"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


It isn't easy being obsessive.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not like Monk, OCD detective (although I do like a certain order to my glasses and coffee cups. And silverware. And bowls.)

It's this cookbook. It haunts me. I haven't been this taken with a cookbook since I lived in Maine in a seasonal rental, a pregnant vegetarian and nascent pre-chef trying to find the exotic things (oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes) I'd need to cook out of Fields of Greens.

I'm a fan too, of Ruth Reichl's. Anybody who's read Tender at the Bone can't help that. I was thrilled when she got her post at Gourmet.

So when I received this bulky yellow cookbook at Christmas, Gourmet's 60-years-in-the-making compilation of every recipe you'd ever need, I opened it with interest, and EVERY recipe I read looked like a winner, like something I'd want to make and eat, and more--I was reading recipes that would teach me something. It was thrilling, and I resolved on the spot to cook every single one.

Fortunately, I have a job that facilitates this sort of thing. I work as a private chef on an estate, cooking for anywhere from 2 to 30 people. And fortunately, I have a great deal of latitude when it comes to menu planning and execution. I also have a writing group and a book group, both of which involve (not surprisingly) a meal, and they are thrilled to be on the receiving end when I tote stuff along. And of course my family, both immediate and extended, are always an appreciative audience.

If I had started this blog when I started my quest, we could have gone through the ENTIRE process together (which would have been deeply satisfying to my sense of order), but as it stands I'll only be able to refer to the ones I've cooked already.

Hey, a question. I don't know if I'll be able to give you the recipe without violating some kind of copyright. I'll try to figure that out and I'll let you know. If I can link to the recipe on Epicurious, I will. I also just may not have the time to type out the recipe, since I sometimes cook two or three a day.

You might have to get your own copy and cook along.

1 comment:

Bradford said...

I cannot wait to cook along!