Starting from Scratch

What You Should Know About Food and Cooking

“An intelligent introduction to food and cooking meant for children 10 or older but useful for adult beginners as well.”
The New York Times

“How are we going to teach our kids to cook? Sarah Elton has taken a big step with Starting from Scratch.”
– @MichaelPollan

This timely new book serves up culinary knowledge to kids, expertly written by a best-selling North American food journalist.

Shortlisted for the 2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Norma Fleck Award for Children’s Non-Fiction

Finalist for the 2015 Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Red Maple Award

Starting from Scratch is the essential first book for the curious kid in the kitchen. It is a joyful exploration, an inspiring manifesto, and an unprecedented resource that provides important context, guidance, and information for budding chefs and food lovers alike. Written by food journalist Sarah Elton (author of the adult nonfiction titles Consumed and Locavore), Starting from Scratch is not a cookbook, but it is a conversation-starter around the science, culture, and practices surrounding food.

Beginning with an explanation of taste and the way it works, Elton shares how ingredients have been on the move for centuries, resulting in the unique and fusion flavors we love today. She breaks down the science of food and cooking into bite-sized and accessible pieces of information that cover everything from the chemistry of salt versus sweet to the reasons why we can substitute when cooking but rarely when baking.

Both practical and philosophical in its approach, Starting from Scratch demystifies food and cooking by boiling it down to the basics. Kids will be able to make sense of recipes, measure and substitute ingredients, stock a pantry, and budget for a trip to the grocery store. They’ll also discover where their food comes from, that dinner is more than just a prepackaged meal, and that there are real and exciting benefits to cooking for oneself.

Using simple, universal examples, and featuring colorful illustrations, Starting from Scratch will inspire kids to eat conscientiously, try new flavors, and understand what’s on their plate.