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Order "Think Like a Chef" today!

Think Like a ChefTHINK LIKE A CHEF
by Tom Colicchio

Clarkson Potter Publishers; Hard Cover $37.50; 272 Pages

Tom Colicchio is the Chef and Co-Owner of Gramercy Tavern in New York City.  According to Tom, he never intended to write a cookbook.  "For me, recipes have never been the point. Frankly, I learned to cook in order to get away from recipes", says Tom.

What Tom has created with this cookbook is a way for home cooks to master the techniques and skills that chefs use.  He gives the readers the information they need to buy and understand various ingredients and then with learned cooking skills, he leads you to produce fantastic meals.  In other words,  Tom teaches his readers how to "think like a chef."

The book begins with Techniques - roasting, braising, blanching, sweating, stock-making and sauce-making.  These techniques are the corner-stone of every accomplished cook - professional or not.  The chapter called Studies .  Here, Tom delves into the varied area of vegetables as ingredients to a meal.  For example, the simply prepared oven roasted tomato spurs Tom into creating several outstanding dishes such as Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic, Roasted Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna,  Roasted Tomato Risotto, Clam Ragout with Pancetta, Roasted Tomatoes and Mustard Greens, Sea Bass stuffed with Roasted Tomatoes, Seared Tuna with Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette and Fennel Salad and a few more.  The chapter continues with the same format using mushrooms, braised artichokes, asparagus, ramps and morels as ingredients to build dishes around. 

In another chapter on Component Cooking, Tom shares with his readers his way of thinking about the different components that comprise a plate of food based on Spring, Summer and Fall vegetables.  His philosophy here is based on the principle that "if it grows together, it goes together." The section on summer vegetables yields such dishes as Ratatouille and Eggplant Caviar, while the fall section features Roasted Savory Cabbage with Raisins and Roasted Endive with Whole Spices.

This is no ordinary cookbook written by just any chef - thank goodness!  Yes, there are glorious recipes that Tom shares from Gramercy Tavern as well as some of Tom's own personal favorite recipes from home.  But what Tom is doing with this unique cookbook is encouraging home cooks to "push the envelope" and to experiment and create in the kitchen.  So order the book and read it cover to cover first.  Then, go shopping and when you've bought the best ingredients possible, come home to your kitchen and "think like a chef".




AICR Health Talk  From the AICR Test Kitchen  Cookbooks  Artist/Chef