Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from “The Cook You Want to Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress” (Ten Speed Press), by Andy Baraghani, who started his cooking career in the kitchen at Chez Panisse and went on to become a food writer and recipe developer at Saveur and Bon Appetit. Baraghani, an Iranian immigrant raised in Berkeley, introduces home cooks to new flavors, tools and techniques that will develop their skills. The book’s 120 recipes are interspersed with tips, pantry essentials and reminiscences, including this one:
When I was too young to drive, my mother and I did weekly grocery errands together. My mom was a Lancôme lady for more than 20 years; I thought of her as the Isabella Rossellini of the Macy’s counter. I’m biased, but my mother is beautiful, with just the littlest bit of an accent, like the face of Trésor, Isabella herself. In my mind, my mom spent her days off thinking about food and looking for the best ingredients, just as I do. Although, to her credit, she clearly had a lot more to worry about than what to cook.