Food is essential to life. But cooking food well isn't a skill we're born with. Not all of us have the time, money or inclination to take cooking classes, or had parents who taught us to cook.
Cookbook sales, especially those by celebrity chefs, are outpacing the sales of many other kinds of books. But Americans go out to eat now more than ever. So, how many of us actually use cookbooks or their online counterparts to make a dish or a meal?
Kyle Cherek, a culinary historian and Lake Effect contributor, says the irony of celebrity chef cookbooks is that most of the book sales are supporting restaurants.
"Every chef I’ve ever met says, 'Oh no, cooking at home is the most important thing you can do. You should cook, you should share with your friends and family, it creates traditions,' " Cherek says. "They’ll go on until my ears bleed about how good that is. And then they’ll say, 'But come to my restaurant!' "
For those who will never eat at a Michelin star restaurant, the celebrity cookbook or website gives us a chance to try something new. And as far as Cherek is concerned, any reason to get us into the kitchen is a good one.