We all know cooks who love to read everything on a specific topic. They research fully the info they are seeking either in a book or online. For the “want to know everything” cook on your list or the budding culinary school student, here is the book for them, written by two culinary experts. Elliot is the Director of Culinary Relations for Zwilling J.A. Henckels, one of the world’s leading cutlery manufacturers, and DeWan is a chef, culinary instructor, and award-winning food writer.
Every culinary expert states that a good set of knives is essential for a well-equipped kitchen and good cooking. After all, most food preparation starts with a knife. Chopping celery for tuna salad, cutting beef into cubes for a stew, or just slicing an apple for eating all require them. Good knives and knife skills are important for efficienty and also for your own safety. This comprehensive book starts with the basics: how knives are made, then lists and shows the various kinds of knives (chef’s, paring, carving, boning) and also how to sharpen your knives.
Then the book gets you ready to cook. It is chock-a-block full of how-to photos and prep on most everything. It’s organized as if you were taking a cooking 101 and prepping the food by showing the size of various kinds of cuts, how to hold the knife and food for cutting, plus the specific knives recommended for the tasks. A chapter on fruit walks your through how to cut up all kinds of different fruits, such as peeling a pineapple. The vegetable chapter shows various cuts for potatoes and trimming an artichoke. In the poultry chapter, you learn the chicken anatomy to help master the steps in cutting up a chicken into eight or four pieces. We all know that purchasing pre-cut anything at the store is more expensive than buying it whole, and whole chickens are often less per pound than the parts. One chapter is devoted to carving cooked meats, important during the holidays for turkey or ham. The last chapter is devoted to creative and basic garnishes. Once you’ve prepare a terrific dish, why not dress it up with artistic flare?
This is an excellent, well-thought-out reference book that you will return to again and again. There are no recipes in the book, just good colored photos and descriptions for cutting almost everything.
Details: 400 pages, 10 chapters. Published by Robert Rose Inc. Retals for $35.