An erratic introduction to cooking, with a picture for each step of each recipe, but in unattractive small print that is inconsistent with the copious illustration. The contradictions of the format prove indicative of the content. True to the beginners' level, Huang starts with boiling eggs, gives seven illustrated steps for cracking eggs, and includes recipes for boiled rice, hamburgers, a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich, and a sliced ham, cheese, and chicken sandwich. But his round-up treatment of potatoes glosses past french fries in a few words: ""Peel the baking potato and cut into thin slices or strips for deep ('French') frying. The oil has to be very hot."" The picture shows hands cutting the strips. No-where in the book has Huang mentioned how to deep fry, and nowhere has he included any cautions on cooking with oil. And despite the promise that these basics will prepare beginners for handling more advanced recipes found elsewhere, when Huang departs from such simple matters as scrambling eggs he's dishing up quick-gourmet gimmicks. (What else would you call scrambled eggs with crab-meat?) With several Chinese, French, and Italian dishes along with standard American ones, the international variety of Huang's selections is all to the good; the pot-luck nature of the instruction is less commendable.