Accessibility is at the heart of this new cookbook, the full title of which is “Basics with Babish: Recipes for Screwing Up, Trying Again, and Hitting It Out of the Park.” The book is definitely all about making mistakes, with the idea that your cooking experience, especially as a beginner, doesn’t have to be perfect. You can make mistakes and it will be okay; you can try again. To drive that point home, Andrew Rea is completely open about his own cooking mistakes.
The vibe and voice-y approach make each recipe feel, as he noted, a little more accessible — even if the recipe is for something that normally might not feel accessible at all, like pain au chocolat. Rea explained of writing the recipe: “A croissant is one of the more difficult things you could possibly attempt in the kitchen, much less without a specific machine designed for laminating bread. I wrote the headnote [for that recipe] in the voice of one’s inner monologue, which is usually discouraging — at least mine is, telling me all the reasons why I can’t make pain au chocolat and why I shouldn’t even try. My hope with that one is to hold up a mirror to the ridiculous, negative self-talk that can prevent you from even trying a recipe.”
“Basics with Babish” by Andrew Rea is out now wherever books are sold.