Here is my first suggestion if you are thinking of buying Pâtisserie by William and Suzy Curley -- allow yourself at least an extra day to just look at the marvelous pastries pictured in this book. It seems nowadays that with competition from other media, book publishers have moved to lower grade paper and have overall reduced the... Read more →

"Extra Virginity" by Tom Mueller

Whereas other people might bring back wine, or clothes, or salt and pepper shakers when they travel, chance are good if you look in my suitcase what you will find is olive oil. I love the stuff! A quick count of the number of different olive oils I have right now in my pantry comes in at six. Some are mild, the kind I might use for a... Read more →

Being an incurable foodie and techie, I of course have been grabbing cooking apps for my iPad. Some apps are little more than shameless money grabs or self promotions. Others are poorly constructed technically or have little quality content. The exception, far and away, is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything application. This is... Read more →

How Italian Food Conquered the World

Most of us have all heard the tale of how, at age fourteen, the young Italian Catherine de' Medici married Henry II of France and subsequently, perhaps single-handedly, brought about the creation of what we now think of as French cuisine. Not so, according to John Mariani. In his book "How Italian Food Conquered the World", he... Read more →

Insert a Toothpick at 3 O'Clock

Perhaps it was my years of cooking in studio and bachelor apartments using a two-burner hotplate or little more, that attracted me to the book Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens, by Jennifer Schaertl. For years I lived in small spaces and served good meals to friends. Sometimes I had the luxury of a real stove top and oven, and our... Read more →

If you are passionate about baking bread at home, if you aspire to bake the perfect baguette or artisan loaf, then you want to read these three books: The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart OK, I admit that the first thing that caught my interest about this book was the front cover, the... Read more →

Cookwise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking by Shirley O. Corriher If you are a fan of FoodTV's program "Good Eats", then you will recognize Shirley O. Corriher as the food scientist who graced many of the early episodes. Her book Cookwise explains, in easily understood terms, the decisions and processes that make good recipes and... Read more →

The New Joy of Cooking by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer, Ethan Becker For the inaugural book recommendation in KitchenSavvy, how can I choose anything other than the foundational "All New All Purpose" Joy of Cooking. Originally self-published in 1931 as The Joy of Cooking: A Compilation of Reliable Recipes with a Casual... Read more →