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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)
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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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"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

"I felt a shiver as I unpacked the new edition of James Beard's American Cookery, this big, fat, generous book, so like Jim himself. I just held it for a few minutes, remembering times in his kitchen, his big hand guiding mine in the motion of making mayonnaise with a fork. . . . It strikes me as timely that chefs who know only his image on a medal hung round their neck have this chance to see what James was cooking before they were born." Gael Greene, Insatiable-critic.com

"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

"The tome's enduring popularity is due to the fact that it does more than deliver superb recipes, it digs deep into the history of American cuisine."—Fox News

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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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
By A Customer
This is an essential reference work. While it is a "general" cookbook, it differs from the standard BH&G and Betty Cooker-type books with its emphasis on history, culture and unwavering love of all things culinary, and of course, an incomparable narrator and food afficionado guiding the tour. This volume was originally released in 1972 so the emphasis on beef and higher-fat dishes shows, but what a crime it would be to rewrite some of these recipes for calorie/fat-sake. It's wonderful to read some of the 18th and 19th century-era recipes that populate the book. The focus is on America's deep and varied culinary culture. You quickly realize American Cookery is not so much a recipe book, but a snapshot of our food culture. I can't imagine its omission from a serious cook's bookshelf.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Historically incorrect Oct. 2 2000
By A Customer
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 A joy to read! Oct. 29 1999
By A Customer
My copy was just delivered this morning. What an absolute blast to read this book. Mr. Beard's commentaries are not only insightful, but often downright funny!
When writing about eating oysters on the half-shell, he advises, "If you do not like the natural flavor of oysters and find that you must cover them with quantities of red cocktail sauce (which he refers to earlier in the chapter as 'the red mennace'), then perhaps you should not be eating them."
Maybe it's just me, but I find the free injection of personal taste/opinion refreshing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Beard July 21 1998
By A Customer
What can you say about this book? It's like walking through the finest history book ever written, and being able to taste and smell everything along the way... literally. As always, you are presented with countless variations on said theme, as well as tremendous background. They say this is Beard's favorite, and I certainly would have to agree it's one of the best things he ever did. He poured his heart into this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best of my 300 cookbooks - The Authority! July 10 1998
By A Customer
I bought my hardcopy the year it was published - no fancy pictures or vivid colors - just spectacular recipes and cozy person to person conversations with the author about food. After I "met" James, he had me eating and loving things I never would have tasted except for his luscious descriptions. What I would have missed if not for him!
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