Aside from these motivations, count
Robertson’s editor among those who
cite the influence of social media.
“People are inspired to share their DIY
experience,” Ficklen says. “The process
is as important as the final product.”
While some cookbooks present a wide-angle view of cooking techniques,
others focus on the mastery of a single
subject. Here, too, foodie culture in the
digital realm may have something to
do with the growing demand to take a
deep dive into a single dish.
“The Internet has transformed the
way a lot of people cook,” says Camaren
Subhiyah, editor at Abrams. “There are
millions of recipes and video tutorials
at our fingertips. You can definitely go
down a rabbit hole researching a single
subject online, but it’s not always the
best format for learning and you’re not
always getting quality information from
a credible source.”
In April, Abrams will release Joe
Beddia’s Pizza Camp, which concen-
trates on the basics of pizza making,
recreating the pies Beddia serves out of
The Savvy Cook
(Mitchell Beazley, July)
What is the most essential kitchen tool?
Your senses. Visual, flavor, textural, and scent cues will
guide you through making a dish better than any stopwatch
or recipe will.
What is the toughest skill to master?
Adapting or changing baking recipes is pretty tough to do
well. Once you the hang of basic baking it becomes a bit less
daunting to swap ingredients around, but it can still be
tricky to get right.
What’s a tip you always give a novice cook?
Read all the way through a recipe before starting. It’s
always useful to see whether you’ll need to watch a video
beforehand if there are special skills needed. You can also
then see if the recipe requires a large amount of waiting
time, like chilling it in the fridge for an hour, so you don’t
get caught out later. You’re also less likely to mess a recipe
up as you won’t accidentally skip a step.