JAMES BEARD AWARD WINNER • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER • GOOP COOKBOOK CLUB PICK • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker • Food52 • Library Journal
A modern approach to mastering the art of cooking at home from the food editor at large at Bon Appétit, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes.
The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins are an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music’s laid-back cooking style. The food editor at large at Bon Appétit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends and the joy she takes in feeding them. Here, too, is her guide to the six essential cooking methods that will show you how to make everything without over-complicating anything—and every recipe includes suggestions for swaps and substitutions, so you’ll never feel stuck or stymied.
Where Cooking Begins is also the first recent cookbook to connect the way we shop to the way we cook. Music’s modern approach—pick up your fresh ingredients a few times a week, and fill your pantry with staples bought online—will make you want to click on a burner and slide out a cutting board the minute you get home.
The no-fail techniques, textured recipes, and strategies in Where Cooking Begins will make you a great cook.
Praise for Where Cooking Begins
“An ideal tool kit to transform a timid cook into an adventurous and confident improviser.”—Helen Rosner, The New Yorker
“[Carla Lalli Music] is like everyone’s favorite aunt, the one who shows up and makes surprising things happen. Her superpower is that she believes in you as a cook. . . . Where Cooking Begins is her 250-page argument that you should believe in yourself, too.”—Julia Moskin, The New York Times
“Carla Lalli Music knows how to help with ingredients, strategy and technique, but most important of all, she understands how to help you become confident as a cook.”—Nigella Lawson
“A gorgeous new cookbook from Bon Appétit’s former food director Carla Lalli Music, Where Cooking Begins presents a beautiful guide to truly modern cooking. Laid back and built to share, these simple but sophisticated recipes are the kind you accidentally memorize and learn to live by.”—The Chalkboard
“If you loved Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, this is the next book for you.”—PureWow
About the Author
Carla Lalli Music is the food editor at large at Bon Appétit, where she oversaw the brand’s food and recipe content across all digital platforms. She writes frequently for the magazine and its websites—Bon Appétit online, Basically, and Healthyish—and was a frequent host on the Bon Appétit podcast and YouTube channel, where millions of subscribers tune in. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
"Carla Lalli Music, food director and columnist at Bon Appétit magazine, shares her inventive take on food shopping and cooking in this exciting and inviting collection. A gifted writer with a passion for cooking and a reverence for maintaining the integrity of ingredients, Music inspires readers to try her approach of in-person shopping for star ingredients to center meals around (shop small and often, she advises) while using online sources for shelf-stable staples to keep on hand...Home cooks looking to expand their repertoire with vibrant and easy meals need look no further than this remarkable, flavorsome new collection."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Carla Lalli Music knows the key ingredient in good cooking is enthusiasm. One of the things she does brilliantly in Where Cooking Begins is show you how to cultivate it. I love the way her savvy shopping know-how, streamlined sourcing tips, organizational smarts, and approachable recipes all come together in a single go-to volume. Most important? It's a book that triggers that 'let's cook right now' feeling!" —Heidi Swanson, author, Super Natural Cooking
"Where Cooking Begins is that rare book that truly makes you cook with confidence. With ninja skills, humor, and zero B.S., Carla nails it on every single page, instilling lessons that your hands—and heart—will remember forever." —Christine Muhlke, contributing editor, Bon Appétit
"Carla is the rare talent who combines a chef's sensibility with the mind-set of a busy mom—which means when it comes to dinner, simplicity is everything. Her flavor-packed meals, accompanied by no-nonsense guidance, will make you swoon. Keep this book next to your stove!" —Maria Speck, author, Simply Ancient Grains and Ancient Grains for Modern Meals
"Where Cooking Begins is like having an amazing cook for a best friend who lets you follow her around the kitchen all day. Carla is that friend. She speaks to you in simple terms, she shows you techniques that apply to not just one recipe but several—all delicious. She shows you how to walk right up to your fridge without fear and make a meal to impress family and friends. Her book is perfect for the novice, but you would also find it on the 'favorites' shelf of any accomplished home cook. Upon my first read, I started cooking immediately." —Jenni Konner, writer, producer, director, Girls and Camping
"This book is the next best thing to getting to hang out and cook with Carla. I've been a fan forever and have been waiting for this book." —Andrew Tarlow, coauthor, Dinner at the Long Table
"Carla has a way with cooking that's relaxing, approachable, and delicious. That style shines throughout the pages of her gorgeous cookbook. From how to stock a pantry to her six essential cooking methods to her brilliant suggestions for ingredient swaps that make everyday dishes adaptable with what you have on hand or simply what you love, Where Cooking Begins is the ultimate kitchen cookbook." —Tieghan Gerard, author, Half Baked Harvest Cookbook
"Carla Lalli Music has found a way to impart a failsafe formula for uncomplicated, adaptable, and delicious home cooking—the kind that lets you actually enjoy what you've cooked in the company of your friends and family at the table. No small feat! I've no doubt that Where Cooking Begins will become a dog-eared go-to in my kitchen." —Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; founder, Shake Shack; and author, Setting the Table
"Yes, Carla Lalli Music is Bon Appétit's food director, but she's also a working mother who understands the real-life demands of shopping and cooking for a family. Thanks to both of those roles, she serves up recipes you not only want to make but can make." —Adam Rapoport, editor in chief, Bon Appétit
"Carla's strikingly easygoing approach to cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins allows every type of cook to learn something new. It's a must-have." —Ignacio Mattos, coauthor, Estela