Monday Review: Chef’s Secrets

18 Aug

Chef’s Secrets: Insider Techniques from Today’s Culinary Masters As Told to Francine Maroukian

By Stephanie Dickison

My friend and Co-Editor Chris Garbutt is going to go crazy for this one.  Since he just got a brand-new barbecue, he’s going to love “How to Build a Three-Zone Fire on a Charcoal Grill” by Steven Raichlen.  And for those rainy days, he’ll probably follow the instructions of Allison Awerbuch and “How to Do Your Own Stove Top Smoking.”

But that’s not to say that there’s not valuable tips and methods for you and I in this little book.

In fact, “How to Ensure a Crisp Roast Duck” by John Villa has me contemplating getting a whole duck to surprise my fella with when he gets home from a business trip and perhaps wow him with my new talents, thanks to Andrew Chase’s advice in “How to Filet an Eel.”

What I garnered most for this lovely book of expertise though, are the simple things that you really want to do well, like “How to Roast a Chicken – Pefectly” by Jimmy Bradley and the odd little things that only chefs come up with like Michael Cressotti’s, “How to Tenderize Octopus with Wine Corks,” and the revolutionary “How to Crisp Tender Greens and “How to Improve the Consistency of a Tomato.”

There are a few recipes throughout and after each chef’s advice, they are asked questions about their favourite food city, kitchen motto and bar snack.  But I bet it’s the advice you remember long after the pages have been closed.

You may think that you know most of what there is to know about cooking, but I assure you that you’ll find something that changes the way you make jus or improves your ganache forever.

And the best thing is that it only takes about an hour or so to read it cover to cover.

You can afford that to become a better cook, can’t you?

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One Response to “Monday Review: Chef’s Secrets”

  1. Chris Garbutt August 19, 2008 at 9:39 am #

    Thanks for lending me this one, Stephanie — I do love it!!

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