In Brookline, a Visit to the Cook's Illustrated Kitchen
The prep kitchen at Cook's Illustrated headquarters
Cook's Illustratedmagazine founder Christopher Kimball likes to recount an anecdote about one reader who wrote in to complain about a recipe for chicken breasts, only to finally disclose a substitution of shrimp for the chicken.
“So of course the recipe didn't work!” Kimball chuckles.
As the driving force behind the magazine's characteristic preciseness, Kimball would gladly expound at length upon the reasons why that shrimp substitution failed. From 1980, when it showed up on the racks in its original form as Cook's Magazine, and later in 1993 when it relaunched as Cook's Illustrated, this test kitchen empire has churned out precise yet approachable recipes, the kind that readers dub 'foolproof.'