Book lovers, research hounds, and recipe collectors rejoice! Twenty-five years after the original, The New Cooks' Catalogue
has arrived. For book lovers, this enormous white hardcover is printed beautifully on handsome paper, filled with full-color photos of every piece of kitchen equipment you can think of, from a set of Endurance spice spoons to the Omega 4000 juice extractor.
For research hounds, and really anyone who thinks twice before picking up a new tool or appliance for the kitchen, this is a massive volume of Cliffs Notes. Thinking about a blender? Countertop or immersion? Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Waring, Krups, or Hamilton Beach? What should you look for in terms of design, weight, capacity, noise, power, speeds, and cleaning? What does the UL symbol mean? This volume provides the answers to questions you didn't even know you should ask. Burt Wolfe has been researching kitchen equipment since 1969 and there isn't a question he hasn't thought of. The chapters are broken up by tool category, such as measuring devices, griddles, grill pans and irons, and handheld utensils for beating, mixing, whisking, stirring, and lifting. Peppered with interesting, helpful information on subjects like Japanese knives, strainers, and baking and pizza stones, kitchen gods and goddesses will love nothing better than to curl up with their favorite beverage to peruse the contents.
Recipe collectors, do not fear. Wading through this wealth of information rewards you too. Each section includes recipes from famous chefs using that section's equipment. Use your fry pan to make Pork Chops with Cream and Calvados, use a skimmer for Poached Spiced Figs, slice Gravlax with Mustard Sauce with a fish slicer, and make Ginger Ice Cream or Buttermilk Sorbet in your ice-cream maker. With contributions from more than 100 of the world's leading food authorities, among them Bruce Aidells, Julia Child, Rick Bayless, Marion Cunningham, Francois Payard, Nancy Silverton, and Thomas Keller, to name a few, it really is like getting a bonus cookbook with your encyclopedia.
And everyone will be entertained by food-related cartoons from The New Yorker, so funny and appropriate you'll find yourself hunting them down when what you really need is a new proofing basket or crème brûlée dish.
A great reference guide for kitchen tool collectors and aficionados, as well as anyone outfitting a kitchen from scratch, Wolfe has included so much information, both general and specific, that even when the models described are out of date, you'll still know what to look for, and how to find it. --Leora Y. Bloom