On Christmas day, I received a totally unexpected and mind-boggling gift: an email alerting me that my 2001 cookbook A New Way to Cook is included on the Guardian’s “The Best Food Books of the Decade” list. It is such an honor; please bear with me for tooting horns and telling a tale. From UK foodwriter Richard Ehrlich:

“This is the intelligent person’s guide to healthy cooking. The New York based Schneider has rethought the culinary use of fats, sugar etc from the ground up, and this vast book is all about how to go on using them but using a bit less by deploying techniques that maximise their impact. One of the few truly original cookbooks of the last decade; I wish it had made more of a splash on this side of the pond.”

A New Way to Cook is where I first starting testing the idea of writing recipes that encouraged readers to improvise (with some sometimes radical techniques I’d improvised for cooking healthfully); it took nine years to bring to publication (a long story)… The theme of improvisational cooking resonated so strongly with people that

I decided to write a book JUST about that,  The Improvisational Cook. And that book eventually led to ‘the improvised life’, which expands the idea of improvising to everyday living (the same principals apply).

So I guess the backstory of this wonderful honor is the evolution of an idea, slowly, with lots of ups-and-downs over many years…a zig-zag path whose outcome I couldn’t imagine when I started…

I am still being surprised.

*You can find hardcover editions of A New Way to Cook (now out-of-print) with it’s wild striped jacket, through Amazon’s resellers. To explore A New Way to Cook, poke around Google Reader or sallyschneider.net.


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7 replies on “‘a new way to cook’ : “one of the decade’s best food books”!!

  1. I love this cookbook! Just added your blog to my bookmarks list and hadn’t realized that its author and that of the cookbook are one and the same! Will definitely vote for you over at apartment therapy – good luck!

  2. A well deserved honor! I almost never by cookbooks for recipes anymore; the internet is such a great source for those. I buy books that teach me about food and cooking, and yours is wonderful. I talk about it to other cooks all the time.


  3. I saw this as I make my way around your entries. It was this book and your subsequent one that led me to your site.

    I will not tell you how much i shamefully paid for it at the used dollar bookstore.

    It is however the only cookbook that i actually read cover-to-cover . and i paid full price for your next book btw. (ok i read julia child’s mastering vol 1 in there somewhere, but it was over time)

    Keep up the inspriational work and thank you.

  4. Thank you SO much for your words. I’m very happy that my books landed in your kitchen, and heart.

  5. Just love your cookbook – have learned so much from it!

  6. With the loss of 30 lbs, increasing my exercise, and cooking fairly gourmet-ish meals and baking luscious desserts, all the while using the expected copious amounts of butter and sugar for the desserts, etc., and still maintaining a solid weight loss regardless, I recently experienced an uptick in my cholesterol.

    So I’ve decided to adapt–I plan to cut back on certain things, at first using my new American Heart Assn’s LOW FAT! LOW CHOLESTEROL COOKBOOK to tweak things. Bought egg replacer and non-fat milk so breakfast will switch to healthier things from my usual butter-laden scone dough. Back to biking to work more often.

    My wife sent me a note about your book and I plan to take a look at it…sounds very interesting!

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