Marianne Magnier-Moreno is a culinary consultant to the restaurant trade. She lives in Paris.
This is a series by various authors with complete (and I mean complete) step-by-step and how-to colour photos to describe every conceivable step in every conceivable process. Each with 70 to 97 recipes. These books are extremely clear in presentation, right down to photos of egg yolks (with every other ingredient) so you don't accidentally reach for, say, Palmolive dishwashing soup when you should be making Bearnaise sauce. Some might think the series is too dumbed-down but, at only $25 a copy, I think these books are perfect for entry-level cooks who want to move beyond Kraft Dinner to discover that homemade lasagna does not always have to be made with dried gypsum board. I'd be tempted to give the whole set as a gift to the right person.-- (11/25/2010) My Cooking Class: Middle Eastern Basics is filled with mouthwatering photos of each dish at every step in its preparation. The images are crisp and will most certainly inspire a cook to search out fresh, beautiful ingredients, whether for the Lamb and Prune Tagine or the Seven-Vegetable Couscous.-- (01/01/2011) Middle Eastern Basics...covers a lot of ground. Appetizers from humus to spinach dip. Soups and sauces from lentil soup to tarator sauce. Side dishes from couscous to rice pilaf. Meats from roasted lamb to shish kebab. Fish from stuffed trout to monkfish tagine. Desserts from date and walnut cake to rice pudding.-- (11/25/2010) Owing to the popularity of food-focused TV programming, the effective arrangement of the "My Cooking Class" series (which also includes Steaming, Chocolate, Middle Eastern, and Pasta Basics) will have you wondering why it has taken cookbooks so long to get visual. Beyond a one-page preface, an ingredient index, and concisely measured instructions, you won't find much text here, but this does not mean the books lack detail. Each recipe is pictured step-by-step with the crisply reductive clarity of a minimalist still life.... This series of stripped-down pictorials worth a thousand words is the missing link between elementally vague text-based cookbooks and video instruction you can't slow down enough or take into the kitchen. Elegant design you can't help but devour. Highly recommended for all experience levels.-- (01/01/2011) This series includes books on Pasta, Vegetable, Chocolate, Sauce, Steaming, Middle Eastern, and Indian Basics. Each book includes 60-100 recipes, each with not just an image of the finished product, but photos of every step. Perfect for the family chef, foodie, or cookbook collector.-- (01/03/2013)