Penny Pleasance

Penny Pleasance studied cooking under Henri Lévi at his New York cooking school, La Cuisine Sans Peur, and has also studied cooking in Brussels and Tuscany. She has lived or worked in New York, London, Brussels, and Strasbourg, France and has been a cooking enthusiast since she picked up her mother’s copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1978. She blogs at Stories from Scratch.

Book Reviews by Penny Pleasance

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“David Tanis Market Cooking is the kind of go-to cookbook that would be welcome in anyone’s kitchen.”

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In France, children are taught about cheese in school. Every day they are served different cheeses at lunchtime, developing both their palate and understanding of cheese styles.

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By any measure food blogging has given voice to the home cook. As its ranks continue to grow it is proof positive that we humans are the cooking animal. We are also the storytelling animal.

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It is a well-known adage that cookbooks written by renowned chefs are best enjoyed in an armchair far from the kitchen lest the home cook end up in a pool of tears when trying to execute one of its

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“By educating and inspiring you, Pierre Marcolini is doing a great service to the blossoming bean to bar chocolate movement.”

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A few years back the Times ran an article about Lior Lev Sercarz, a professional chef who hails originally from Israel and has honed his professional skills in the kitchens most notably of

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In Jane Kramer’s 2012 New Yorker profile of Israeli-born, London-based chef Yottam Ottolenghi, we learn that Ottolenghi began his culinary odyssey as a home cook working his way through Ju

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“Globalization is here to stay. Let’s eat.”

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“what we have in common as citizens of the world is far more than what divides us. Maybe spices are the answer to world peace after all.”

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In a year when the electorate is embracing angry old white men, discovering that a dead white man who was best known for his roles in horror movies was not only a serious gourmet cook, but coauthor

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The month of January is dedicated to hitting the reset button.

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Among the many different cultural subsets in New York City, there is a group of food elitists.

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“chock full of delectable morsels to keep even the most discerning reader sated.”

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What every well-curated cookbook library should have is several go-to cookbooks for reliability, a few armchair (or nightstand) varieties for pleasure, and a smattering of teaching cookbooks for re

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A Kitchen in France gives a cook a reason to get back into the kitchen . . .”

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“This is how modernism works. It is an ongoing conversation among the chef, the diner, the ingredients, and our collective memories.”

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“Too bad there aren’t more recipes like this in Prune, because Gabrielle Hamilton has comfort food down cold: rich, rustic food made with copious amounts of good fat and salt.”

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“Their approach to wine and food is utterly relaxed and unfussy. The message of the book should put the most novice wine drinker among us at ease: There are no firm rules in wine pairing.

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Bread and Butter is just a skim coat of a story about what a restaurant looks like from the back of the house. . . .

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“This is why (if you can afford it) we are willing to pay so much to eat in a restaurant like Daniel rather than attempt to cook his dishes at home. . . .

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“. . . it falls flat, like a soufflé that has collapsed in the oven. . . . Where Ms. Willan does shine, however, is as a food historian.”

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When Raymond Sokolov took on the daunting task of replacing the legendary food editor Craig Claiborne who retired from the New York Times in 1971, he was head of a four-person department t

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“Cooked is a call to all of us to get back to our kitchens and cook our own food . . .”

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“. . . expertly adapted for home use and offers many dishes worth trying and adding to your repertoire . . . I just don’t like the idea of being given a regifted item.”

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“Behind the Kitchen Door is an eye-popping book about restaurant industry practices that brings new meaning to the notion of ethical eating.”

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“Cookfight is an engaging book about what we each bring into our kitchens besides the ingredients. . . . very entertaining.”

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“If this book doesn’t put you in touch with your inner Viking, I don’t know what would. . . . If you buy only one cookbook this season, let it be Fäviken.

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“While the pop-up restaurant may represent the anti fine-dining model, it’s not exactly dining for the 99%. In fact it has created an elitist experience of its own.”

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“. . . chockfull of revelations that any cooking enthusiast will eat up with a spoon.”

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“. . . it is never too late to reinvent yourself.”

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“exhausting . . . The next time an economist invites you to lunch to talk about food . . . Consult your calendar and then reply, ‘How ’bout never? Is never good for you?”

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“. . . French Bistro is a book worth owning.

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“There are so many head-scratching errors in the quantities, oven temperatures, and cooking times that you have to wonder if the book was proofed or the recipes tested before it went to pri

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“This is a book that strives to be inclusive but comes off as solidly elitist.”

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“RÔTIS is a book for armchair cooks that will send you into food reveries for hours and make you wish you had been born French. . . .

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“Part memoir, part teaching manual, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School is as much a transformational book about Kathleen Flinn as it is about her students. . . .

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“Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have probably noticed that canning; preserving, jamming, pickling—or whatever you want to call it—is making a big comeback.”

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“In the end, Aftertaste is a great reminder to all of us that sometimes life can spin out of control, but by and large, with good ingredients, a set of sharp knives and a solid understandin

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“If he would just inject a little humor and poke a little fun at the French, Mr.

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Like his London restaurant, The Dock Kitchen, Stevie Parle’s first cookbook, My Kitchen: Real Food from Near and Far, is unconventional.

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Elizabeth David is to the United Kingdom what Julia Child is to the United States.

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What happens when your parents abruptly (through the eyes of a 12 year old) divorce and leave you to fend for yourself for an entire summer, alone in the house with your 17-year-old brother while t

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When Julia Child died in 2004 her devoted and ardent fans mourned her as if they had just lost a beloved friend.

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When The Great Recession hit, Americans returned to their kitchens and the classics started to make a comeback.

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Critics have been lamenting the decline of French cooking for years.

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Here’s a book that is sure to show up on nearly every foodie’s holiday wish list this season.

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When Meryl Streep portrayed Julia Child in the film Julie and Julia last year, Americans rediscovered French cooking.

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Critics have been lamenting the decline of French cooking for years.

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Unless you are a regular reader of the New York Times weekly column “The Minimalist,” you've probably never heard of Mark Bittman.

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If you are not yet familiar with Molly Wizenberg through her award-winning food blog, Orangette, you are in for a treat.

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Most of us know someone who could use a little basic instruction in the kitchen: a college student or recent graduate living in his/her first apartment, a newly single adult, a neighbor, a friend

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For most of us, it wouldn’t seem like summer without fresh, ripe tomatoes.

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For those of us who have endured a particularly long, cruel winter, the return of spring and the promise of fresh, seasonal vegetables from the local farmers’ market is sheer joy.  That first bite