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You may recall that last week I reviewed The Complete Baking book for young chefs. Today I’m reviewing a another cookbook, another chance for young chefs to showcase their skills in culinary arts. The Munchy, munch cookbook for kids covers a broader range of cooking for
What I am Reviewing
The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids: essential skills and recipes for every young chef.
Pierre A. Lamielle.
Todd Patterson (photographer)
170 pages, 8-13 years,
Received: Hardcover, spiral book.
Young chefs, cooking for kids, cookbook, recipes,
Reviewed for Raincoast books.
What makes good food taste good? A team of tastes and flavors of course!
Fun illustrations and quirky characters bring the kitchen to life. Join Pierre Lamielle on a kitchen adventure as he introduces you to the Munchy Munchy Gang, a team of characters here to educate kids on the art of cooking and the range of flavors they’ll encounter. Learn how to make over 28 different recipes, including ketchup, pancakes, and other kid favorites with simple instructions and illustrations for every step. Pierre’s characters make complex cooking theories, like balancing the five tastes, accessible to kids of all ages. The perfect manual for a budding chef!
The Details of Munchy, Munchy Cookbook
The Munchy Munchy Cookbook for Kids is a bright, colourful book with loads of images in a lay-flat format. The lay-flat format makes it even easier for young chefs to learn new skills, without having to fight with bookpages.
This is a VERY helpful book with all kinds of neat tips. In fact the book starts off with a whole section on knives, working with heat, and dealing with germs. I’m a decent cook and I even learned a few things here. Then as you work through recipes you find additional tips for making you a better chef (regardless of how old you are).
Sometimes the tips are straight up pages, spelling out exactly what you need to do and be careful of. Other pages mix the tips in with how to make a recipe. Folding an calzone, breaking up a squash, or flattening a pork chop.
Throughout this cookbook for kids you’ll find helpful characters interwoven throughout. Sal, Ragu, Pepper, Salty, Bitter, Sour, Sage, Rose, Sweet, Bean, Umani and Ziti. These characters can be found talking to each other.
I had to get past these characters. As helpful as they were, they struck me overly childish. I asked my 14 year what he would have thought of a cookbook. His initial reaction was much like mine… Cartoon characters to help me cook? No thanks! As I encouraged him to look deeper, he agreed with me that, even though he didn’t like the cartoon aspect, he did find the step by step instructions helpful.
It’s one of the things I like the most in Munchy, munch cookbook for kids, are the clearly delineated instructions. They lay them out in a way that I love when recipes do this. Step one.. Do this, then for step two add these ingredients (and listing them off with the amounts needed). Then do this, then add these next ingredients listed off. Until you have completed the recipe. Having the ingredients listed all separated from the the directions is sometimes inconvenient. So helping out young chefs by setting it up like this makes it easy to learn.
There are things I would change. Like in the above recipe, I wouldn’t ask children to use an ice cream scoop for cookie batter, I would just say use a soup or dinner spoon. Why make things more complicated? And many households might not have an ice cream scoop, I know we don’t.
If the young chefs are anything like my lad when he was gaining confidence not having an implement would have completely thrown him off. I would have heard “MOM! HELP! What do I do? How big is an ice cream scoop? How do I know how big to make it? What can I use instead?”
Despite my initial hesitations, I like this cookbook. I think it meets it’s objectives well, teaching children the essential skills they need to master cooking. I love the variety of meals young chefs are taught. Cookies, salds, soup, pancakes, wraps, and more.
The clear instructions are a winner. The excellent colour used throughout, whether it be photographs, white space, or the cartoon drawings. It all works well to draw the eye in a sequential manner.
The tips and techniques throughout are wonderful. I really appreciated that I learned a better way to do things as I read through. I now know how to cook schnitzel the proper way! See… old dogs can learn new tricks!
So whether you are old or young, but particularly if you have young chefs in your life, reach out for The Munchy, munchy cookbook for kids. They will learn and gain confidence, and make your life easier in the kitchen!