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How to Cook Everything The Basics All You Need to Make Great Food with 1 000 Photos
In How to Cook Everything The Basics, best-selling author Mark Bittman offers another essential collection of delicious
recipes, from fried egg to steamed mussels. With clear and straightforward directions, practical tips and variation
ideas, and helpful photos for each of the recipes, Bittman breaks down the basics to help all home cooks.
Recipe Excerpts from How to Cook Everything The Basics
(Click for recipe) Curried Chickpea Salad
(Click for recipe) Steamed Fish with Ratatouille
(Click for recipe)
Q&A with Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything The Basics
Mark Bittman, Author
It’s been ten years since How to Cook Everything came out. How has your approach to thinking about food and writing
cookbooks changed since then?
It's actually been almost 14 years since the first edition, which I can hardly believe myself. For me, there's a big
difference between how I think about "food" and how I approach writing cookbooks. In fact, the way I write cookbooks has
barely changed: I try to write simple, straightforward recipes that encourage people to cook rather than wow or
intimidate them. These are cookbooks for people who cook or want to learn how to cook. In terms of thinking about
food, see the next question.
This year, you ended your "Minimalist" column for The New York Times and became a regular op-ed writer. Would you say
that The Basics reflects this big change in your career, and how you can present your ideas?
It's a huge change but I haven't left much behind; I'm still writing about cooking not only for the Times but for
others. The Opinion writing gives me a chance to say what I think not only about cooking but about food, about eating.
And what I think is that although cooking goes a long way to helping us eat better, there are many, many issues that
cooking can't address, important issues to anyone who eats--which is everyone.
It seems like a lot of cookbooks are more about lifestyle and the latest trends in restaurant food. Do you think that
The Basics is almost an anti-trend cookbook?
No. I think that the books about lifestyle and trends in restaurant food are not cookbooks. The Basics, modesty
aside, is the epitome of a cookbook: It's a book that teaches how to cook. It'll be trendy for some people and not for
others, like everything else.
When you were learning the basics of cooking yourself, what kinds of cookbooks did you use?
The basic books of the '60s and '70s, which were those by Jim Beard; Julia Child; Paula Peck; Craig Claiborne; and a
few others. And of course Joy of Cooking.