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Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies







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Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Emeril Lagasse, Michel Roux, & Tyler Florence

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson



Cutlery image Emeril Lagasse

Popular, Emmy-nominated and James Beard Award-winning television chef who specializes in Louisiana (primarily Creole and Cajun) cooking; chef at and/or owner of many acclaimed restaurants; has written a number of best-selling cookbooks and has been one of the most often-watched chefs on The Food Network; frequently uses the catch phrases "Bam!" and "Let's kick it up a notch." His TV cooking shows have included Emeril, How to Boil Water, Emeril Live, and Essence of Emeril.


"A glaze is a stock that has been cooked until much of the water has evaporated and the volume reduced. You can make a glaze with meat, fish, or fowl because the natural gelatin from the bones gives the stock the glutinous quality it needs for successful reduction. The best way to store glazes is in ice trays in the freezer. When prepapring a soup or sauce, add one cube of glaze to the stock already in the recipe, and the flavor and texture will be enhanced dramatically."

Extracted from: Lagasse, Emeril and Tirsch, Jessie, Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking, William Morrow Cookbooks, NY, 1993.


"You should have a little tool like this (is holding a metal ice cream scooper, standing over a large bowl of meatball mixture) because, you know, like in my case, what are you gonna have? Like 50 people over and you're going to make a couple hundred meatballs? I mean, to stand there, by hand... this is a great tool to sorta portion out your meatballs."

Extracted from: The Essence of Emeril, The Food Network, aired November 27, 2006.


"Do you know what the "trinity" is? If you've watched my show, you know—it's onions, bell peppers, and celery—and it's very important to many of my dishes. Most of the time I use all three, sometimes I might use one or two together."

"I believe in having homemade stock, if at all possible, prepared and stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I don't know why, but many people are intimidated by the word stock, which is really nothing more than a strained liquid made by cooking vegetables, meat, or fish and other seasoning ingredients in water. Sure you can buy stocks, broths, and consommés in cans, or you can make some by adding water to granules or cubes that you can get at your neighborhood grocery store. But, ah, they are full of salt and the ones you can make are so much better. I've said it many times, we're not building a rocket ship; we're only really boiling water with bones and seasonings, then straining it. Once you've mastered making stocks, you'll never go back to that commercial stuff again."

Extracted from: Lagasse, Emeril, Emeril's TV Dinners: Kickin' It Up a Notch with Recipes from Emeril Live and Essence of Emeril, William Morrow Cookbooks, NY, 1998.


"I've always done food that can work in a set time frame. The message I'm trying to get across is, it doesn't have to take three days to do this. With planning, you can do a lot and really have quality food every day."

"My philosophy from day one is that I can sleep better at night if I can improve an individual's knowledge about food and wine, and do it on a daily basis."

Extracted from:, "Emeril Lagasse," (


"In the early '80s, I moved to Louisiana and another light bulb went off. My French, Canadian, Portuguese background came out and then my spiritual feelings about being on a farm and the connection to the soil cames back, and I began to start another farm, raising products. I really want to control as much of the quality of ingredients for my customers as I can. So when people say to me now, 'What do you mean you've got a green show? You've gone green?' It's like I've been green for 30 years, you know?"

Extracted from: Kinsman, Kat, AOL Food, "Q&A with Emeril Lagasse," (



Chef foods divider


Cutlery image Michel Roux

Three Michelin Star chef, Michel cooked for nearly two decades at the esteemed Waterside Inn at Bray in Berkshire, near Windsor in England. Is considered by many to be the godfather of the culinary revolution in Britain in the 1970s. Has had two TV shows and a number of successful cookbooks. In a poll of UK chefs conducted by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine in 2003, Michel and his brother Albert were voted the most influential chefs in the country. Michel was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France for patisserie in 1972 and an honorary OBE alongside his brother in 2002; is the recipient of The International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.


"Three vital rules to remember before embarking on the preparation of a dessert are:

  • Have all the equipment needed for the recipe readily at hand.
  • Measure all the ingredients before you begin and keep them in separate containers.
  • Preheat the oven to the necessary temperature.

By following the golden rules, you will produce successful and delicious desserts every time."

Extracted from: Roux, Michel, Michel Roux's Finest Desserts, Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., NY, 2001.


"Never break eggs straight into a mixture or into the pan when cooking, but first crack them individually into a ramekin to check that they are fresh."

Extracted from: Roux, Michel, Eggs, Quadrille Publishing Limited, London, 2005.


"It is better to wipe fresh mushrooms clean than to wash them, as they will absorb water and lose their flavor."

"Shallots become bitter after chopping, so rinse them under cold water before using in a sauce."

Extracted from: Roux, Michel, Sauces for Savory Dishes, Quadrille Publishing Limited, London, 2005.


Chef foods divider


Cutlery image Tyler Florence

Graduate of the prestigious College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, South Carolina. Was later given an honorary doctorate from the university for his culinary success. In 1998, Tyler opened the critically acclaimed Cafeteria in Manhattan as executive chef, and under his direction, the restaurant received a nomination for Best New Restaurant in Time Out New York. He has hosted several TV cookings shows, including Food 911, How to Boil Water, and Tyler's Ultimate on the Food Network. Tyler is a champion of uncomplicated food and freshness, and he appeals to viewers who have limited time or skills in the kitchen. He is the author of three popular cookbooks. Named by People magazine as one of the sexiest men on cable TV.


"One of the best things about summer is the sweet aroma of a grill creeping through the neighborhood. A bite of a homemade burger and a cold drink and all is well with the world."

"A beautiful kitchen may improve the resale value of your house, but it doesn't make you a better cook; the only thing that can make you a better cook is cooking."

"Early in my career, when every kitchen position was "a learning experience" (i.e., paid very little), I would often spend the lion's share of my paycheck on a single knife. A great knife was the symbol of a cook who took his calling seriously. Wüsthof knives have been part of my chef's kit for ten years. They are made of the best high-carbon steel in the world. The factory-honed edge is razor-sharp and the weight of the knife is perfectly balanced. It's a serious cook's knife, and the best thing is that the company will replace it if it breaks."

"[When making blueberry scones,] avoid using frozen blueberries because the color bleeds too much into the dough and spoils the look of the scone."

Extracted from: Florence, Tyler, Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen: An Indispensable Guide for Anybody Who Likes to Cook, Clarkson Potter, Crown Publishing Group, NY, 2003.


"Pancetta is an unsmoked, cured Italian bacon. Substitute regular thick-cut sliced bacon if you can't find it."

Extracted from: Woman's Day Special, Holiday Celebrations with Emeril & Food Network, "Tyler Florence," Volume XIV, Number 4, December 28, 2004.


"As a chef, I prefer fish over meat."

Extracted from: Quote Lucy website, (



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