When it comes to food, Mark Bittman is the best of both worlds: a populist who just wants to teach you how to cook well, and an elitist of sorts (or at least a theoretician) who takes the idea of food very seriously. His latest book How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food -- With 1,000 Photos came out on March 13th. Here's a conversation with Mark Bittman, followed by a few recipes. Enjoy!
It’s been ten years since How to Cook Everything came out. How has your approach to thinking about food and writing cookbooks changed since then?
It's actually been almost 14 years since the first edition, which I can hardly believe myself. For me, there's a big difference between how I think about "food" and how I approach writing cookbooks. In fact, the way I write cookbooks has barely changed: I try to write simple, straightforward recipes that encourage people to cook rather than wow or intimidate them. These are cookbooks for people who cook or want to learn how to cook. In terms of thinking about food, see the next question.