Books: Chefs de Tout: A Cookbook Quartet

FOR years the patience of American cooks has been most perversely tried. Despite the fact that cookbooks sell by the hundreds of thousands and bring in millions of dollars, the instructions they offer the reader are too often vague, ambiguous or simply nonexistent.

Exotic excursions into odd corners of cookery have some license to charm rather than instruct. But a working cookbook should be a textbook. It requires patient research, decent expository prose, and—on the publisher's part—painstaking work on editing and layout. Most cookbooks seem to aim solely for brevity. Beat the eggs with the sugar simply will not do unless it...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!