In The Cook You Want to Be, Andy Baraghani shares the wisdom earned through his years of experience as a cook in renowned restaurants, the Bon Appétit test kitchen and his own home. The book is equal-parts practical outline for kitchen success and exploration of what it means to eat well.
Baraghani offers helpful tips for those just getting their start in the kitchen and plenty of insights for experienced cooks that made us say “huh… why didn’t we think of that?”
The book has plenty of delicious meat dishes for the carnivores among us but really shines in its treatment of vegetables and fruit. It came as no surprise to learn that the author spent time at Alice Waters' Chez Panisse.
Brussels sprouts get a creamy nuoc cham sauce with the addition of cashews. Ripe fresh fruit gets a savory twist from chile and nori. Dishes like kuku sabzi, chelo ba tahdig and pomegranate salad highlight his family’s Persian roots but there are clear influences from his travels around the world (“mostly to eat”) and a love of big but balanced flavors.
His food is simple but not simplistic and packs as much flavor and texture per square inch as we could hope for.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.