stephmodo: The Art of Simple Food

The Art of Simple Food

• 30 November 2009

While visiting my sister this week, I picked up her copy of Alice Waters', The Art of Simple Food and started reading. My oh my...every page was like a revelation! This is the perfect book for any person wanting to be a better cook or even a cook at all. Her style isn't patronizing in the least bit and she outlines the basics in such a way that you feel instantly confident you could recreate the dish without a problem. I've never seen such a practical, informative cookbook by a world-renown's not pretentious in the slightest.

Even though I just barely started reading The Art of Simple Food, I feel compelled to add this book to my collection. I knew it was a must-have when she said: "If I could have only one pan, it would be a cast-iron skillet." All of a sudden it didn't matter the book lacked pretty photographs...the fact that Alice uses her cast-iron skillet more than any other pan instantly endears her to me as I use mine just about every day. For those of you who have this cookbook, what are your favorites? Where do I start?


  1. I love that cookbook, it was given to me as a birthday gift and it has remained a classic for me.
    Other cookbooks I use most are Jamie Oliver's At Home and Betty Crocker's Baking.

  2. Seriously great tip, for lately I've really been wanting to like the idea of cooking. Is it pretty vegetarian friendly?

  3. wonderful cookbook; i don't own it either but when i first started reading, like you, i fell in love.

  4. I believe my husband knows her??? Hmmm? His book is similar in the fact that it's simple, healthy and yummy :) I should take a look at hers too.

  5. I Love this book! I was fortunate to go to a book signing in my town, and I got to meet her! She is like a little pixie, so small and petite and very soft spoken.
    We go to her restaurant (Chez Panisse) every year for my birthday, although this past birthday fell on a Sunday and they are closed :(

    I've made a soup out of the book so far and it was pretty good, all of a sudden I can't remember which one though.
    I've also had the gingersnap cookies, they were excellent!

  6. Sparks: very much so. I think you'll find it quite vegetarian friendly. I spotted some yummy-looking vegetable bean soups that looked perfect for this cold weather.

  7. I discovered the cookbook just before Easter this spring and after reading through part of the book, I knew that I needed it in my cookbook library. The recipes are excellent, cooking with the seasons is a running theme, basic but wonderful dishes, and all this reminds me of one of my favorite places to eat in the world, Chez Panisse, in Berkley, Alice Waters' restaurant, where I've spent a few wonderful meals with my daughter when she was attending Santa Clara University.

  8. I've wanted to pick this one up, and now I must have it. Thanks for the reminder.

  9. Love Alice Waters. I don't own this one but it is on my list. Good to see you today.


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