I just finished reading the above two books by Kathleen Flinn. I started with her second book, The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, as I’d seen it on David Leibovitz’s blog (an American pastry chef living in France), as a book in his “Stuff I’m liking” column. It looked interesting and my local library had it. I finished it rather quickly and I learned a lot about basic cooking (I think I want to buy the book as it’s a great reference). It’s a story along with recipes, which is kind of my favorite type of book to read (learning something new but through someone’s personal journey), also I’m not one to read a cookbook straight through. Is there anyone who does that? Maybe. Anyway, Mrs. Flinn teaches nine novices how to cook, people who before the classes were kind of afraid of being in the kitchen to varying degrees, out of a lack of knowledge and/or confidence. It’s amazing what learning some basic food techniques, along with learning more about how to shop for good food, can do for you in the kitchen. I highly recommend it.
Well, then I moved onto her first book, The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry, which is her journey of becoming a chef at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris, France (where Julia Child studied). It’s a great read as Mrs. Flinn is not only studying at the world famous school, but learning French too, and of course living in France. All things that I find very interesting. It’s a journey about following your passion, even if it’s taken you a long time to finally do it, set in the context of learning traditional French cooking. What could be more lovely (and not to mention educational for when your out at that fancy restaurant)!
It might be fun to have some new cooking ideas and techniques under your belt as the cold weather sinks in and we’re all spending more time inside (not to mention all the holidays coming up!) I’ve already started applying what I learned for some nice, comforting meals (and I just ordered a 5 qt. cast iron dutch oven, a recommendation in the “Kitchen Counter” book). It should be arriving any day.