The New Cooks' Catalogue Hardcover – Oct 24 2000
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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
Picking and choosing the correct kitchen implements can affect the outcome of a dish as much as its ingredients. The New Cooks' Catalogue gives color and black-and-white photos of all sorts of kitchen equipment, from measuring spoons through stockpots, paring knives through meat grinders, and pie pans through turbot poachers. For the amateur cook, this compendium of all instruments culinary reads like the ultimate wish book. Cartoons from the New Yorker and occasional recipes lighten the text's prodigious technical data. A highly useful reference tool for answering questions about obscure cooking implements. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top Customer Reviews
This is not a "push button" book for the best kitchen utensil to buy. It's more of a survey of available cooking tools by categories. I'm sure all of the utensils are quite capable. I just skip by the ones that are clearly out of my budget, e.g., "all-copper made in France", "All Clad", or something similar.
It does list some less expensive tools where they do a comparable job, such as Lodge cast iron pans, George Foreman Grill, etc. But, overall, the items reviewed are pretty much top shelf cooking tools.
Still, I like it, since it gives you a background on what tools are available and why they are desirable. Knowing that, you are not left totally in the dark when shopping. On the same track, it is the ONLY book I know of in its genre (e.g., one that gives a farily broad survey of available cooking utensils).
Well, here it is, and it is as inclusive as the original! Unlike a prior reviewer, I enjoy reading about the arcane and unique pieces made for cooking. I don't want a book of this scope written like Consumer Reports. In the first place, even Consumer Reports' product evaluations are usually subjective. Plus, their prices aren't accurate. Yes, I rather wish Mr. Wolf had at least given some range of prices for items in the book. However, I don't consider it a real drawback, as prices do vary enormously even on the web.
I found the recipes and other inserts pleasing and practical. The color photos were also welcomed for this edition. There is literally no way to cover all kitchen products on today's market, but Mr. Wolf goes further than anyone else I've seen in trying.
I tend to be a kitchen gadget and utensil freak anyway so this book is right up my alley. Otherwise, and particularly for the novice in cooking, I have doubts about its utility.
NICE, BUT DISAPPOINTING
I regret to say that I was disappointed by this 25th anniversary update of a venerable old classic. It seems to be chock full of information, but when you look up a specific category, remarkably few items are actually reviewed. The author states in the Introduction that many thousands of products were tested, and there was not enough room to list all of them. Granted, but there seems to have been plenty of space for tangential stories, recipes, and cartoons. I also object to the emphasis on obscure and rarely used tools; they are quite interesting, but also quite superfluous. Please note that the items are not ranked or compared in any way, nor are there specific recommendations as to what to buy (except in a couple of rare cases, and even then they do not come right out and say that you should have one of these) or what to avoid, so this book is only marginally useful as a shopping guide for kitchen tools. In this edition, they have also decided not to include prices. The stated justification for this is that the prices become out of date within weeks of publication. True, but very expensive and very inexpensive tools are listed side by side, and some indication as to their costs would be a big help, as many buying decisions will be based on price. A simple warning in the preface would have sufficed about constantly changing prices. I also find the reviews of electrical equipment to be suspect; for these, I recommend you stick to a tried and true resource, like a consumer magazine. It also lacks a beginner's list of essential kitchen tools to have. This can be a problem, as a kitchen novice might draw the conclusion, after reading this book, that many hundreds of tools are necessary kitchen basics.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This book was a great help in expanding some of our kitchen equipment. If you visit a bookstore or library, you may find thousands of books on cooking and not one on cooking... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by Randy Given
.....but more of an encyclopedia. This is a good book if you don't know what a certain kitchen tool does or would like a breif history lesson. Read morePublished on April 26 2002 by secrethalo
This is a large coffee table sized book. You'll find more cooking tools and appliances than you ever dreamed existed. Read morePublished on Dec 18 2001
I love the New Cooks' Catalogue for several reasons. It's comprehensive, easy to use and well written. I also enjoy the historical anecdotes and recipes. Read morePublished on May 18 2001 by Kathy Gilbert
I was given The New Cooks' Catalogue last Christmas and it was one of the best gifts I ever received. Read morePublished on April 17 2001 by R. Askin
People who really love to cook and really love gadgets and cookware will enjoy this book. There is lots of interesting reading here. Read morePublished on March 31 2001 by Soozie4Him