It’s a must-have for aspiring home cooks. 

By Dawn Perry
Updated April 05, 2017
Artisan Books

This week on Facebook Live, I’m talking shop with Alison Cayne, owner of Haven’s Kitchen, a cooking school, café and event space in New York City. Together we’re cooking a few of Ali’s favorite recipes to help celebrate the release of her new cookbook, The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen.

So many people come to me and ask what book they should buy if they want to “learn how to cook.” Until now, there really hasn’t been a book I could point them towards, but my advice has always been the same: You can’t learn to cook until you learn how to confidently attack a recipe. Like any creative endeavor (dance, playing the piano, maybe juggling) you have to a) learn the basics and b) just start. Too often home cooks jump in the deep end, trying their hand at court bouillon or homemade pie dough—both easy with practice, but intimidating for a novice. Ali’s book offers a range of approachable recipes to help inspire and encourage the aspiring home cook to get into the kitchen and just do it.

Check us out on Facebook, where we’ll be making a refreshing Thai Cabbage Slaw featuring a super simple Fish Sauce Vinaigrette. Don’t worry: a healthy dose of brown sugar and lime juice balance the salty sauce’s assertive flavor. To go with it, we’ll also make Chilled Vermicelli Salad With Sweet Chili Sauce. We’re throwing in a chicken to make it a meal, but you could certainly add roasted tofu or pork for a different spin. The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School is packed with smart recipes for versatile salads, sauces, and dressings like these, plus lessons on grains and beans, soups, desserts, eggs, and more. With options to mix and match recipes to suit your mood, you’ll cook what and how you like. And that, my friends, is the point.