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Prepare to Cook: Basic Cooking Skills Illustrated Step-by-step Hardcover – 10 Nov 1981

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Eurobook Ltd (10 Nov. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0856546321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0856546327
  • Product Dimensions: 28 x 21.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,247,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The cook book that tells you what recipe books leave out.
Hundreds of clear step-by-step drawings and instructions explain all stages of food preparation, from peeling an onion to boning a chicken, from rolling out pastry to decorating gorgeous gateaux. Nothing, not even how to boil an egg, is taken for granted. Once you know the right way to prepare different ingredients, good results are easy to obtain. This book shows you how to cook the professional way and will enable you to use any recipe with confidence and success. Illustrated throughout with line drawings and with over 80 specially commissioned colour photographs.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Mar. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mary Cadogan's 'Prepare to Cook' is by far the most user-friendly cookbook I have ever read. Absolutely every cooking eventuality is covered here from how to peel a carrot to the best way to make a souffle including several techniques, styles and methods for each 'recipe'. There is extensive information about all the food groups, which includes preparation and storage. Each method is illustrated very clearly with simple drawings step by step and a section dedicated to what might go wrong and why. I've bought many cookery books over the years lured by their glossy photographs and 'simple cooking' claims but the cover of my 'Prepare to Cook' book is well and truly dog-eared from over use while my glossy books gather dust! A very happy customer.
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By Norman on 15 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had this given to me when I started a place of my own, and it has proved invaluable ever since. Boiling an egg, different pastries, boning a chicken, pancakes. It is the perfect aid-memoir/reference for the kitchen. All my family (wife, children, and myself) use it as needed. It is also a great 'new house' present for someone starting out on their own.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By D. Blankenship - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A few years ago I found this one in the local library. It was first published in Europe in 1981 and then in the United States in 1984. It is the U.S. Edition that I am reviewing here.

Now I said that this was a library find and that is true. It is also true that over the past couple of years I have checked it out numerous times and apparently so have quite a number of other people recently as it is about to fall apart. What a pity - not that a lot of people are using it, or that the book is falling apart; no, it is a pity because I fear I may have to break down and buy my own copy soon and to be quite honest with you I am one of those people who make Lincoln squeal in pain before I release him. Well, a guy's go to do what a guy's got to do....

A very good thing (for the most part) is happening across the country at this time. More and more people are beginning to cook from "scratch." I say for the "most part" because, in general, scratch cooking simply tastes better and is more often than not more health. But there is a down side to this new wave, back to basics, old timey cooking; it is called ignorance. Skills which were once common have been lost in just one and two generations. Unless specific training has been received, i.e. of the kind professional chefs make their living with, the skills used in the preparation of the thing we eat is sorely lacking.

Well, that is what his book is all about - Preparation! This is not a recipe book. No, it's a book which gives the reader precise and far diverse skills as how to prepare the ingredients that go into the recipes the cook is attempting to prepare, present and eat. The best recipe in the world can be completely ruined in a wink with the poor preparation of the ingredients.

This work pretty well covers it all. From stocks for soup to the proper handling and use of herbs and spices, from the precise preparation of fish and shellfish to the boiling and broiling of meat of all kinds (including wild game); the preparation of offal (something you don't often find in American cookbooks, to the handling of pastries and pastas and fruits, vegetables, cheeses, stuffing and is all here folks.

We get a very good overview of the purpose and use of various kitchen utensils and storage containers. Hot puddings, cold puddings, steaks, chops, lamb, beef, port and several not so well know critters...its all covered.

This work is actually a lot larger than the stated 196 pages as it is an over sized book and not one inch of page space is wasted. The book is enhanced by 1500 illustrations which include 80 full-color photographs. The author takes you through each process step by step with a very readable text and very detailed illustrations.

I cannot think of a better resource for the home cook. I doubt seriously that anyone who is a nonprofessional chef will not learn a great deal from this work and it is a book that should be in ever kitchen. This is the sort of book that, while not intended for the beginner, should never the less be in the beginners hand. When the novice cook chooses a new recipe to try, using this book in tandem with the normal recipe book will make things so much easier, teach the new cook the right way to do things and above all, produce some fine eating.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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