By Johnny Prep with Chef Kelli Lewton
Ballantine Books, $24.99, 170 pages
In The Magic of Cooking with Really Good Broth, professional Chef Johnny Prep urges home cooks to use only home-cooked broth or stock in their kitchens. However, his professional recipes don’t translate well into the home kitchen. His use of some terminology is likely to confuse many home cooks (stick blender, half baking sheet, etc.). The major problem, however, is editing. It seems no cookbook editor read the manuscript. Typos, incorrect usage of words, confusing and ambiguous directions, difficult ingredient quantities (16 cups shrimp, lobster or crab shells or ⅜ cup oil) and strange quantity designations (i.e. 2 cups red peppers and 3 cups squash) make following these recipes very hard. A good editor could detect both the items missing from an ingredient list and the directions from a recipe.
“I have established a goal to bridge the gap of classical culinary training with the needs of the home cook.”
Chef Prep did not follow standard recipe writing. For example, Prep doesn’t list ingredients in the order in which they are called for, which is common practice. Home cooks will find that most recipes are easy to follow. But many are more in the professional arena and are time consuming. Color photo illustrations for every recipe are good but they are not of a professional quality. The Index is not cross referenced and is unusable (i.e. Roasted Corn Tortilla Soup is only under R).
Reviewed by George Erdosh