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Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Jamie Oliver, Giada De Laurentiis, & Tom ColicchioCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
Jamie OliverCooked for three years, at a young age, at the critically acclaimed River Café in London; popular, irreverent host of many TV cooking shows, including The Naked Chef and Oliver's Twist; has won four awards for his TV shows and has a number of best-selliing cookbooks. Food editor for British GQ magazine and has a regular column with the Saturday Times Magazine. Has been active in charity work, "Jamie's School Dinners," to increase nutritional awareness in England's working-class schools.
Extracted from: Oliver's Twist, "More Than Just a Lettuce Leaf" episode, season 1, episode 6, BBC/Food Network, first aired June 4, 2002.
Extracted from: Jamie at Home, "English Onion Soup" segment, season 2, episode 2, BBC/Food Network, first aired June 7, 2008.
Extracted from: Oliver, Jamie, Jamie's Kitchen: A Cooking Course for Everyone, Hyperion Press, Inc., NY, 2002.
Extracted from: Oliver's Twist, "Kitchen Builders," season 1 episode 5, BBC/Food Network, first aired June 12, 2002.
Extracted from: Oliver, Jamie, The Naked Chef Takes Off, Hyperion Press, Inc., NY, 2001.
Extracted from: Oliver's Twist, "Scarlet Division" episode, season 1, episode 16, BBC/Food Network, first aired November 5, 2002.
Giada De Laurentiis
Popular and sexy Food Network chef; granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis. Began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; held positions as a food magazine stylist for magazines like Food & Wine, and cooked at the prestigious Ritz Carlton Fine Dining Room and Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Beverly Hills. Later founded GDL Foods, a catering company in Los Angeles. Host of several popular Food Network programs, including Everything Italian and Giada's Weekend Getaways. Spokesperson for Barilla, the world's largest producer and manufacturer of pasta. Recurring guest chef on the Today Show. First cookbook, Everyday Italian, showcased many of the delicious Italian recipes from her cooking show of the same name; second cookbook, Giada's Family Dinners, quickly became a #1 New York Times best-seller, as did her third cookbook, Everyday Pasta.
Extracted from: Murphy, Jen, Food and Wine magazine website, "Interview with TV Chef Giada De Laurentiis," (www.foodandwine.com/articles/tv-chef-interview-giada-de-laurentiis), 2008.
Extracted from: Esquire magazine website, "Giada De Laurentiis Loves Tomatoes," (www.esquire.com/women/women-we- love/delaurentiis0807), July 19, 2007.
Extracted from: Food Network website cooking video, Giada De Laurentiis, "Everyday Italian: Hearty Proscuitto Pizzettes," 2007.
Extracted from: Dunn, Jancee, Redbook magazine website, "Giada's Recipe for the Good Life," (www.redbookmag.com/fun-contests/celebrity/gaidas-recipe-for-life), December 2007.
Extracted from: Cooking Light interview, "Table Talk with Giada De Laurentiis," (http://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/meet-the-chef/table-talk-giada-de-laurentiis-00400000005715/).
Tom ColicchioChef and co-owner of New York's celebrated Gramercy Tavern, ranked New Yorkers' #1 favorite restaurant in the 2003 Zagat Survey, as well as chef/owner of Craft, the 2002 James Beard Best New Restaurant in America. Received the 2000 James Beard Award for Best Chef in New York City, and a James Beard award for Best General Cookbook in 2001 for his first cookbook, Think Like a Chef; recipient of five James Beard Foundation Medals as of 2008. In 2002, opened Craftbar, a casual adjunct to Craft, CraftSteak in Las Vegas's MGM Grand Hotel, and introduced CraftKitchen, a line of olive oils and condiments imported from Calabria, Italy. In 2003, opened 'Wichcraft next door to Craftbar in New York's Flatiron district, bringing Craft's ethic of simplicity and great ingredients to the ever-popular sandwich. Nominated for an Emmy for reality show Top Chef.
"For some reason, when young cooks first come into my kitchen, they all seem to cook mushrooms the wrong way; they throw the entire batch into a very hot pan, crowding them together. Immediately, the mushrooms release water, the temperature in the pan drops, the water pools in the pan without evaporating, and the mushrooms stew in the liquid and become a watery, rubbery mess. Instead, the mushrooms should be cooked in small batches, which will keep the temperature in the pan from dropping and will give them sufficient space for their water to be released as steam. They should not be moved around much, since this only bunches them further and keeps the mushrooms from caramelizing and developing their deep, nutty flavors."
"All of my recipes call for kosher salt instead of table salt. Kosher salt is more porous, and therefore, less salty than table salt; using it allows me to evenly salt the entire length of the food without it becoming too salty. I also use unsalted butter as I cook, so that I can control the saltiness of the recipe myself—first, when I season the uncooked roast, and last, when I finish it with a light sprinkling of coarse sea salt, which has a nice, clean (unchemical) flavor."
"A vegetable should be cooked until the crunch is gone but the resistance remains. No more, no less."
"Guidelines for fish are hard to give here, since people vary widely on how they like their fish cooked. Usually, when fish turns opaque, it is cooked through. (I like it when it still has a touch of translucence, except in the case of very meaty fish, such as tuna, which I like seared on the edges and rare in the center.) Try to take the fish out of the pan a few moments before it's done, as it will continue to cook on its own."
Extracted from: Colicchio, Tom, Think Like a Chef, Clarkson N. Potter, Crown Publishing Group, NY, NY, 2000.
"If I had one ingredient to take to a desert island, it would be mushrooms."
"If you're going to spend money on anything, make sure you get really great pots and pans and really great knives. The rest of the stuff doesn't matter."
Extracted from: TVGuide.com: "Top Chef's Tom Colicchio Shares His Recipe for Success," June 27, 2007, (http://www.tvguide.com/news/chef-tom-colicchio-37680.aspx).
"I can go out and buy clams and some shallots and garlic, chop it up, put some wine in it, olive oil. Let the clams steam open, add chopped up tomatoes and mustard greens and toss with pasta. That is going to take me 20 minutes. It's a great simple pasta dish. It is that easy. Anybody can do it if they want to do it. It just takes practice."
"We're eating healthier food at home, so he's [Colicchio's teen son] eating what we’re eating. For us the challenge is he likes soda and he likes sweets, so we have to limit that. I think the patterns are set very early when the kids are young. But at the same time, there are some flavors kids just don't like. For him, he'll eat peas, but he doesn't like broccoli. Green was always an issue. For a while he wouldn't eat anything with chopped parsley. He still doesn't eat raw tomatoes, it's the goop inside. I had the same issue when I was a kid. But there are also things he loves that he probably wouldn't if he hadn’t been exposed to them. For instance, he loves caviar."
"What chefs can do when it comes to getting the word out is have people understand food differently. If food is well sourced and well prepared, I don’t think the word healthy needs to be brought into it. It's healthy because it's wholesome. That's what we should focus on. You can buy a box of low-fat macaroni and cheese made with powdered nonsense. I'm not worried if I'm using four different cheeses and it's high in fat. It's real food. That's what's more important."
Extracted from: Parker-Pope, Tara, New York Times, "Even Top Chefs Have Picky Kids," February 19, 2009.
"Simple food doesn't mean simplistic. It requires a healthy dose of skill and hard work."
Extracted from: Colicchio, Tom, Craft of Cooking: Notes and Recipes from a Restaurant Kitchen, Clarkson N. Potter, Crown Publishing Group, NY, NY, 2003.
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