Using a method called “Skills, Terms And Cooking Know-how,” this resource focuses more on developing cooking skills rather than mastering individual recipes.
Each STACK lesson feature dishes that highlight skills a young chef needs to learn. For instance, the recipe for French toast provides instruction on measuring ingredients, working with eggs, and flipping food with a spatula. Individual lessons are highly visual, filled with photographs designed to guide chefs step by step from ingredient selection to preparation to finished product. A second recipe then challenges chefs to prepare another dish using the same techniques but with less prompting. A final recipe invites chefs to prepare a simple treat as a reward for a job well done. While the pedagogy seems solid, the simple concept of teaching skills rather than recipes is unfortunately muddied by overdesign. The busy pages are simply filled with too many images and details. Moreover, rich desserts, heavy sauces, and meat-focused recipes put into question the assertion that this resource will teach young chefs how to eat more healthfully. An accompanying DVD and a companion website offer a wealth of further information for anyone interested in learning how to cook.
A strong but flawed teaching tool. (Nonfiction. 7-11)