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Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual Hardcover – August 17, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Before buying this book, one must consider another volume, `The Professional Chef's Knife Kit' prepared by The Culinary Institute of America. The book has only 3/5 the pages of Hertzmann's volume, and costs five more dollars, list price, but it actually covers far more ground and may actually be preferable to Hertzmann if you already know your way around a chef's knife and cutting board.
Hertzmann's book is truly for the inexperienced amateur, in that he covers only the most basic techniques; however, he does this very, very well. Two aspects of the book may leave the professional or skilled amateur a bit impatient. The first is that all techniques are fully illustrated from the point of view of both a right-handed and a left-handed person. Thus, a lion's share of the book's 256 pages duplicate information. The second is that the sections on preparing vegetables often repeat the same techniques for produce where the methods are very similar, as with an onion and a shallot or a turnip and a potato.
This said, all the instruction Hertzmann gives us is very, very good. Coverage includes all the usual subjects, such as how to hone a knife, how to wash and store knives, how to use, wash, and care for cutting boards, and how to hold and handle knives safely.Read more ›
My chief complaint about this book is its organization. Left handed instructions are interspersed with the right handed instructions, and while this may be the socially conscious thing to do so as to make lefties feel they're part of the family, it's really, really annoying when you're trying to find a specific section. Say you're flipping through looking up shallot dicing; you'll see the pictures of the shallots, then you'll see the section on dicing, and you'll start reading, and then half a paragraph through you'll realize you're reading the version for the wrong hand. Then you'll have to flip back and forth looking for the same set of instructions for the other hand. What would have made infinitely more sense would be to divide the book into two clear sections so no one would be confused.
My second complaint is that the illustrations seldom show any hands. Hands are difficult to draw accurately and including them probably would have delayed publication significantly, but come on, they're important. If you're going to be encouraging people to take horizontal swipes at a peeled onion with an extremely sharp knife, you need to show them where their hands need to be. Not tell, SHOW.
You did not need to repeat every paragraph, every page, word for word, just so that you could write 'right hand' in one and 'left hand' in the other.
So if you find yourself buying many cookbooks, really think twice before you buy this book. Do you really need it? If you are a novice, buy a book of general cooking techniques instead. They will all have 20-30 pages of knife skills.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoy that this book provides instructions for both left and right handed people. I bought used, and feel like I got a great product for a great price.Published 6 days ago by S. Cook
You'd be better off saving your money and going to YouTube.
It is literally a book on how to cut onions. Read more
another great book I'll never hold a knife the same again...Published 17 months ago by Dennis Rundle
Cool book with cool info and pics. It's about knives. Der....
What more are you wanting out of it a thesis?
This book is for beginners. Someone who has just picked up a knife in the kitchen for the first time and has no clue. Most of this read is common sense that you'd know already. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Susen Jackson
I was so hopeful this book would be explicit enough to illustrate proper knife usage. Unfortunately I must have a visualization problem. Read morePublished on May 11, 2013 by Jeanne Wyatt