cover image Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques & Tricks from America’s Greatest Cooks

Secrets of the Best Chefs: Recipes, Techniques & Tricks from America’s Greatest Cooks

Adam Roberts. Artisan, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-579-65439-9

Roberts, better known as the Amateur Gourmet blogger, showcases 50 of the chefs he’s encountered throughout the years, both professional and home cooks, and recounts their culinary journeys and favorite recipes to inspire readers to cook at home. A who’s who of the food world, participants include Barbuto’s Jonathan Waxman, Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, noted TV personality and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich, La Brea Bakery’s Nancy Silverton, and Sara Moulton, famed TV host and cookbook author. Among these legendary cooks we find culinary gems such as Tim Artz, who makes his own honey, mead, and soap (from rendered beef fat), not to mention growing everything from figs and Meyer lemons to kaffir lime leaves. Angelish Wilson, chef-owner of Wilson’s Soul Food, offers food that radiates the warmth and comfort you’d expect from a Southern soul food restaurant, from vegetarian collard greens and chow chow to glorious fried chicken and fresh pecan pie. Melissa Clark, cookbook author and New York Times food columnist, shares her seared duck breast with garam masala and grapes, while Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle offers up chicken with rosemary and fennel and balsamic-braised radicchio. While some of these dishes may seem beyond the reach of amateur home cooks, Roberts argues just the opposite. As a self-taught cook, he aims to inspire confidence in the kitchen and encourage home cooks to expand their culinary horizons. No one could ask for a better group of instructors. (Oct.)