Review: “Elliot’s Extraordinary Cookbook” by Christina Björk and Lena Anderson

For the love of books

Christina Björk and Lena Anderson composed a unique reference book together.  Combining a fictional story with recipes and culinary information, the author, Björk, and the illustrator, Anderson, manifested their knowledge via the main character, a boy named Elliot.

Elliot is the narrator of Elliot’s Extraordinary Cookbook, which was translated from Swedish into English by Joan Sandin.  After meeting a neighbor during peculiar circumstances, Elliot becomes immersed in the culinary arts.  Stella is more than just a neighbor—she is also a former cook.  Her instruction convinces Elliot to start experimenting in the kitchen with his own ideas.  Doing scientific research on occasion, the characters introduce simple recipes for baking bread, scones, and cinnamon rolls as well as for cooking delicious entrées and side dishes.  Food is appreciated as a precious energy source that is often taken for granted.  This book demonstrates that the culinary arts are open to a chef’s imagination, talent, and personal taste.

In Elliot’s Extraordinary Cookbook, only the basics of cooking and baking are explained.  As Elliot and his friends search for information unknown to their teacher, the motivated novice can follow-up with a more complex cookbook after this one to pursue the intermediate level of the culinary arts.  Interesting lessons and an unusual storyline confirm this cookbook to be not only extraordinary but also a true guide for any beginner.

Original review: A perfect cookbook for neophytes, Examiner.com

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