It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a book review, but I’m so smitten with The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks, by Kathleen Flinn, I wanted to share it here. This is the book I would write if I were to write a book that conveys the reasons why I started this blog.
“After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultra-processed foods. Flinn’s “chefternal” instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals. The Kitchen Counter Cooking School includes practical, healthy tips that boost readers’ culinary self-confidence, and strategies to get the most from their grocery dollar, and simple recipes that get readers cooking.” – from the Trade Paperback edition
I loved this book! Kathleen’s voice is so strong and confident, but also friendly and clear. And her story echoes much of what I’ve heard from beginner or reluctant cooks. “Cooking is hard. I don’t know where to start. I don’t have time to cook.”
What the blurb above doesn’t tell you is that after her encounter at the grocery store, Kathleen invites 9 willing participants to her “cooking school” to learn the basics. The classes are held in a rented space from a catering company. The fun that follows is what makes this book so good. The students learn how to prepare basic meals from whole foods, but they also learn about themselves in the process.
If you are a beginner or reluctant cook, read this book. It will open your eyes to how simple preparing good food can be, and you’ll learn why boxed, canned and pre-made foods became a thing in the first place. And if you already consider yourself a good cook, read it anyway, it’s fun and you might learn something new. I did.
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