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Cheese (Williams-Sonoma): The Definitive Guide to Cooking with Cheese Hardcover – Mar 2011

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Hardcover, Mar 2011
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
If you love cheese you might love it even more with after reading this book 28 April 2011
By Timothy B. Riley - Published on
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Like many people, I LOVE cheese, all kinds of cheese but especially aged goat chesses and just about any blue cheese. I like to share my passion for quality cheeses with my guests but I was looking for some different ways to present and serve it other than the traditional, omnipresent cheese platter. When I saw this book by Williams Sonoma I pre-ordered it right away and I am very glad that I did.

First I would like to start by saying that I have never been disappointed by a Williams Sonoma cookbook and unlike a few of their other series this is a full sized book jammed packed with lots of recipes. This book not only covers serving cheese but also cooking with it. It is divided into these chapters:

* INTRODUCTION - This section includes: a history of cheese; a very brief introduction to the different types of cheese; wine and cheese, and beer and cheese pairings.

* THE CHEESE COURSE - This chapter pairs wonderful cheeses with appropriate finger foods such as: Seasonal plates; Beer friendly cheese plates including Stilton, Walnuts and dried fruits; Artichoke hearts with citrus zest; Oven roasted tomatoes with goat cheese or Teleme; and my favorie, Sherried figs with blue or hard aged cheeses such as Jack or Parmigiano-Reggiano.

* STARTERS - Where the cheese course featured fresh or lightly prepared foods served along side each other, Starters marries the ingredients a little further by mixing, cooking, or warming them. Includes: Burrata with grilled bread and Heirloom tomatoes; Warm dates with Parmesan and walnuts; and Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Ricotta

* SOUPS AND SALADS - There are some great recipes here, including: Cheddar and Ale soup with crispy shallots; Greens with artisanal cheeses and charcuterie; and Waldorf salad with Blue cheese.

* MAINS - In addition to the expected cheese Fondue, a Fontina, chard and green olive Frittata, and a Cheese Lover's Burger there are some more unexpected treats, such as Agnlini with goat cheese, peas and herbs; and Lamb Kebads with warm Feta, grilled tomato and eggplant.

* SIDES - Here are side dishes for every occasion, such as: Roasted winter squash puree with Blue cheese; and Smashed fingerings with Formage Blanc.

* DESSERTS - A great chapter with a wonderful mix of the sweet and savory, including: Red wine-poached pears with Gorgonzola; Lemon Cheesecake; and Plum Tarlets with ginger and chevre.

Some of the recipes (all by well known cookbook author Georgeanne Brennan) are standards, but others are very innovative and quite contemporary. I have made quite a few of them and found the instructions to be well written and the techniques very approachable for cooks with various skill levels.

The photography, by the beautiful San Francisco based photographer Maren Caruso, is excellent and very enticing. The dishes are not overly styled to the point where they look more like advertisements than real food. The lighting is realistic, warm and friendly and her shooting techniques are varied enough that they hold your attention throughout the book. Like all Williams-Sonoma books there are photos for almost all of the dishes, something which I know is costly for the publisher but that I really enjoy seeing.

If you love cheese but feel a little perplexed when looking at all that a good cheese store has to offer and silently wonder to yourself about what to buy and then what to do with it, you might want to give this book a try. It goes on the top shelf of my cookbook collection and should become a classic.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
More Sophisticated Ways to Enjoy Cheese 26 Mar. 2012
By H. Roth - Published on
My love of cheese is long-standing. Each year I find more varieties of cheese to enjoy. When I saw a new cookbook all about cheese, I was pleased to have a chance to get my hands on a copy. With the publication being part of basically a series or established brand, my expectations were a bit low. Thankfully, I found a variety of things to like in the book.

First I appreciate an obvious quality of the book. Paperback cookbooks cost less but they wear out faster. This book by Georgeanne Breannan is solid, heavy, and durable. The thick pages will hold up to a lot of use. At a manageable retail price this is a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

I also enjoyed the author's expertise: she raised goats, collected milk and made cheese. As a result you get additional education that goes beyond the basics. I've been cooking with wide-ranging ingredients for many years. This book brought some cheeses to make attention that revealed my under-exposure.

On a similar note, one of the hidden jewels in this book lurks far to the back of the volume. On page 205 is a pithy explanation of combinations recommended for different kinds of cheese. In a sense this part of the book summarizes the recipe experiences from a different perspective. The advantage is you can take this brief, well-crafter summary and make your own combinations based on what you have or what's in season.

The photographs are well-done and helpful for completing your own version of each recipe. The photographer has provided illustrative shots for even award winning cookbooks. It's well known that the visual appeal of food is equally important. The images in the book contribute to the inspiration to complete many of the recipes.

A number of the options are dishes to pair with cheese. After making a number of the recipes it was one of these that stood out as the favorite. The "Warm Marinated Olives" won our hearts--my husband isn't even an olive fan so his choice was the strong swing-vote. Check out my blog to see the featured recipe from this cookbook in the following weeks.

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Never Disappoints 26 May 2011
By Beachgirl - Published on
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With all the local artisan cheese makers here in Northern California this book suits perfect. And all the wineries that compliment the cheese. Georgeanne is a wonderful cook and her recipes are easy to make. LOVE IT!
good deal 24 Jun. 2014
By Cheryle Acuna - Published on
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I love all of the William and Sonoma cook books.. has a great selection of cheese buy the other international cookbooks too
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful book with wonderful pictures. 28 Dec. 2012
By Jill - Published on
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I always love Williams-Sonoma cookbooks for their pictures and attention to detail. This was no different. The array of cheeses and recipes were wonderful.
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