This book: Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques. How have I never written about it? After I gifted it recently, I realized I haven’t ever mentioned it here. Oversight corrected!
I’ve bought it multiple times, in multiple languages (English, Italian, and French), I’ve gifted it, and I’ve flipped the pages many times over the years.
As I mentioned in How I Travel: Packing List and Preparation Tips, and in my monthly newsletter, I have been consciously reducing my possessions and making intentional purchases as much as I can, so I can tell you it’s one of the few cooking-related books I know I will cart all over the world wherever I make my home (or buy a new copy and gift the old one), so it’s about time I told you about it.
It’s a great gift for pretty much any level of cook, unless that person has worked in a professional kitchen or has gone to culinary school, and then they might not be that impressed with it. But for everyone else, it methods, techniques, and tips are very valuable and it’s a great primer for even experienced cooks who have maybe…is this you? I am guilty myself…one or two methods or ingredients they still haven’t attempted or mastered for lack of familiarity or information.
Can you cook a perfect poached egg? Do you know how to scale a fish? Do you know the difference between the different types of pastry dough? Can you tell if an avocado is ripe? Can you truss a chicken? Can you make all the basic sauces?
If you cook and have a partner or friend who is interested in learning more about cooking, this book is a great tutor which allows you to learn alongside rather than being the only teacher in the room, and neutralizes the learning environments, so to speak. It provides an encyclopedia of sorts that they can follow along with and you can tackle some new cooking projects together! Everything is illustrated with clear photos and steps are provided, and many of the methods have related classic recipes as well.
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