Restaurant News

Picture Cook: A Graphic Cookbook

Tired of the boring ol' cookbook format with lists of ingredients to measure, cut-and-dried directions to follow to the letter, and not nearly enough pictures? So is Katie Shelly, author of Picture Cook: See. Make Eat. to be released in October.

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The innovative guide to kitchen basics and global favorites uses minimal words to describe how to cook, instead offering diagrams as recipes. Shelly describes them as a breakaway from "precise culinary blueprints" that are instead "meant to inspire experimentation, improvisation, and play in the kitchen." The 50 recipes in the book span the world of comfort food, from eggplant Parmesan and crispy kale to ginger tea and aji pebre, a Chilean-style salsa.

Zingy tomato sauce (pictured above) might seem intimidating in text with a list of 10 ingredients, most of which need to be diced or otherwise prepared. But in graphic format, it's easy to see the four main steps: simmer, simmer, stir, stir. Not so tough anymore, is it? The picture also makes it pretty clear that these are puzzle pieces that can be moved around. Don't like black olives? Leave them out, or sub something you love.

This cookbook aims to make following and adjusting recipes a snap, and the pictures are inviting for little hands eager to help in the kitchen. It also includes a visual inventory of home cook equipment, a tutorial on knife skills, and an illustrated index. Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat. is available for preorder through Amazon and B&N. Fans can also follow its development on Facebook.

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Dominique Chatterjee