A cookbook without any recipes?

We have been getting a lot of questions about what kind of recipes are in the book.  Just to answer that question once and for all, there are no recipes in the book.  Now, after making such an astonishing declaration I’m sure that most of you (if not all of you) are saying, “How can you have a cookbook without any recipes?”  Then let me answer that by posing the question, do you want to learn how to cook, or do you want to learn how to follow a recipe? 


The reason I wrote The First Timer’s Cookbook is because I was tired of recipe books.  I wanted a book that would actually teach you the principles behind cooking so that you aren’t bound by a recipe.  Imagine a world where you could look at a recipe and say to yourself, “You know that is a great idea, but I think I want to do this instead.”  That way if you don’t like a certain ingredient you can change it or eliminate it.  That’s why this is the cookbook everyone should have, it creates a base of knowledge that essentially frees you from not just being able to copy some else’s creation, but enables you to create your own.


So let me show you some basic rules and ratios that are universal in cooking.  Let’s share tips and tricks to help us all grow and learn from each other.  One thing that I have learned in the course of the last 12 years is that the more I learn, the more I realize I know so little.  I have learned something from everyone I have ever worked with, and not always what you think that you would learn from a certain individual.  For example, I learned how to make some of the most intricate and beautiful garnishes and vegetable carvings, not from a head chef, but from the head dishwasher at a sports arena.  I also learned the most effective way to cut lemons and limes from a Mexican immigrant who barely spoke English and was working as a banquet captain at a hotel.


So don’t be intimidated to share thoughts and ideas, and just remember we are all First Timer’s in one way or another.  


About the author, Shawn

Chef Shawn has worked in almost every segment of the foodservice industry. He holds business degrees and certificates in Culinary Arts, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Accounting and Professional Sales. He is Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and a Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) through The American Culinary Federation. A Certified Culinary Professional (CCP) through the International Association of Culinary Professionals. He is the author of The First Timer’s Cookbook and The First Timer’s Bakebook. His work has been recognized nationwide as well as being a regular contributor to numerous food service publications and outlets and is the recipient of numerous awards-most recently the 2015 Culinary Educator of the Year through the local American Culinary Federation’s chapter-Beehive State Chef’s Association.

He the owner of multiple food service businesses and currently the host of the Business Chef Podcast.


  1. Keni Aikau on 06/23/2008 at 5:54 AM

    And I learned how to be a good Manager from Shawn Bucher.

  2. Heidi DeRoest on 06/24/2008 at 5:59 PM

    Shawn is the guy! Yes, this is a great concept. Even those of us who have been cooking for years will learn from Shawn. (I already have.) Shawn will go far!

  3. Roslyn Reynolds on 06/25/2008 at 1:08 PM

    I have been cooking from cookbooks for thirty years, and I am thrilled at the prospect of finally understanding the process so I am not continually tied to a recipe. I now know what I am getting myself and my five daughters for Christmas – – – Shawn’s book!

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