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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
I really enjoyed each chef's perspective on cooking, and found a number of the tips and tricks were extremely helpful (although as one reviewer commented, some are better than others). One fascinating chef tip: "If you don't have time to make dumpling dough, you can take white sandwich bread, cut off the crusts, flatten it with a rolling pin, stuff it, pinch it, and cook it the same way." I have no idea how successful this would be, but I find the idea kind of fascinating.
The one recipe I've tried so far from the book was awesome: Seared Duck Breasts with Garam Masala and Grapes. This was such a fantastic recipe that it may itself have justified the cost of the book-- simple enough for a weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for a dinner party. Other promising recipes include Peter Dale's Shrimp and Polenta with Chorizo, Nancy Silverton's Mozzarella in Panna with Pesto and Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Gina DePalma's Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic.Read more ›
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).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mediocre at best, for this reader. The chefs are not who I expected them to be. Meh.Published 1 month ago by Patty
great book of techniques and interesting recipes from the top ranked chefs. It's a good read. It looks great as well. It's a keeper.Published 9 months ago by legoodavage
Thank you very much, this was a Great Father's Day gift, It came way before celebration. Excellent buy.Published 14 months ago by Gustavo/brenda
Excellent New book as promised. Also, excellent packaging which shows respect for both the merchandise and the buyer. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Bruce Benjamin