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Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks Hardcover – November 13, 2012


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Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks + Modern Sauces: More than 150 Recipes for Every Cook, Every Day + The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Artisan (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579654398
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579654399
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review


See Pages from Secrets of the Best Chefs


From Publishers Weekly

Roberts, better known as the Amateur Gourmet blogger, showcases 50 of the chefs he's encountered throughout the years, both professional and home cooks, and recounts their culinary journeys and favorite recipes to inspire readers to cook at home. A who's who of the food world, participants include Barbuto's Jonathan Waxman, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, noted TV personality and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, La Brea Bakery's Nancy Silverton, and Sara Moulton, famed TV host and cookbook author. Among these legendary cooks we find culinary gems such as Tim Artz, who makes his own honey, mead, and soap (from rendered beef fat), not to mention growing everything from figs and Meyer lemons to kaffir lime leaves. Angelish Wilson, chef-owner of Wilson's Soul Food, offers food that radiates the warmth and comfort you'd expect from a Southern soul food restaurant, from vegetarian collard greens and chow chow to glorious fried chicken and fresh pecan pie. Melissa Clark, cookbook author and New York Times food columnist, shares her seared duck breast with garam masala and grapes, while Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle offers up chicken with rosemary and fennel and balsamic-braised radicchio. While some of these dishes may seem beyond the reach of amateur home cooks, Roberts argues just the opposite. As a self-taught cook, he aims to inspire confidence in the kitchen and encourage home cooks to expand their culinary horizons. No one could ask for a better group of instructors. (Oct.)

More About the Author

Adam Roberts created his award-winning food blog The Amateur Gourmet in January 2004. Since then, he's published two books ("The Amateur Gourmet," "Secrets of the Best Chefs") and hosted several shows for Food Network online ("The FN Dish," "The Amateur Gourmet Show," "The Taste Test"). He currently writes for Food & Wine Magazine, the Epicurious Epi-Log, The Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He divides his time between Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY.

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Customer Reviews

I recommend it for people of all cooking expertise levels.
Grannie Annie
Adam Roberts' new cook book, "Secrets of the Best Chefs: recipes, Techniques, and Tricks from America's Greatest Cooks" is more than just a collection of recipes.
David S. Locicero
Not only is the book beautifully made and filled with gorgeous photographs, the recipes are accessible and the book is filled with great tips.
John K

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By pattyj on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Most cookbooks have like 10 recipes that sound interesting if you're lucky, 5 recipes that sound like you might make, and 1, maybe 2 recipes you actually use. This cookbook has such a great variety from the chefs so I always find a new recipe I want to make each time I open it. And the recipes I've tried are great - a handful of recipes are already on my permanent dinner rotation, and there are a bunch I still can't wait to make. Also, it must be said that Adam is hilarious, as readers of his blog will know. Most cookbook writing feels stale, but his stories cooking with the chefs are not only funny, but manage to make the reader feel that they are getting to know the chefs and understand their cooking philosophy.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael H on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The thing I love most about this book is the variety of menus you can create by mixing and matching recipes from the best chefs across the country. Not only are the recipes easy to follow, but there are great tips sprinkled throughout each section to help even the most amateur cooks in the kitchen. Some of my favorite dishes are Lidia Bastianich's Mussels and Clams Triestina, Alice Waters' Farmer's Market Salad, Chuy Valencia's Flank Steak with Guajillo Sauce and for dessert, Sara Moulton's French Apple Tart.

As an added bonus, the book also provides a chance to learn more about the life stories behind some of these incredible kitchen masters. I loved Melissa Clark's advice... "If you fail a lot, just call it 'recipe developing' ". Bravo to Adam and Artisan Books on a wonderful new addition to my kitchen library.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a long time reader of The Amateur Gourmet and I was eager to see this book. I have to say I love the concept and the execution is flawless! I have plenty of cook books but this finally compiles all the best recipes from the best chefs so that I have a variety of cuisines to choose from. Plus, I love the little notes in the margins and especially his little substitutions for ingredients which some people might not have on hand. This is a really good investment and I think there is a place for it in everyone's kitchen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John K on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Adam Roberts' "Secrets of the Best Chefs" is, simply put, my new favorite cookbook. Not only is the book beautifully made and filled with gorgeous photographs, the recipes are accessible and the book is filled with great tips. Another thing that I've come to appreciate is the book is laid out with simpler recipes at the beginning and more challenging ones towards the end. This makes it a great resource for cooks of all skill levels -- refine your techniques or challenge yourself a bit -- either way you'll end up with a delicious meal. This is a must-have in any kitchen and would make a great gift. I give it my highest recommendation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By querelle on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Not only is it a great read, but I actually use the recipes from this book! Usually I buy cookbooks to browse through, get inspiration and then cook something of my own creation. The recipes in this book are so good and so enticing that I have already made 6 dishes, all of which were spectacular.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By MichelleV on November 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I am so impressed by Adam Roberts. He is a food writer, television personality, and cook with a fine-living vision - and a brilliant way with words. From page one, the reader is treated to an inside look into his culinary mind -- inquisitive, a bit daring, and always inspired by cooking visionaries and trendsetters. What makes this book so wonderful is that Adam doesn't only cook with superstars we all know - he places equal value on the experiences of home cooks and artisan chefs who can inspire us all.

In Secrets of the Best Chefs, Adam has captured a bit of the awe we all might experience when cooking at the elbows of our nation's greatest chefs, yet even so, we understand his passion for making foods at home that people will love to eat again and again. From his own kitchen, Adam recreates the signature dishes of his mentor chefs. With crisp language and easy to comprehend recipe instructions, he makes even complex dishes seem manageable by the average home cook. Secrets of the Best Chefs also shares helpful tips and observations to make kitchen time more streamlined and efficient.

I'm a believer in his process. And just to prove my point, tonight I'm making his version of Nancy Silverton's Prosciutto San Daniele with Warren Pear and Pomegranate Seeds. For myself. And I'll be loving every bite as I'm reading to pick out the next recipe to cook and enjoy.
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25 of 33 people found the following review helpful By I Do The Speed Limit TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I checked this out of the library. After spending three weeks with it, I've decided there is not enough of value within its pages for me to purchase it. It does make an interesting read, though.

There are many out-of-the-ordinary recipes here, but the majority of them are too complicated to deal with for a normal everyday meal. There are a lot of difficult-to-find ingredients and expensive ingredients. Many of the steps are time consuming. After all, these are recipes from (for the most part) restaurant chefs, working in restaurant kitchens with ingredients that can be found in very large cities.

And the recipes are a total mixed bag: There is a small "chapter" for each chef so you might find a beet salad, next to lamb shanks, and followed by poached peaches. There is no rhyme or reason to the sequence of chefs either: They are not grouped by area of the country, nor specialty, nor style of cooking, and not even alphabetically. (It is a good thing that the index is somewhat helpful: You will find listings for desserts, appetizers, breads, etc. in addition to ingredient listings. You will not find listings for Asian dishes or Italian dishes.)

A good many of the "techniques and tricks" had me chuckling at the naivety of the author in highlighting certain information. Only use brown eggs (not white) to make fresh pasta?!? Calling perilla a lettuce? And it was "odd" to me: Stating the obvious sometimes (day-old bread can be used for croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding--Oh, really?), and other times rattling on about an ingredient like finger limes (precious and difficult to find...they elevate a dish with their citrus-y, caviar-like interiors).
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