COOKING & FOOD

Women in the Kitchen: Twelve Essential Cookbook Writers Who Defined the Way We Eat, from 1661 to Today

Scribner. Aug. 2020. ISBN 9781501173318. $28. COOKING.
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James Beard Award–winning cookbook author, culinary historian, and educator Willan profiles 12 cookbook authors, all women, from the past 300 years that she deems essential to the development of American home cooking. Included are profiles of Hannah Wooley, author of The Ladies Directory, a 1661 handbook utilized by women of the expanding English middle class, and Amelia Simmons, the somewhat mysterious author of American Cookery, the first cookbook written by an American. In addition to these early culinary pioneers, Willan also reflects upon the influence of Julia Child (Mastering the Art of French Cooking), Irma Rombauer (The Joy of Cooking), and Edna Lewis (The Taste of Country Cooking). Willan is clearly passionate about her subjects. Moreover, she provides 50 tested and updated recipes from the featured cookbooks that range in difficulty.
VERDICT An additional purchase for large collections with culinary histories in high ­demand.

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