The Art of Simple Food

by Celia Sin-Tien Cheng
December 7, 2007

This week’s winners are Jennie and Adria. Congratulations!

Below is the original Baking Friday post from this week.


Scroll down below to enter a comment. Make sure to click on “submit” after the preview appears on screen. Send in your answer by 5pm today and you will automatically be entered into the drawing to win a copy of The Art of Simple Food.

Winners will be contacted via email and can pick up the prizes at Amai Tea & Bake House (171 3rd Avenue), including three Tea Sweets of choice.

As mentioned in this month’s feature on holiday gifts, we love Alice Waters’ latest cookbook, The Art of Simple Food: “As the title suggests, everything is broken down into simple terms, from her basic cooking philosophies and pantry-stocking to basic kitchen equipment and cutting techniques, in addition to over 200 everyday recipes. The book is well organized and executed, with gorgeous illustrations by Patricia Curtan. It’s an instant cookbook classic.”

Thank you, Random House, for this week’s Baking Friday contribution!


Comments (21)

Julia Ames

Dec 7, 09:41 AM

I get my best recipies from E-mailing my mother.

Blake Royer

Dec 7, 09:42 AM

My favorite cookbook is The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall. It’s an absolutely inspiring book that teaches you how to do literally everything involving food or cooking: how to forage for mushrooms, dig for scallops, grow chili peppers, cure your own bacon, make salami, take the ink out of squid (in your bathtub, no less), etc.. And it’s not all crunchy; the whole scenario is injected with dry British humor and all is in the name of achieving the most delicious food possible.

Peter Kang

Dec 7, 10:05 AM

How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman – it’s great I can catch his video segments and articles in the Times as well!

Nelson Wang

Dec 7, 10:31 AM

I agree with Peter above—Bittman’s book is great and easy-to-follow.


Dec 7, 10:32 AM

I use “How to Cook Everything” most frequently, for those moments when you’ve just CANNOT remember how in the world to roast a beet. My favorite is “The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook” by Christopher Kimball, though. It is a great application of the Cook’s Illustrated style to New England cooking, and it’s fantastic for comfort food recipes.


Dec 7, 11:16 AM

“Simplicity” is another word for “the truth”. As cooks, we all should be in search of The Truth with our food.


Dec 7, 11:24 AM

Cook’s Illustrated books are great, but I prefer my grandmother’s handwritten cook book in a “book report” folder!


Dec 7, 11:29 AM

My favorite right now is Doris Greenspan’s “Baking from my home to yours.” I found the recipe to be consistent and versatile.


Dec 7, 11:46 AM

I have 2 favorite cookbooks: 1)is the classic, “The Joy of Cooking” and 2) the wonderful “Pie” by Ken Haedrich


Dec 7, 11:58 AM

Larousse Gastronomique, any Diane Kennedy, and Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking (beautiful food and photography!)


Dec 7, 12:08 PM

Marcella Hazan has the best cookbooks by far. Simple, straightforward and delicious!

Julien Bismuth

Dec 7, 12:23 PM

The best cookbook I’ve come across is called “La Bonne Cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange”: The Original Companion for French Home Cooking by Madame Evelyn Saint-Ange and Paul Aratow. It’s translated from the French original text and it’s amazing. As far as other books, I like the Naked Chef cookbooks because the recipes are simple and end up tasting good, even if you mess up some steps

Dorothy Barangán

Dec 7, 12:26 PM

Bittman as a reference and sometimes jump off point, but I always feel the need to add something extra. Most often I go to specialty books and get ideas from the internet until I find what sounds best. I do love Julia Child’s The Way to Cook though and all of Donna Hay’s books look beautiful. Sometimes its more about inspiration.


Dec 7, 12:38 PM

Any book by “Lee Bailey” easy to use, great directions,and books for whatever type of fun thing your whim desires. Most important….everything is delicious!!

Adria Linder

Dec 7, 01:15 PM

For “surprising and delightful variations on traditional themes”, an old favorite is The Gardner Museum Cafe Cookbook, surely no longer in print, but full of simple and elegant treats – gingered cream of carrot soup and turkey breast stuffed with pesto, to name two. I turn to the Gotham Bar and Grill Cookbook as well as The Balthazar Cookbook for delicious fish recipes.


Dec 7, 02:18 PM

My favorite cookbook is usually the one in my hands at the moment, but if I have to cast my vote today, I will say the classic Fannie Farmer cookbook. Oyster Stuffing, Cranberry Cream Scones, oh my!


Dec 7, 03:58 PM

I don’t have a favorite cookbook, but maybe it will be The Art of Simple Food if I win a copy today…

daniella breger

Dec 7, 04:33 PM

One thing about Martha Stewart’s recipes is that they are 99.99% fail-proof, to the point that I will try a new recipe of hers’ for company with out a doubt that it will be a disaster. This to me is one of the most important things about cookbooks. Would love to win and find out what Alice Water’s fail-proof rate is!! ;-)


Dec 7, 04:35 PM

My favorite cookbook is the Best of the Best by Food and Wine, published yearly. It is a great anthology of recipes with beautiful pictures as well!

Alexandra Pappas

Dec 7, 05:17 PM

“Mastering the Art of Cooking” by Julia Child. First published in the early 1960’s and still the best.


Dec 7, 10:07 PM

Williams-Sonoma Complete Seasonal Cookbook.

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