Kitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less) by Olivier Said, Chef Chef MikeC. | | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Kitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less)

Kitchen on Fire!: Mastering the Art of Cooking in 12 Weeks (or Less)

by Olivier Said, Chef Chef MikeC.
     
 

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The wildly popular basics course at Berkeley’s famed Kitchen on Fire! culinary school teaches students ultimate confidence in the kitchen. In this new book, Chefs Olivier Said and MikeC. combine their many years of experience cooking in professional kitchens and classrooms to present all the basic techniques necessary to create great food—complete with

Overview

The wildly popular basics course at Berkeley’s famed Kitchen on Fire! culinary school teaches students ultimate confidence in the kitchen. In this new book, Chefs Olivier Said and MikeC. combine their many years of experience cooking in professional kitchens and classrooms to present all the basic techniques necessary to create great food—complete with full-color illustrations and step-by-step photos throughout. You’ll explore the underlying methodology and alchemy of cooking, from ingredients to prep to heat. You’ll get all the skills to navigate your kitchen with ease and the knowledge to put that cookbook back on the shelf and create your own recipes with whatever ingredients you have on hand.

Beginners will find the information easy to digest, and seasoned cooks will discover the secrets of professional chefs—such as the rarely discussed importance of surface area and density in gauging cooking time. Blending the precision of a professional culinary textbook with the authors’ fun and irreverent attitudes, Kitchen on Fire! makes it easy for anyone to cook like a chef.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kitchen on Fire is a popular cooking school in Berkeley that promotes its classes by declaring, “If these two clowns can cook, so can you.” The bozos in question, Said and MikeC, actually have extensive West Coast culinary credits, a strong visual sensibility and an impressive knowledge of the science behind their art. Here, they attempt to expand their fan base by committing their 12-week basics of cooking course to paper. It is a step-by-step guide for those who learn best by reading, and safe harbor for those who prefer not to be taught knife skills in person from a guy without a surname. With hundreds of photos and illustrations for guidance, the book is divided into 15 chapters, focusing on classic techniques such as sautéing, roasting, and grilling; and everyday foodstuffs like soups, sauces, and breads. Most chapters conclude with a handful of recipes offered up as student exercises. The section on frying, for example, ends with entrees like pan-fried bistro steak and beer batter–fried fish. There is an entire chapter given to “The Incredible Egg,” exploring its molecular components, its reaction to heat and liquids, and how to use it in a savory custard. And a fascinating section on cooking chemistry explores everything from the polarity of water to the properties of starch. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Publishers Weekly, 11/7/11
“Said and MikeC…have extensive West Coast culinary credits, a strong visual sensibility and an impressive knowledge of the science behind their art…A step-by-step guide for those who learn best by reading, and safe harbor for those who prefer not to be taught knife skills in person…A fascinating section on cooking chemistry explores everything from the polarity of water to the properties of starch.”

Library Journal, 11/15/11
“A book meant to free home cooks from rote recipe following by imparting the essentials of cooking technique and science. Individual chapters are packed with pictorial instructions, easy-to-read text, and exercises or recipes that readers can use to test their skills. This is a streamlined crash course for novices.”

BizIndia.net, 12/12/11
“If you want to equip yourself with the right knowledge, skills and most important of all, the techniques to cook creatively, this is the book you need.”
 

Technorati.com, 12/16/11
“Self-taught cooks and those who follow only family recipes will benefit from Kitchen on Fire!...In addition to perfecting techniques, home cooks will learn the essentials of improvisation…Kitchen on Fire! is not designed to make non-cooks into cooks, or cooks into better cooks; its aim is to supply the information that will help home cooks evolve into home chefs.”
 
EatDrinkBetter.com, 12/15/11
 “Can give a beginning cook confidence in the kitchen…Twelve chapters cover every basic topic a cook needs to know…If the CSA box includes some weird veggie you’ve never eaten, just knowing the techniques in this book will provide enough information to make a delicious dish. I recommend Kitchen on Fire for beginning cooks, but also for more experienced cooks who want to broaden their kitchen repertoire and break free of recipes.”
 
The Hippo 12/15 issue
“[A] good place for a beginning cook to start.”
 
Forme of Curry blog
“I get asked, periodically, to recommend books for people who want to learn how to cook. There are three sources I always list: anything by James Peterson (especially Cooking), any of the the three Alton Brown Good Eats books, and the CIA textbook (The Professional Chef). And, now, with this release, I have another book to add to the list. Kitchen on Fire! is incredibly clear and incredibly thorough; certainly the next best thing to a culinary school class.”
 
Bookviews, January 2012
“A good book for the new bride or anyone who has not learned the fundamentals of cooking. This is a great way to become a master chef in the comfort of one’s own home.”
 
Infodad.com, 1/12/12
“Olivier Said and his coauthor treat readers to many tricks of the professional chef’s trade, presented with clarity and with exceptionally useful photographs that show just what to do and just how food should look during various preparations…There is pretty much everything here, from information on types of knives and how to use them to the specifics of all sorts of cooking techniques: searing, stir-frying, stewing, braising, roasting, broiling, grilling and more…Whether you want to work as a chef or just be a better cook at home, a very good place to learn is Kitchen on Fire!
 
LeslieLovesVeggies.net, 1/12/12“This must have kitchen ‘bible’ is loaded with over 1,000 color photos and illustrations and includes tips, tricks and techniques to make every cooking skill a bit easier!...Learning to cook can seem like a daunting challenge but Chefs MikeC. and Olivier have broken it down chapter by chapter and made it fun and interesting!”

Portland Press Herald, 2/1/12
“If you're one of those home cooks who's tired of being a slave to recipes but you can't afford the money or time to go to culinary school, pick up a copy of Kitchen on Fire!

Taste for Life, February 2012
“Become a master of the hearth with Kitchen on Fire! Chefs Olivier Said and MikeC. take you through the bootcamp experience of professional culinary school (without the cost or commitment)…[It] will help you learn the fundamentals of cooking in a fun and digestible (pun intended!) way.”
 
Oakland Tribune, 2/15/12
“A book that is rich in technique.”
 
Midwest Book Review, February 2012
“Step-by-step color photos throughout, measurement conversion charts, tools, and more make this an 'all-in-one' home course for any aspiring to better cooking!”
 
Sand and Succotash, 3/4/12
“An easy to follow 'cooking class' in your own home…The many illustrations and charts throughout the book give a great understanding of how and why different ingredients interact with one another…I have over 300 cookbooks and books on ingredients in my home library, ranging from professional texts and specialty produce to old-fashioned regional fare, but few do as good a job of tackling the basics of cooking in such a well-photographed and well-illustrated manner.”
 
Deseret News, 3/14/12
“If you have ever wanted to attend culinary school and never been able to, chefs Oliver Said and MikeC. may have what you've been looking for…Great photos throughout…Everything is technically right and well-presented.”
 
Blogcritics.org, 3/20/12
“A cooking school all rolled into one book…This book goes far beyond the basics of cooking and really gives you a firm grasp of what you need to know…There’s a really nice selection of recipes included as chapter exercises…This is a great resource for not only the beginning cook but for the person who knows how to cook but wants to expand into areas she may not already be familiar with.”
 
Tucson Citizen, 3/20/12
“The 500 step-by-step photos are the next best thing to having Chefs Olivier Said and MikeC standing beside you in the home kitchen. Just knowing kitchen tools and what their purpose are is almost in itself worth the price of this excellent cookbook…If used properly, it will make a good cook an even greater one.”
 
Portland Book Review, March/April Issue
“Give[s] home cooks a ‘boot camp’ version of professional cooking classes…A wonderful, comprehensive resource…A must-have for any kitchen.”
 
San Francisco Chronicle, 4/22
“A useful tool for anyone anxious to brush up on, or learn, kitchen skills.”
 
Fine Cheese & Charcuterie, March/April 2012
“No ordinary cookbook…Designed to teach the reader how to cook, something that can’t necessary be said of a lot of other cookbooks…There is just the right amount of text to accompany the 500 step-by-step photos…A wonderful book that is fun and interesting at the same time.”
 
Carmelized OpiNIONS
“Super informative and well illustrated.”
 

Living Without, June/July 2012“A full course of cooking school crammed between two covers. Superbly thought out and organized.”

Curled Up with a Good Book, 7/11/12“An instruction manual to the culinary arts…Covers a range of topics…Numerous line drawings illustrate useful concepts for the home cook…The authors clearly have a passion and knack for communicating what they know to a general audience. The light, irreverent tone of the book is a nice touch, too…Highly recommended for anyone who wants to become a better cook and learn just how the professionals do it.”

Read It & Eat, May 2013
“Think like a professional chef after 12 weeks. Every chapter covers the hows and whys to understand some basic cooking principals and techniques.”

Library Journal
Said and Cappon, owners of Kitchen on Fire! cooking school in Berkeley, CA, have adapted their 12-week culinary boot camp into a book meant to free home cooks from rote recipe following by imparting the essentials of cooking technique and science. Individual chapters are packed with pictorial instructions, easy-to-read text, and exercises or recipes that readers can use to test their skills. This is a streamlined crash course for novices. Those with more skill might try the more comprehensive Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques. Readers interested in everyday recipes with a side of science should look for Alton Brown or America's Test Kitchen titles. [Local tour.]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738214535
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
11/22/2011
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Chef Olivier Said is one of the most respected culinary personalities in the Bay Area, where he is the former co-owner of César Tapas Bar and author of their award-winning cookbook.

Chef MikeC. is an honors graduate from the California Culinary Academy and was the most recent host of the long-running TV series Organic Living with the Hippy Gourmet. They are co-founders of Kitchen on Fire! culinary school in Berkeley, California. Visit: KitchenOnFire.com

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