Lucy's Kitchen: Signature Recipes and Culinary Secrets


288 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 0-679-31457-1
DDC 641.5




Photos by Rob Fiocca
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.


Lucy Waverman, the author of many cookbooks and a food columnist of The
Globe and Mail, shares recipes and “chats” about how-to skills as
she leads the reader through middle-of-the-road choices for soups,
salads, appetizers, fish, meat and poultry dishes, side dishes
(vegetables, grains, pastas), quick breads, and cookies and desserts.
Many of the recipes are practical for everyday family fare, while others
are a bit upscale, suitable for entertaining or special occasions.

The author’s extensive travels have had an impact. She seamlessly
incorporates into her recipes touches from South African, Cuban, and
Israeli cooking, as well as the to-be-expected Italian and Asian
influences. This is reflected in the required ingredients, although she
is quick to suggest substitutes for hard-to-find items.

The work follows the new trend of giving imperial measurements only and
is remiss in not giving a nutritional analysis of the recipes. The many
colour photos are decorative only, adding little if any value.

The distinguishing feature and strength of the book is the organization
and clarity of presentation of the method for each recipe. The method is
divided into sequential steps, each starting with an action verb
(“heat,” “combine,” “add,” etc.) highlighted in colour. This
simplifies working through a complex recipe and keeps even a novice on

In addition to the standard index to the extensive recipe collection,
there’s a separate index

to culinary techniques and another for information on ingredients. These
enable the 55 skills lessons and 98 notes on ingredients to be spread
throughout the book in relation to the appropriate recipe, yet easily
retrievable for future reference.

Would-be serious cooks with limited kitchen experience will find this
work offers a smooth path to expanding their knowledge of culinary
techniques while getting dinner on the table.


Waverman, Lucy., “Lucy's Kitchen: Signature Recipes and Culinary Secrets,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 22, 2024,