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

4.5 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Lifestyle Inspiration by Yvonne Maffei
"My Halal Kitchen: Global Recipes, Cooking Tips, and Lifestyle Inspiration" by Yvonne Maffei
Explore this bestselling cookbook filled with more than 100 diverse, popular, international recipes made with halal foods or halal substitutes along with tips on how to source them. Learn more
$21.08 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 18 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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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.)
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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: 8.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #586,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this cookbook, not just for its recipes, but also for its stories. The first thing you should know is that this is not a traditional cookbook. The author interviewed and cooked beside several dozen chefs and then devoted a chapter to each in this book. Each chapter has the same format: the author tells you about his experience cooking with the chef, then lists a few of the chef's tips and tricks, and then provides three to five of the chef's recipes. As a result, the level of difficulty for each recipe varies greatly and the recipes are not organized by course or ingredient. This is something you should keep in mind if you are looking for (or would prefer) a more traditional cookbook. That being said, I loved the format, and this is one of the few cookbooks I have read cover to cover.

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.
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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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