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Chef's Center Cookbook Holder
Product number: PP01-CC100
Manufacturer: Prepara
List price: $29.95
Dimensions: 11" x 8" x 9-3/4" (when open)
Weight: 1 lb 6.5 oz
Composition: Lucite, ABS plastic, rubber, metal
Made In: China
Type: Cookbook holder
Color: White, clear, black, metallic
Apparent goal: kids gift/registry home kitchens restaurants everywhere
Intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
Diet/nutrition: does not apply scary empty promises helpful essential
Green?: not especially neutral mixed blessing earth friendly green!
Innovative: step back standing still progress trendy genius
Problem solving: no better baby steps solid steps giant steps a revelation
Competition: outclassed follower in the pack strong challenger likely champ
Ease of use: impossible frustrating OK simple child's play
Intuitive: Ph.D. required barely logical effortless brilliant
Instructions: missing incomprehensible adequate unnecessary excellent
Quality: cheesy questionable good years of service impressive
Parts to lose: inevitable some/many one-piece self-storing not a problem
Power source: none hands batteries outlet green
Clean-up: nightmare wipe clean soap & water scouring pad dishwasher
Does it work?: not at all adequately well very well perfectly
Availability: airfare required online kitchen store department store supermarket
Easy to open?: impossible maddening tolerable good opens itself
Green?: fills a landfill huge waste passable minimal waste impressive
Time saving: time wasting not really modest substantial huge
Labor saving: less efficient marginal a bit noticeable remarkable
Money saving: money wasted none $ $$ $$$
Beats the old way: worse no change better definitely entirely new
Where will it live?: garage/attic drawer cabinet countertop elsewhere
Fulfills ambitions: falls short almost there satisfies exceeds home run
How often used: once/twice ≥daily ≥weekly ≥monthly ≥yearly/holidays
Worth the space?: no does not apply w/unlimited space w/limited space absolutely
Need it?: a luxury discretionary basic equipment for serious cooks get it
Value: ouch! a little pricey worth splurging on the money a deal
Overall rating: skip it fair good very good excellent

Comments: We know someone (a very good cook) who is meticulous with her mise en place. Before she begins to cook, she measures out all her ingredients, sets out all the utensils she is likely to need, and then places everything that will fit on the open cookbook she has lovingly placed on the counter. She moves things around so she can read bits of the recipe, adds her ingredients, puts used measuring cups and spoons back on the cookbook, and cooks up a storm. At the end of the process, she generally has a delicious finished dish – and the cookbook looks like it has been in a war zone.

Needless to say, we do not lend her our cookbooks.

That's why we like Prepara's cookbook holder. It holds the book upright, adjusts to hold books of almost unlimited thickness, has a splashguard to protect the greater part of your pages, has a rubberized platform to keep the book from slipping, and a lazy Susan base so that you can swivel the book to view it from various directions. It folds flat for storage. Obviously, if your recipe spills over onto multiple pages, you'll have to take the book out of the holder, turn the page and put it back in place, but that is a small price to pay for keeping the book open and neat.

Our criticisms are modest. Very wide cookbooks are a bit tippy, and the splatter shield is 11-inches wide by 8-1/2-inches tall, meaning you may have to aim your splatters somewhat narrowly, but that still offers a lot of protection for your pages. And while we love, love, love the pull-out measurement conversion chart built into the base of the holder, its handle is too small for our fingers to grasp securely – let alone when wet or slippery. A small piece of double-stick tape or something else tacky on the handle will make the chart really useful.

Cookbooks are expensive. We're giving one of these cookbook holders to our friend – but we're not 100% convinced she will use it. Some people seem determined to hold on to their little kitchen rituals….


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