The Kitchen Counter Cooking School Book Summary - The Kitchen Counter Cooking School Book explained in key points
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The Kitchen Counter Cooking School summary

Kathleen Flinn

How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks

4.4 (39 ratings)
30 mins

Brief summary

"The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" by Kathleen Flinn is a non-fiction book that teaches kitchen basics to empower people to cook better and healthier meals at home. Flinn shares her experiences of starting a cooking class and shows readers how to shop, prep and cook like a pro.

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    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School
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    When we outsource cooking to corporations, we lose control over what we eat.

    Imagine you were going about your shopping when you realized that a woman was following you. Chef and food writer Kathleen Flinn was once this woman. When she found herself stalking a shopper in the supermarket, she was scared they would call security on her, but she couldn’t help herself. Transfixed, she watched as the tired-looking woman and her teenage daughter trudged around the supermarket, shoveling pre-made meals into their cart. Despite having a cart full of food, there was little nutritional value in what they were buying. 

    Flinn decided she had to intervene. After convincing the skeptical shopper that she wasn’t a stalker, she spent the next half hour leading her around the supermarket, showing her how everything she had in her trolley could be replaced by fresh, more affordable ingredients that she could easily learn to prepare herself. 

    The key message here is: When we outsource cooking to corporations, we lose control over what we eat.

    That day may have transformed how the woman shopped and thought about food. But it was even more transformative for Flinn. She realized that home cooks turn to prepackaged food because they have no confidence in their own skills. Instead, they outsource cooking to major corporations – thereby losing control of what they put in their own and their family’s bodies. 

    That day in the supermarket, Flinn decided to make it her mission to equip home cooks with the key skills and knowledge they would need to cook healthy, delicious meals. She put out a call on the radio for people who would be willing to allow her into their homes and pantries and then come along for a series of practical cooking lessons. She received dozens of emails, and she ultimately selected ten cooks to participate in her workshops.

    The participants were adults of all ages and came from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, from a wealthy psychologist in her sixties to a young, cash-strapped housewife with small kids to a young woman in her twenties living in student housing. They had one thing in common: they all described themselves as “poor cooks” and all subsisted primarily on heavily processed food. 

    The journey that followed allowed the participants not only to develop key skills in the kitchen but also to change their relationships with food fundamentally. 

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    What is The Kitchen Counter Cooking School about?

    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School (2011) is a practical guide to mastering the art of good home cooking. Kathleen Flinn set out to equip nine insecure home cooks with vital kitchen skills. They learned how to wield a knife confidently, roast a chicken, and bake a mean loaf of bread. But even more importantly, they learned to value food and to make conscious choices about what they ate and how they shopped for food. In these blinks, Flinn compiles the key lessons from her workshops to inspire any home cook.

    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School Review

    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School (2011) by Kathleen Flinn is a book that every aspiring home cook should read. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • With its practical approach to cooking, it equips readers with the skills and knowledge they need to confidently prepare delicious meals from scratch.
    • Blending personal stories and expert advice, the book offers a captivating narrative that keeps readers engaged throughout their culinary journey.
    • By highlighting the importance of kitchen confidence and creativity, the book inspires readers to step outside their culinary comfort zone and embrace their inner chef.

    Who should read The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    • Aspirational cooks who want to wow their friends with new recipes 
    • Tired parents looking for quick, healthy recipes to feed the kids after a long day at work 
    • Anyone interested in how to live – and eat – in a more ethical, sustainable way

    About the Author

    Kathleen Flinn is the best-selling author of the memoirs The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, which details her experiences as an aspiring chef at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school, and Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good – an intergenerational memoir about the importance of food in her family. She is also a prolific contributor to publications such as Smithsonian, USA Weekend, and Globe and Mail. When she’s not writing about food, she teaches others to make it in her popular cooking workshops.

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    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    The main message of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School is that anyone can learn to cook delicious meals using simple techniques and fresh ingredients.

    How long does it take to read The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    The reading time for The Kitchen Counter Cooking School varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Kitchen Counter Cooking School a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Kitchen Counter Cooking School is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on kitchen skills, and encourages confidence in the kitchen.

    Who is the author of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    The author of The Kitchen Counter Cooking School is Kathleen Flinn.

    What to read after The Kitchen Counter Cooking School?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Kitchen Counter Cooking School, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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