Equipment

27. Nothing about a kitchen should be dark

28. Cook for the kitchen you’re in

29. Obtain the basics

30. Care for your knives

31. Hold the knife’s handle and blade properly

32. Dress for the job

33. Carry two towels

34. Do not wear perfume or cologne while you cook

35. Banter down

36. Use your hands and fingers

37. Never use your hands and fingers to taste

38. Be wary of single–use gadgets

39. Use wet measures for liquids, dry measures for solids

IV. Procurement & Storage

40. Use what you