Reluctant Gourmet


Review by Debbie Mazo

For people who suffer from kitchen phobia, the Reluctant Gourmet has the cure. Hosted by an amateur cooking enthusiast, this culinary guide has all the answers for first-time cooks who want to become confident chefs. Reluctant Gourmet

If you can barely boil water, the Cooking Primer offers the absolute basics. In this section, you'll learn everything you need to know about preparing hot food from grilling to braising to pan roasting. You can also find out about preparing risotto, and all the flavors you can add to it including meat, fish, poultry, or vegetarian.

To keep up on the latest in the culinary world, From A to Z includes terms every novice should know like gremolada (an Italian garnish) and roux (a mixture of flour and fat used to thicken soups and sauces). All good chefs know that you're only as good as your tools.

For tools that chefs can't live without, check out the Kitchen Drawer. In this section, you'll find a starter list of must-have tools to stock in your kitchen. Take the Reluctant Gourmet's advice and start with the basic necessities, like stainless steel pots and pans and a good knife, and add to your own kitchen drawer over time.

Ready to experiment? Then, have a look in the Recipe Archives stocked full of recipes any novice can handle with easy instructions and serving suggestions. For a main course, try the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and follow with a tempting dessert like Tiramisu, an Italian classic.

For a day in the life of a chef, check out the Novice to Pro section where contemporary chefs from various walks of life talk about kitchen trials and tribulations. In the words of Chef John Folse, "Don't try to be too creative, keep things simple and remember that there's only one thing that matters in cooking...does it taste good."

About the Writer

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She currently specializes in technical and marketing materials, but is also pursuing opportunities in food journalism.




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