For the rank beginner, bride or bachelor, some elementary advice and assorted recipes that will make you look like a veteran chef--well, maybe. Chalmers assumes culinary virginity and begins by itemizing kitchen equipment, explaining roasting vs. frying, and giving soothing suggestions on how to keep cool when the sauce curdles. Hettich, editor of Family Circle, skips the preliminaries and plunges in with abandon. (""To be perfectly honest, I'm a terrible cook when left on my own."") Fortunately he's not on his own, and having culled a recipe or two from various chefs, restaurants, and food editors, he can replicate Craig Claiborne's chili, Perla Meyer's cassoulet, and John Clancy's cheesecake. In the hands of a novice the recipes may not yield quite the same results, but there are many really simple items here--like hamburgers. Chalmers has a tendency to veer towards such posh morsels as avocado and crab meat, but the recipes are simple and there are useful illustrations of deveining shrimp, carving beef, etc. Plus chapters on such intimidating matters as quiche lorraine, crepes, and souffles. At the very least, an alternative to Colonel Sanders.