Book Review: ‘CookWise‘ by Shirley O. Corriher
by Jennifer A. Wickes
I first heard of the Shirley Corriher while watching a television show on the Food Network, ‘Cooking Live’ with Sara Moulton. The next week, I saw Shirley Corriher again on ‘Good Eats’ with Alton Brown. I suddenly wondered who was this Shirley O. Corriher? And why was she on everyone’s shows?
Shirley O. Corriher is a food scientist. What is that? A person who studies food from a scientific background. She is capable of reading a recipe and being able to tell if the recipe will work or not!
An example of what you could learn from reading this book is: If you were making a Caesar Salad Dressing, for example, and the recipe asked for Extra Virgin Olive Oil, then if you have read ‘CookWise‘, then you will know that the recipe will not work! Why? Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a property that will not allow it to emulsify!
Other information Corriher shares with her readers includes how to store foods as well as offering over 250 recipes!
Celebrity chefs hire Corriher so that she can help them figure out why their new recipes don’t work! She is also featured semi-regularly on the Alton Brown’s ‘Good Eats’ on the Food Network.
This book is excellent if you are interested in WHY you need to do something. I find it invaluable and give it credit for when I created my Strawberry Scone recipe. After I read this book, I realized that there is a component in red berries that makes them turn purple when cooking them. If you use buttermilk in a recipe, the berries will retain their bright red color.
The recipes contained within these pages are good, strong, basic recipes. I found them flavorful. But if you are looking for an artisit’s flair with your meals, it’s not here. Ms. Corriher is a scientist, not an artist. But with the content of this book, she can help you understand your recipes better, even possibly, help you create recipes too.
‘CookWise‘ is highly recommended. Rush out and buy your copy today! And look out for Shirley Corriher. She is known for traveling across the country teaching cooking classes!
‘CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed’
by Shirley O. Corriher William Morrow; (September 1997)
Hardcover: 544 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.60 x 10.32 x 8.27
This article was originally published at Suite 101.
Jennifer Wickes is the editor at ‘Cookbook Reviews’, ‘Foreign Films’
and ‘Cooking With The Seasons’, which has been voted to be one of the
Top 100 Culinary Sites on the Internet! For more information about
Jennifer Wickes or her columns, please go to: