With 1500 photos, 250 techniques and 200 tools anyone wanting to enhance their kitchen acumen can pick up Williams-Sonoma Tools & Techniques and learn better ways to cooking success. There are full color photos, detailed information on all the products listed, basic recipes you could practice on, technique troubleshooting – YES!, and tips. I really like this book!
The book was printed in 2007 which leaves out tools such as the Spiralizer or Nutribullet. Techniques rarely change and there are series of photos for learning the techniques. I’m surprised they haven’t had a second edition with updates but perhaps those items that have come out since 2007 are significant to add to the book. But they do have an instructional you tube channel. Example cutting with chef knives and the type of cutting boards they use.
The informational sources, such as what Cookware you might like to use, covers eight different lines. While this is not a tactile experience for the beginning cook, it gives you all the information on four pages so that when you start looking for your set you can make a more informed decision.
The electronics section covers MANY tools that quite frankly, you’d need a tool shed to hold them all. While this is not about beginning cooking, it is however about what is out there today that is being discussed on food shows, websites, and blogs.
The best part about the techniques section is that they show you using the tools how to perform the technique. Such as grating chocolate, chopping chocolate, curling chocolate, melting chocolate, and making chocolate ganache. How about making puff pastry – WHAT! How about making bread, biscuits, pizza dough, scones, pancakes, waffles and they’re all made by hand with significant technical photos to help you understand how to prepare the recipe. Example, with the waffles, they also give you recipes for toppings-Bing cherry syrup, orange butter and summer fruit compote. Whoop!
Cookbooks have come a LONG way. Several of my mother’s cookbooks did not have photos or they had limited black and white photos, but they did have illustrations. I refer to this book if I become a little confused on a technique to use or I want to see how they forma meatball with an ice cream scoop. BTW, the section on trimming meats may save you a little cash from the butchers.
I would give this as a shower gift, or someone moving into an apartment for the first time, or a gift to someone that enjoys cooking, or to someone who may not like to cook because they don’t know enough techniques to enjoy cooking. It’s a resource book that will be used many times.