Byron's New Home Cooking: 110 Recipes for Busy Cooks with Demanding Palates


241 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-670-84749-6
DDC 641.5




Illustrations by Nick Vitacco
Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



Quick and exotic are the operative words for the 100-plus recipes in
this eclectic collection. The author’s background includes cooking for
movie stars, running a restaurant, and many years as a food critic. In
this book, he draws on all these experiences to present recipes based on
international classics, streamlined for the North American market
(extravagant with ingredients, stingy with prep time, and requiring
absolutely no complicated procedures). Ayanoglu is convinced that people
want to stay at home in the 1990s rather than go out to eat, so he’s
giving us do-it-yourself versions of restaurant food.

Ayanoglu operates according to two maxims: (i) cooking must be both
fast and fun, and (ii) everything tastes better if it is slightly

There’s a extensive introduction that gives a colorful account of the
author’s preferences in cooking oils, herbs, tomatoes, pans, stoves,
and so on, and a run-down on the key ingredients from China, Thailand,
Japan, and India used in the recipes. This is followed by a equally
opinionated introduction to each recipe. Superlatives reign. So do the
latest trends: goat cheese, Thai noodles, hot chili peppers, sun-dried
tomatoes, cilantro.

The recipes themselves are intriguing: chicken-coconut soup; yam and
pecan salad; mushroom pie; and hazelnut pork chops are typical products
of the creative energy bubbling throughout the book.

A very poor page design (recipes are not complete on a page or spread)
and hideous graphics surprinted over the type mean this cookbook is
nearly impossible to use in the kitchen. It does, however, make good
browsing for armchair cooks.

In short, recipes as entertainment.


Ayanoglu, Byron., “Byron's New Home Cooking: 110 Recipes for Busy Cooks with Demanding Palates,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed January 21, 2022,