(One of Library Journal's Ten Best Books of 2013) In his James Beard Award-winning The Omnivore's Dilemma, as well as In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan told us where our food comes from and which foods were truly good for us, socially as well as nutritionally; here he explores the steps between pantry and plate. Pollan discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements-fire, water, air, and earth-under a succession of culinary masters, who teach him how to grill over flame, cook with liquids, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer. The cook, Pollan assays, occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture; both realms are transformed by cooking, and so, in the process, is the cook.
"Having described what's wrong with American food in his best-selling The Omnivore's Dilemma, New York Times contributor Pollan delivers a more optimistic but equally fascinating account of how to do it right.... A delightful chronicle of the education of a cook who steps back frequently to extol the scientific and philosophical basis of this deeply satisfying human activity."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)