The Project


A couple years ago I was given a copy of The Gourmet Cookbook. Prior to the arrival of The Book my kitchen repertoire was heavy on the student staples, and big batch cooking I could eat for most of a week. I wasn’t really taking the time to think through what I was making or how it would taste, counting on intuition and luck to create something worth serving. This led to four quarts of marginally edible “curry” more times than I care to recall.

At the time The Book came into my life it was one of only four cookbooks I owned, and after making a few dishes from it I realized it was far and away the best of them. My parents are longtime Gourmet Magazine subscribers, and in our house The Magazine was always the go to source for special dinners, or shakeups of the weeknight dinner routine. I’d been out on my own for a while before The Book came to me, and I was ready for a shakeup of my culinary world. I decided that not only would I become a kitchen wizard, I’d teach myself by preparing every one of the 1000+ recipes in The Book and blogging about it.

Of course, there are shakeups and there are shakeups. I was soon informed that my brilliant idea had been scooped by Julie Powell who had already done this to Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking ( buy it! ) only she did the whole thing in a year. My blogging dreams deflated. However, my desire to explore the possibilities of my kitchen didn’t.

Since the summer of 2006 I’ve been cooking my way through The Book, and although I won’t finish it in a year, I will prepare every single recipe. At last count I had 70 done, and couldn’t think of a good reason not to be blogging about this project, so I’m planning to write up the backlog, as well as new dishes as they’re prepared.



I'm a graduate student in Montreal. I spend most of my time studying drug addiction using brain imaging techniques. I'm also a foodie, exploring the culinary world both in and out of my kitchen.

4 replies on “Genesis”

My Goodness. Good for her! This is a personal project, and not a competition however. The pleasure is in the doing, not the outdoing.

Wow, I was just reading through the three Gourmet cook-through blogs, and yours is my favorite to date.

If I ever get bored enough I’ll collate the results from all three/four? of you, and determine which recipes make the top ones. That’ll save me from sad experiments and see how much agreement there is amongst the bloggers.

Cheers to fellow Canadian!

Thanks so much Tatiana!

I’ve been thinking about setting up a system to scrape the other cooker’s ratings and add them to the bottom of my posts for comparisons, also providing links to their posts on the subject. Teena and Adam provide letter grades for their recipes, while Melissa doesn’t formally rate them, so I’m not sure how to integrate her recipes into Gourmet: The Meta-Analysis. If I were to set something like that up I’d want to pull in the ratings from Epicurious too.

In general it seems like we Gourmet cookers agree a good part of the time. We all have our biases (Teena hates bitter greens, I love them, I’ll never give a celery based recipe a high score, most other people aren’t that hung up about it) but in general we run into a lot of the same difficulties, and have been really blown away by the same dishes.

I hope you continue to enjoy The Project.

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