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The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care
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--George Erdosh San Francisco Book Review
The right tools are great in the kitchen, but if you don't have technique you're not going to have much success. Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use Techniques and Care by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan (Rober Rose, 34.95) is a worthy text for every cook. Cutting skills are something that are easily taken for granted, but if you do a lot of cooking, proper technique will save wear and tear on your knives by using the right knife for the job and using it in a way that won't ruin the knife. It will also save you from injury by learning how to keep from cutting yourself or cramping your hands with improper grip. This hefty manual covers it all from the basics of vegetables and fruits through every kind of meat, fish and poultry and even sashimi. It also covers garnishes ---- the things that take you from utility to creativity, and that makes it fun. It's beautifully and very thoroughly photographed. If you know how to prepare it you're more likely to try
something new. (Wendy Burke Winnipeg Free Press 2010-12-08)
The best things you can give a cook are a high-quality knife and a book on how to use it. Zwilling J.A. Henckels' Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care (Robert Rose, 34.95) will be treasured by cooks who would like to improve their kitchen skills. (Sharon Thompson Lexington Herald-Leader 2010-12-02)
This is a cooking course in one book, its illustrations explaining every cutting procedure, and including reducing your tears when you cut an onion, cutting up that pesky pineapple, and not cutting yourself. The two U.S. chefs start with tips on knives; they consider the chef's knife and paring knife basic. Step-by-step photographs cover all the popular fruit and vegetables, followed by cutting up a chicken, "frenching" a lamb rack, filleting a fish, and splitting a lobster. Painless, helpful, and sure to improve your cooking. Include a name chef's knife with your gift. (Julian Armstrong Montreal Gazette 2010-11-30)
Here is an excellent book that would be useful on any cook's bookshelf. Good knife skills are the single most important skill in the kitchen. They are the difference between enjoyable food preparation and kitchen drudgery. This very well-prepared book helps to give you everything you need to know about knives, and how to use them safely and efficiently. It has far more information than an average home cook needs, including how knives are made, and descriptions of scores of different knives, most of which never appears in a home kitchen. Detailed knife care, sharpening and honing are essential reading. Knife skill is a practical skill that is best learned in cooking classes or watching videos. This book, with numerous first-rate photographs, is the next best thing. Some techniques are simple, but the more complex ones (creaming garlic, for example) take your full concentration to follow through photos and descriptions.The two professional authors guide you through all kitchen jobs
using a knife. The numerous sidebars and graphics provide great, useful information. The senior author works for a major knife manufacturer and a slight bias is evident. A DVD would have been a useful inclusion. (George Erdosh San Francisco Book Review 2010-12-05)
I think that this would make a wonderful gift for any budding home cook. (Jamie Drummond Good Food Revolution 2011-01-03)
Slice and dice like a pro. (Elizabeth Baird SunMedia 2011-01-05)
I just reviewed a copy of a brand new book, Zwilling J.A Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan. Leave it to a venerable knife company, J. A. Henckels, founded in 1731, to come out with the ultimate guide to cutlery. This book is one of the most thorough and complete on the subject I've ever seen, covering topics like shopping, storing, and sharpening as well as techniques for cutting, ranging from simple dicing, to fluting a mushroom, to spatchcocking (butterflying to you) a chicken. If you're at all serious about cooking, I recommend this book. One of the first things people do when they develop an interest in the subject, is invest in a set of good quality knives. But all too often, I watch, and cringe, as people use the wrong technique, allow their knives to get dull, and eventually abandon them for an inexpensive serrated model. Like many things, good knife skills require practice--remember
the scene from Julie and Julia when Madame Child tackled a bushel of onions with abandon to master the art of chopping? Purchasing the Complete Book of Knife Skills alone won't turn you into a pro, but if you buy it, and read it, and use it as a teaching guide, you'll be on your way. I love the fact that it's spiral bound so the pages lie flat on the countertop, making it easy to refer to as you work. (Sharon Franke Good Housekeeping Magazine 2010-10-17)
Ask most home cooks what skill they would like to sharpen and they would tell you the same thing: knife skills. Don't you love how chefs chop those onions so fast? Now I have some great knives, but do I know everything I should about using it properly? I know how to find out. Culinary experts Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan have written a reference book: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care (Robert Rose, $34.95). Learning how to hold and use a knife correctly will not only help you work more safely, but will also enable you to work faster and cleaner with less waste, making you much more efficient in the kitchen, says Elliot. Plus food will look and taste better. And step-by-step photographs are just what we've been waiting for. Bring on the onions. (Gail Ciampa Providence Journal Newspaper 2010-10-21)
Having a set of good knives is one thing but knowing how to use them takes you to another level of home cooking. The Complete Book of Knife Skills is very user friendly with simple instructions and detailed photographs. I specifically benefited from the section Everything You Need to Know About Knives. It covers the history, how knives are made, parts, blade styles, types, and care. I believe that once this section is mastered the actual use makes it much easier. It always amazes me to watch professional chefs on TV slicing, dicing, and chopping. They are quick and precise. This book shows us amateurs how to master this skill, from which knife to use, how to hold the knife and the object, to the actual performance. However, we can know all that but the most important thing is to be sure the knife is sharp. And, if you don't know how to sharpen a knife there are instructions and accompanying photographs on how to do so. For me, this book is a godsend. I have the whole gamut of
professional knives but have never learned how to properly use them. The step-by-step methods in Complete Book of Knife Skills are showing me how to hone in on my skills and use the knives to my advantage. This book would be a wonderful gift for any aspiring chef or as a wedding present. Of course, having the right knives is a plus as well, so a Henckels knife would certainly be a great addition. Highly recommended. (Irene Watson Reader Views 2011-02-16)
The one slightly geeky aspect of cooking that every cook will benefit from is improving one's knife skills. A better understanding of how to hold and cut with a knife safely and speedily, how to hold food when cutting it, and how to cut accurately and uniformly will make preparing food more pleasurable and the presentation of food more appealing. The Complete Book of Knife Skills is a spiral-bound hardcover meticulously-explained course in understanding how knives are made, the different styles and uses of knives, how to sharpen a knife, how to set up an efficient and safe working environment, and how to hold knives and food for greatest safety and ease of cutting. After an initial chapter on basic vegetable cuts (dice, chiffonade, rondelles, and so on), separate chapters discuss and demonstrate how to cut individual types of fruit and vegetables, poultry, meat, fish and shellfish; how to carve and how to cut attractive garnishes, such as ribbons, strawberry fans, and citrus curls...
A useful and visually interesting reference work. (Ron Mikulak Louisville Courier-Journal 2010-12-08)
This is the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand book on the correct use of knives in cooking we've come across. (Mid-Valley News 2010-11-10)
My teenage son who chops vegetables each weekend at Biagio's Italian Kitchen has learned impressive knife skills over the months, and he's the first to point out how many so-called cooking celebrities on TV simply don't know how to manipulate sharp objects. Oh, sure, you can extend your fingers perilously toward the blade--and it's all fun until someone finds the tip of a human digit in the salad niçoise. We hate when that happens. This very well-illustrated how-to book will spare you from making silly and dangerous mistakes, as well as teach simple knife-carving tricks to transform, say, cucumber and celery into little sculpted works of art. Shows you how to save big money by taking two minutes to properly butcher a whole eviscerated chicken, bone out a leg of lamb, butterfly shrimp and split a lobster. Learn how to use basic tools, and be amazed at the utter simplicity of it all. (Byron Eade Ottawa Citizen 2010-11-25)
After their two hands, chefs cite a good knife as their most indispensable kitchen utensil. Zwilling J.A. Henkels Complete Book of Knife Skills by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan begins with knife construction, safety and care. In textbook-like detail, using hundreds of photos and illustrations, it teaches techniques for slicing, dicing, peeling, julienne, chiffonade, rondelles and oblique and paysanne (tile) cuts for fruits and vegetables. Then it shows how to de-bone poultry, butterfly chops, French a rack of lamb, fillet a whole fish, shuck oysters and prepare squid. A final chapter is devoted to garnishes. If you need a knife to do it, this book shows you how. (Linda Brandt Sarasota Herald-Tribune 2010-12-08)
Very little cooking can happen if you don't wield a knife well, and that's one reason why The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan (Robert Rose) leads this list. Another reason is that it's a terrific book, laying out the construction and design of kitchen knives before teaching different cutting techniques and then going on to show how they apply to a variety of meats and fruits and vegetables. Nicely illustrated and spiral bound for ease of tabletop use, it's an essential. (B.A. Nilsson Metroland: New York's Capital Region Newspaper 2010-12-10)
Hurry to a bookstore and purchase it before the first edition is sold out. (Hrayr Berberoglu WinesWorld Magazine 2011-02-10)
Top Customer Reviews
The book is well written by two authors with obvious first-hand knowledge of the subject matter. Nearly every page features vibrant photographs and illustrations to support the text and often with directional arrows to explain movement. The steps are clearly numbered, the text is concise, and I can say from my professional culinary experience, that the information is sound. It's a great book at a great price.
The first chapter, titled "Everything You Need to Know About Knives" is a basic primer that I found invaluable. Here, you will learn how knives are put together, differentiate the different parts of a knife, understand the various blade styles and their intended use. Best of all is the section on types of knives, which includes a photo of each type and a detailed explanation. I have always felt overwhelmed by the types of knives available and never confident about buying the knives I need, without spending too much. I also enjoyed the explanations (with photos) on the proper ways to hone and sharpen your knives. Chapter two is equally useful, demonstrating basic knife safety measures, and how to hold a chef's knife, as well as explaining other knife grips.
The next eight chapters focus on how to cut specific foods, separated by food type. Learn how to make basic vegetable cuts, plus how to peel, pit, and slice some of the trickier fruits. What make this book so wonderful are the number of quality photographs that accompany each step. The instructions on coring a pineapple contains five action photos so that you are absolutely sure you're on track. The poultry and meat chapters give directions on boning and slicing all sorts of large, raw meats. I'll admit I flipped through these as quickly as possible - I would never make it as a butcher.Read more ›
The book covers a lot of ground. While I found the overview a good refresher, and need to spend more time relearning how I should be holding my knife, positioning the food and myself, I find it particularly useful for the things I don't do on a daily basis such as filleting fish or carving a ham. The results look better and I'm wasting less food. I expect in the long run it will also save me time as I get used to doing things the "right" way. I find I learned all my knife skills in my mother's kitchen, and so only know how to cut what she cooked. This will make instructions on cutting an artichoke or the whole chapter on shellfish particularly useful. The chapter on creative garnishes seemed only amusing to me, but a visiting friend found it the most intriguing part of the book and planned to replicate an apple swan in the near future.
I am on my third copy because friends keep taking mine; the book is that useful.
As simple as this book is, if you have never received formal training (baking pies with grandma doesn't count) this is a book you need to own. Even if you think your knife skills are great I'm sure there is something in here you can take from this. I can't believe how bad my technique was. After using this book for just a few weeks my skills, speed and efficiency have all improved. Brings even more enjoyment to the kitchen when you can knock out the chopping and slicing in mere minutes and it's fun to see the progress. Using good technique learned from this book and practice I feel I may chop with the best of them.
The book starts with a general over view of knife history, types and uses. Nothing too advanced but there was a few things to take from it. After that the book gets straight to the point. How you hold it, how you slice and how you chop it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book helped me learn so much about knife skills. This was purchased for a class in school at a much cheaper price than buying it on campus. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Selena Watte
This was a gift for my SO to go along with his set of Global kitchen knives. He loves it! He literally sits on the couch to read it even when he's not cooking.Published 2 months ago by Ashlyn L Shellito
Great resource for learning/brushing up on knife skills. A lot of detailed information about knives in general, as well as a ton of step-by-step guides (with lots of pictures) for... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kelly
Pretty complete coverage of standard knife skills, but nothing special. There are a few tips or tricks that I haven’t seen before, but this book is mostly limited to standard... Read morePublished 9 months ago by D. Atchison
A really easy guide showing all the fancy cuts that make prep work so much easier. I love the format. Read morePublished 9 months ago by AlexSuperFire