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Cook the Book: 'Secrets of the Best Chefs'

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Adam Roberts has come a long way from his Janet Jackson breast cupcakes. After his post on making post-Superbowl boob-shaped cupcakes launched his blog The Amateur Gourmet in 2004 into Internet-search fame, he has grown from a timid home cook to a voracious blogger with a devoted following (and we've been fans since the beginning!). His newest project is this cookbook: Secrets of the Best Chefs.

Roberts traveled around the country to cook with and learn the "secrets" of 50 very different chefs. For each chef, he writes a short essay about his experience working with them as well as three recipes that highlight each chef's style. And while it is certainly fun to read profiles of more famous chefs like Hugh Atcheson, Alice Waters, and Naomi Pomeroy, Roberts includes other lesser-known chefs known more for their charity work and dinner parties.

The best part about the book is Roberts' recipe annotations. All too often restaurant cheffy recipes are written in obtuse culinary language or are full of unfamiliar ingredients. But Roberts keeps the integrity of the recipes intact while providing helpful clarity for the everyday home cook.

This week, we'll be learning quite a few tricks of the trade. First, we'll have breakfast with Alice Waters' Olive Oil Fried Eggs with a Crown of Herbs. Next we'll taste Vinny Dotolo and Jon Shook's Sweet-and-Sour Balsamic-Glazed Spareribs and Daniel Patterson's Grilled Brassica with Dandelion-Green Vinaigrette. Later, we'll sear off Melissa Clark's Seared Duck Breast with Garam Masala and Grapes before finishing out the week with Linton Hopkins' gorgeous Sauteed Georgia Trout with Watercress Puree and Mandarin Salad.

Win 'Secrets of the Best Chefs'

Thanks to the kind folks at Artisan, we have five (5) copies of Secrets of the Best Chefs to give away this week. All you need to do is share the best cooking advice you've ever received in the comments section below.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, Berkeleyside NOSH, and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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