Not only is this one of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year by Time, but it's also one of our most anticipated reviews of 2022.
In The Cook You Want to Be Review, we'll take a look at the debuted cookbook of Andy Baraghani, the beloved food writer and recipe developer from Bon Appétit.
From his triumphs and failures working in restaurants, at food magazines, and in his very own home, Andy realized that the process of cooking should always be inspiring and never boring.
In his first book, he will guide you through different flavors, techniques, and, yes, plenty of recipes to help you build the confidence you need to make highly delicious, achievable food in your own kitchen. And as he promises, "along the way, you'll become a more instinctual and thoughtful cook".
Andy peeled hundreds of onions at Chez Panisse as a teenage intern, honed his perfectly balanced salad-making skills at Estela in New York, and developed recipes in the test kitchens of Saveur, Tasting Table, and Bon Appétit. It took him all those years to figure out the cook he wanted to be: a cook who is true to his Persian heritage, a fresh-vegetable lover, a citrus superfan, and an always-hungry world traveler.
In The Cook You Want to Be, Andy shows you how you can hone your cooking styles by teaching you the techniques and unexpected flavor combinations that maximize flavor in minimal time.
At Bon Appétit, Andy created a bevy of viral recipes that became household staples, from Tahini Ranch to Fall-Apart Caramelized Cabbage. Here, he follows up with more umami-rich dishes, beautiful and restaurant-worthy meals (that take half the time), and well-known dishes recast in utterly delicious ways.
New surefire hits among his debut cookbook's 100 recipes include Caramelized Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter Harissa, Sticky, Spicy Basil Shrimp, and Tangy Pomegranate-Chicken. Cooks will find inspiration to riff on, quick meals for hurried weeknights, condiments galore, and memorable meals to impress dinner guests.
In essays throughout the book, Andy shares convictions (why everyone must make his beloved Persian egg dish, kuku sabzi) and lessons to live by (the importance of salting fish before cooking it). The Cook You Want to Be is a trove of go-to recipes and delicious, simple home cooking.
The recipes you find in, The Cook You Want to Be, were formed by the lessons Andy learned over the years working in professional kitchens. Some are very personal; "these are recipes inspired by the Persian food I grew up with, the restaurant I've worked at, or dishes I've tasted while traveling.".
For those already thinking this is another complex book, forget it because all recipes can be made in home kitchens. As Andy says in the book, "... if I can't efficiently make a recipe in my tiny home kitchen, then I won't develop it."
This approach is interesting because as you go through the book, you'll find a lot of recipes worthy of Michelin start restaurants, thanks to their flavor, but that you can easily make them at your home.
We really like this book because the recipes not only taught us a few tricks but also inspired us to mix unexpected ingredients to clear new and bold flavor combinations.
Similar to what we said in The Dessert Game Cookbook Review, The Cook You Want to Be has something for everyone. Although it's not organized into difficulty levels, like The Dessert Game, it has recipes that range in difficulty from a simple Tangy Mustard Dressing to complete dishes like Salt-and-Pepper Cod with Turmeric Noodles.
We have been following Andy's work these last years, especially in Bon Appétit, and we are big fans of his cooking style and unexpected flavor combinations. The Cook You Want to Be really captures the essence of Andy's cuisine and his passion for vegetables, so if you already love Andy's cooking, you'll love this book.
The Cook You Want to Be is an excellent book for anyone who has a passion for food and for anyone who loves to play with unexpected flavor combinations.