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James Beard's American Cookery [Hardcover]

James Beard , Tom Colicchio
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.00
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Book Description

Oct. 25 2010
James Beard was the "dean of American cookery" (New York Times), and he put practically everything he learned about cooking into this single magnificent--now classic--cookbook. JAMES BEARD'S AMERICAN COOKERY includes more than fifteen hundred of his favorite and most successful recipes, as well as advice on dozens of cooking questions, from choosing meats and vegetables to preserving fruit and making real cheeseburgers. A celebration of the roots of cooking in the American style, this repackaged edition features the original text and color illustrations, and a new foreword by Tom Colicchio. Like Mastering the Art of French Cooking and The Joy of Cooking, it is a standard reference no kitchen is complete without.

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Review

"The bible of American cooking by 'the king of gourmets'."—Time

"...his chef d'oeuvre...should take a place on the narrow shelf reserved for major American culinary literature."—Washington Post

"The beauty of this book is that it allows you . . . to experience firsthand what made James Beard special and unique. His voice can be heard through his no-nonsense recipes and the choices he made that celebrated even simple, humble dishes for what they were: good food." Tom Colicchio, 2010 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Chef and head judge on Top Chef, from the Foreword

About the Author

Until his death in 1985, James Beard was the nation's most acclaimed chef and food writer. The founder and director of the celebrated cooking classes in New York that still bear his name, Beard wrote James Beard's New Fish Cookery, The James Beard Cookbook, Menus for Entertaining, Beard on Bread, Beard on Food, and other works on the gastronomic arts.

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First Sentence
Food and eating habits have fascinated me throughout my life, and after sixty-five years I have come to the conclusion that perhaps American cookery is one of the most fascinating culinary subjects of all. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic James Beard July 6 2001
Format:Hardcover
While reading this James Beard classic, I was amazed at how many recipes truly have become our favorite foods in America. I have been making some recipes for years without even considering that all along, James Beard could have in fact brought them to our awareness. It is equally amazing how many of these recipes made their way over to Africa.
My grandmother purchased one of the first copies and I now have the pleasure of owning it. This truly is a cookbook you will want to read over time. Reading the entire cookbook could be quite daunting were the recipes and notes not so delightful to read!
Each chapter begins with a note from James Beard and continues in a sort of cook's diary style with many recipes on one page. You will find recipes for cocktail food, salads, soups, eggs, cheese, fish, shellfish, poultry, game, beef, veal, lamb, pork, ham, bacon, sauces, vegetables, grains, pasta, beans, lentils, pies, pastries, cakes, cookies, puddings, ice cream, dessert sauces, fruit, bread, sandwiches, pickles, preserves and candy.
If you didn't grow up in America, you will find this cookbook all the more fascinating. You can literally read this cookbook like a novel. I found it fun to sit outside and just start reading it from the beginning, skipping over recipes I didn't find interesting and being amazed at how many recipes I was familiar with and had actually made at some point in my life.
A recipe will often start just so casually, you forget you are reading a cookbook, then suddenly you are reading the instructions and the recipe ingredients are listed on the right or left. This is written in a very personal style and you can truly hear the voice of James Beard in his writing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Classic American Cuisine Nov. 6 2003
Format:Paperback
I'm reluctant to praise the memory of James Beard for producing this excellent cookbook, as it is well known that he employed ghost writers and assistants, including Marian Cunningham and Barbara Kafka, who have since gained promenance in their own right as cookbook authors. Even such a Beard fan as Jeremiah Tower states that there may be very few of his books which he actually wrote himself. That being said, let me state that this is an excellent general purpose cookbook which should be on every American cook's shelf even in preference to some newer, trendier titles.
There are two things which most clearly distinguish this volume. The first is that many of the recipes and supplementary text in this volume are superior to Beard's (sic) presentation of the same recipe in his other titles, even when the other titles specialize in a particular ingredient or method. I find, for example, his chicken recipes much more detailed in the general book than in the volume 'Beard on Birds'. The second reason for having this book is that a very large number of the recipes are relatively simple to prepare using very easily acquired ingredients. There are hunderds of recipes which can be prepared cheaply and, with a little searching, there are hundreds of recipes which can be prepared quickly. James Beard was very 'old school'.
One word of warning is necessary. While Beard is not as spare in his descriptions as Elizabeth David, he is also not as full of details as Julia Child, who basically changed the entire style of American recipe writing, including the style of James Beard to some extent. There are times when Beard does assume some basic cooking knowledge, although there are fewer assumptions here than in lesser volumes.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historically incorrect Oct. 2 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
as a collection of recipes this book is among the best I know. As an overview of American coocking however it has some serious drawbacks.Many recipes are not strictly American but simply European recipes that became popular in America. They are good - no argument there-but i would hesitate to call them American. Most seriously, Beard completely Ignores the Native American influence on American coocking.He gives plenty of Native American recipes, but it is clear he really doesn't know their background and tends to view them as Mexican.His introduction, short as it is, also ignores the Native American contribution. This being said, there is very much to enjoy in this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty Years with James Beard. March 11 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I purchased my first copy of this book when it was first published in 1980. After 20 years, and much use, it has fallen apart and I'm ordering a new one. It is one of the most useful cookbooks in my library of over 100 books on cookery and I turn to it every week for a "new" idea - 20 years later, Mr. Beard's cuisine is ageless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the essential cookbooks Nov. 24 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
The recipes for Potatoes O'Brien and James Beard's Cheeseburgers alone are worth the price of the book.
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