The kitchen can be an intimidating place for those who don't know whether they should blanch, braise, or broil. But not everyone can afford to go out whenever they want to eat well! So how does the hopeful cook learn to create delicious cuisine? In this cookbook, professional caterer and cooking expert Lauren Braun Costello gives the gourmet wannabe plenty of food for thought, including how to: Organize the kitchen to maximize space and accessibility; Stock the pantry with essential tools and ingredients; Master the ten techniques every home chef should know; Whip up classic recipes, adapted to different palates and skill levels; Use lingo you've always wondered about (what is coulis, anyway?). Starting with the most basic skills and building to advanced techniques, this culinary compendium serves up a complete A-to-Z course that starts out al dente and finishes with some zest!