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Cookbook for 13-year-old

SallyC's picture

I've read the responses to the question about an appropriate cookbook for a 20 yr. old beginning cook with interest.  What would you recommend for a 13 yr old beginning cook who (at this point in time) aspires to be a chef?


Canuck's picture

My 13-year-old chose a Donna Hay book (I think it was desserts) for herself. She loved the photos and the descriptions. I can't say that she's made much from it though. I think a subscription or a specific type of book (e.g., baking) might be a better choice.

StevenHB's picture

I think that you'd need to tell us something about the 13-year-old's current ability before you could get a good answer.

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Jean's picture

My most often used cookbook as a beginner was the Betty Crocker one.  Simple but reliable recipes.

Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook

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SallyC's picture

Sarah - the 13 yr. old - does have some basic cooking skills.  For Thanksgiving dinner, for example, she made a very good apple crisp.  I don't think she has much experience with savory dishes other than, perhaps, a few basic sides.  A subscription is a good idea and I may include that with a book.  There's just something about a first cookbook....

Rae's picture

Abby Dodge has a cookbook for kids. Around the World I think is the name. Interesting information on different countries and their cooking.

LuciaK's picture

There is a Williams-Sonoma cookbook for kids that is really well done, with lots of pictures, basic cooking info, and the recipes are geared towards food that children can prepare for their families.

Someone gave my daughter the Rachael Ray Cooking Rocks cookbook for kids and I abhor it. The artwork is third-rate cartoony stuff, there are no pictures of the food, the text is filled with exclamation marks and Rach's nonsense cooking slang. Plus, there is no index and recipe titles are along the lines of "Totally Awesome French Fries."

I think for a 13 year old aspiring chef, assuming some level of skill, deserves a serious cookbook along the lines of "Joy of Cooking." Ruhlman's "Elements of Cooking" and "Making of a Chef" would also be great for someone interested in culinary school.

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Jillsifer's picture

My son (who was 14 on Sunday) has done well with the basic, red-and-white-checked Better Homes and Gardens book. It doesn't get too fancy and doesn't contain a lot of theory and discussion. It presents simple recipes with step-by-step instructions that yield good results.

We have older (1959-ish) and newer (1996 or so?) copies of the same book (they keep reissuing it and it's fun to see what changes). He's enjoyed comparing food trends in the two books, and I've been interested to see that the phrasing in the older book presumes reader familiarity with terms such as "braise" and "proof the yeast." The newer one avoids most of those terms, which I find a bit sad, but the upside of that is it offers a quick start for a beginning cook.




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teebee's picture

Abby Dodge has a few kids cookbooks out-- Around the World is her newest, I think. She has one called "The Kid's Cookbook," and it's good. There are several pages in the front with detailed explanations and pictures of the terms (I've learned a thing or two). I bought the book to use in a kids' cooking class at my church. There are some recipes in several different categories (appetizers, dinner, snacks, baking), but it's not overwhelming. I had gotten a Rachel Ray kids' cookbook, and it was mostly about preparing (cutting up and arranging snacks, no real food).

I ordered the books from Amazon (I also have her kids' baking book). They would be a nice combination gift.

MadMom's picture

Abbie Dodge has a great kids' cppkbook out, but curiously enough the one from Ratatouille was not at all bad.  Got it for my grandson who is only 6, but the cookbook doesn't have the usual "kiddy" recipes in it.  It has bread, actual ratatouille, and other neat stuff.  Probably depends on the cooking the child has done.

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