200 Skills Every Cook Must Have: The Step-by-Step Methods That Will Turn a Good Cook into a Great Cook

Overview

200 Skills Every Cook Must Have is an illustrated guide to the most important tips and techniques that are the key to cooking with confidence and consistency. The book explains and illustrates every important technique, from impressive knife skills to perfect pastry, and gives cooks a new level of comfort with tricky dishes like lobster and soufflé.

A simple step-by-step format with full-color photography and clear, easy-to-follow instructions takes kitchen work to the next ...

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Overview

200 Skills Every Cook Must Have is an illustrated guide to the most important tips and techniques that are the key to cooking with confidence and consistency. The book explains and illustrates every important technique, from impressive knife skills to perfect pastry, and gives cooks a new level of comfort with tricky dishes like lobster and soufflé.

A simple step-by-step format with full-color photography and clear, easy-to-follow instructions takes kitchen work to the next level. The book is organized like a cooking masterclass that readers can follow in order or flip to a particular skill that needs perfecting.

Ten chapters describe essential tools and equipment, and explain tried-and-tested procedures for consistently preparing a wide range of items perfectly:

  • Basics covers how to use and care for basic equipment and knives
  • Sauces and Dressings has recipes and methods for key sauces such as classic vinaigrette, mayonnaise, hollandaise and custard
  • Preparing and Cooking Fruits and Vegetables covers charring and peeling peppers, caramelizing onions, peeling tomatoes, peeling garlic, grating ginger, salting eggplant, chopping chilies and more
  • Preparing and Cooking Meat explains how to cook a steak, carve a chicken, joint a chicken, prep a rack of lamb, and other key skills
  • Basic Fish Skills includes opening oysters, poaching, papillote, prepping shrimp, boning and filleting, steaming and cooking lobster
  • Pastry and Baking Skills includes cracking and separating eggs, making a soufflé, blind baking, melting chocolate and glazing
  • Pasta,
    Bread, Rice & Noodles
    includes boiling pasta, rolling fresh pasta dough, basic bread tips, making perfect rice and easy risotto
  • Presentation and Plating includes plating tools, decorative plating techniques, slicing and placing, and piping
  • Preserving and Storing includes quick pickling, salting, flavored oils, syrups, skimming, and desalting
  • Tips for Entertaining covers table-laying, planning, timing and more helpful advice.

For the culinary novice or the experienced amateur, 200 Skills Every Cook Must Have shows how to stew, steam and sauté to success every time. It is the secret ingredient that turns a good cook into a great one.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist - Barbara Jacobs
Think of this book as cooking skills for dummies ratcheted up to a higher level.... Two British chefs export their ways and wisdom to teach, update, and demystify novices as well as experienced cooks about critical kitchen skills. Along the way, when recipes are offered, so much the better. Their basics cover literally anything necessary to start cooking, from the rudiments of fashioning a tomato sauce to advice for soaking saffron. Therefore, such advanced skills as crafting croissants or building a fancy cake don't qualify. Many of the 200 techniques feature color photographs; all include ingredients, directions, expert tips, and, occasionally, recommended variations (for instance, foodstuffs to fold into couscous). It's the tips, though, that readers will savor... Well organized and explained.
Chicago Tribune
A fine choice for cooking novices.
Vancouver Sun
This book will turn a good cook into a great cook.
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - Nancy J. Stohs
This would be a great book for someone starting out in the kitchen or who has been cooking for just a few years.
Hartford Courant - Bill Daley
The book, a fine choice for cooking novices and those unsure of how to make Pavlova, provides kitchen building blocks ranging from cracking an egg to flambeing, with step-by-step images, expert tips plus charts on meat cuts and equipment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781770852105
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 10/29/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 427,942
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Clara Paul attended Ballymaloe Cookery School. She runs her own catering company, contributes recipes to various publications, and is head chef at Books For Cooks. She was a regular contributor to Chef Magazine.

Eric Treuillé owns and operates Books For Cooks and is a regular cooking demonstrator. He is the author of Le Cordon Bleu Techniques and Recipes, and several technique and skill-based subject books.

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Read an Excerpt

Using This Book

Clara and Eric have written a book that is a guide to terminology and culinary phrasing; a dictionary for all that happens in the kitchen. This book aims to give you better results with less effort and — most importantly — to give you the maximum enjoyment and fulfillment from all your cooking endeavors.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each focusing on a key set of skills or a type of food or ingredient. The easy-to-use layout lists all the utensils and ingredients you will need to practice each skill, followed by detailed steps to guide you through the technique. Expert tips offer handy advice on alternative methods, explanations of terms, and additional techniques for when you gain more confidence. The steps are all easy to follow, so you will be able to master any skill, whether you are a novice or a well practiced home cook. There is also a handy equipment list, as well as a glossary of all the culinary terms you are likely to come across as you work through your cookbook collection and try new recipes.

By the time you have finished reading this book you will know how to do everything from stone an avocado and blanch an almond, to fillet a fish, truss a chicken and shuck an oyster. With this essential collection of culinary skills at your fingertips, your kitchen confidence will grow in leaps and bounds. Dishes such as dressed crab and rack of lamb will no longer be saved for restaurant outings — they will become dinner table favorites in your own home.

As with all skills, practice makes perfect. Keep this book by your side in the kitchen and every challenge will become a new culinary possibility; every technique mastered will increase your repertoire and your confidence.

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