Few food books are as beloved and influential -- especially among chefs -- as On Food and Cooking
by Harold McGee
. Subtitled The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
, the book explains, in utterly lucid prose, what foods actually are, chemically speaking, and why they behave why they do when cooked. Among its many virtues, On Food and Cooking exposes several pernicious kitchen myths such as the belief that browning food "seals in" flavor and juices.
(I keep a very well-thumbed copy here at my desk at Gut Check International Headquarters.)
In November, McGee, who also writes the Curious Cook column for the New York Times
, will publish a new book, Keys to Good Cooking: A guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes
. The publisher describes this book as written "for the many readers looking for straightforward, accurate advice that they could apply to any recipe and in any kitchen conundrum."
In support of the new book, McGee will appear in St. Louis on Tuesday, November 16. The event, during which McGee will be interviewed by St. Louis chefs, is sponsored by Left Bank Books
and will be held at Mad Art Gallery
(2727 12th Street).