Mark Bittman is simply a natural born cook who, unlike many cookery writers, can and does communicate the joy of cooking and eating. I think Bittman's book is the natural extension of the "Joy of Cooking", and does so with elan. Although Bittman never went to a fancy chef academy nor owned a starred eatery, make no mistake, this guy has more than what it takes. Buy this book if you are a novice wanting to learn the joy of cooking food, or if you are a famous chef, to learn how to write about food and perhaps recall how to prepare honest fare. Yeah, there is no doubt, this one needs to be on everyone's bookshelf. Bravo!