Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

Books for Cooks: The Best of 2001

By RUSS PARSONS, Times Food Editor

“The Last Course,” Claudia Fleming with Melissa Clark (Random House, $40)

“Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table,” Mai Pham (HarperCollins, $27.50)

“Zarela’s Veracruz,” Zarela Martinez with Anne Mendelson (Houghton Mifflin, $35)

“Simple French Cooking,” Georges Blanc and Coco Jobard (Sterling, $29.95)

“Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen,” Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall (10 Speed Press, $29.95)

Even for those who love to eat Korean food in restaurants, there is something vaguely mysterious about the cooking. While the flavors in Vietnamese and Thai dishes seem relatively transparent and easy to figure out, Korean is complex and unfamiliar. Aggravating that situation has been a relative dearth of Korean cookbooks. Until now, that is. “Growing Up in a Korean Kitchen” is part memoir, part travelogue, part recipe book–and wholly satisfying. Hepinstall, a novelist, was educated in Korea but has lived abroad for many years. The book helps you sort your way through the Korean marketplace, familiarizes you with fundamental cooking techniques and introduces you to the way flavors are built into the cuisine.

“Recipes From Home,” David Page and Barbara Shinn (Artisan, $30)

“Vegetables From Amaranth to Zucchini,” Elizabeth Schneider (William Morrow, $60)

“In the Sweet Kitchen,” Regan Daley (Artisan, $35)

“Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian,” Editors of Saveur Magazine (Chronicle, $40)

“The Paris Cookbook,” Patricia Wells (HarperCollins, $30)

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Copyright 2002 Los Angeles Times