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Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies







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Chefs' Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Wolfgang Puck & Dave Lieberman

Compiled by Vicki McClure Davidson



Cutlery image Wolfgang Puck

World-famous chef, owns several high-end, successful restaurants, including Spago Beverly Hills, Spago Chicago, Spago Las Vegas, Spago Palo Alto, and Wolfgang Puck American Grille. Has hosted several TV cooking shows and had six best-selling cookbooks. For more than a decade, his Wolfgang Puck Catering company has created the cuisine for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' post-Oscar-show Governor’s Ball, the official party of the Academy Awards®. In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year at $13 million. His ever-growing empire includes branded cookware, utensils, and appliances sold on Home Shopping Network, Sam's Club, and the Frontgate catalog, and his packaged goods include Wolfgang Puck All-Natural pizza, All-Natural and Organic Wolfgang Puck Soups, Stocks and Broths, and Wolfgang Puck’s Coffee. Is committed to charity work.


"Choose wooden spoons made of olive wood rather than softwoods, like pine, because olive wood is not as porous and will last longer without splintering."

Extracted from: HSN website, "Wolfgang Puck Tips," (


"When beating egg whites, it is best to use eggs that are at least three days old. Have the eggs at room temperature. Place the whites in a perfectly clean bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat gently until the whites form firm peaks when the beaters are lifted from the bowl. The purpose is to incorporate as much air as possible into the beaten eggs."

"When making potato pancakes, always be sure to squeeze off all the excess water and starch after shredding before you put it into the pan."

"[When adding butter to a sauce], the butter should be at room temperature. For better control, add the butter with your hands, letting a small amount at a time slip into the sauce, whisking all the while as the butter is incorporated. If the sauce gets too hot, remove the saucepan from the flame and continue adding the butter. The sauce should get neither too hot nor too cold."

Extracted from: HSN website, "More Tips and Techniques from Wolfgang Puck," ( cooking-tips-techniques_at-4243_xa.aspx).


"To roast tomatoes, preheat the broiler and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the tomatoes on the foil and set under the broiler, about an inch from the flame. Check after 2 minutes. If the skin is brown and blistered, turn the tomatoes over using tongs. Broil on the other side another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the skin is brown and blistered. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in a bowl. Then core the tomatoes and remove the skins."

"Once you add the dry ingredients to a quick bread, don't overwork the batter or your bread will not be tender."

"Buy your mussels from the best fishmonger you can find. They should smell as clean and briny as the ocean, without even a suspicion of fishiness or ammonia. When you get them home, transfer them at once from their packaging to a bowl, cover with a damp towel, and refrigerate."

"The choice of squash is important for a winter squash soup. Butternut, with its rich flavor and texture and golden-yellow color, is my first choice. I also like to include some kabocha squash, a recent Japanese arrival, which has a globe shape, a striped dark-green skin, and a pleasant, mild-tasting flesh."

"Chefs don't salt their chicken stock because they often reduce it for sauces."

Extracted from: Puck, Wolfgang, Wolfgang Puck Makes It Easy: Delicious Recipes for Your Home Kitchen, Rutledge Hill Press, Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, 2004.


"I really believe food has to look good by itself. If you buy good, fresh green beans, you don't have to line them up in a row or anything like that. Just put them out on a nice-looking plate."

"Young people want to be famous before they know how to cook, before they know how to treat people, before they know what hospitality means. I stayed in France for seven years and Austria for three, so before I was a chef anywhere I was already cooking for 10 years... Only you can judge your life. You have to live up to your own expectations."

Extracted from: "Wolfgang Puck Quotes," Famous-Entrepreneurs website (


Chef foods divider


Cutlery imageDave Lieberman

The Food Network’s youngest host at age 25 and chosen for People magazine’s "50 Hottest Bachelors" in 2008. Hosts the cooking show Good Deal on the Food Network, which focuses on cheap recipes that anyone can make. His self-proclaimed mission is to teach people how to live, eat, and entertain like royalty, even on a commoner's budget. As a college student at Yale University, he enlisted friends to produce a local-access cooking show, Campus Cuisine, with himself cast in the role of the show's chef. Enjoyed cooking on the show so much that he opened his own campus catering service and was eventually discovered by Food Network producers. Has authored two cookbooks.


"I like to focus on less expensive proteins, as I call them. A lot of people when they go to the market they only buy things they know, maybe a pork chop or steak, but there are other parts of the animal that are just as flavorful. You just need to have the right recipe for it. Focus on things like flank steak or the shoulder cuts or a braised shank."

Extracted from: Thurston, Susan, St. Petersburg (FL) Times, SoundLife section of WA News Tribune, "Bachelor Chef Shares His Cooking Secrets" (, September 10, 2008.


"Cooking isn't for everyday. But on the weekends, when you have free time, that's when you can really enjoy the experience, and share with people."

"Dinner for two is one of the most romantic things you can do for a woman."

"Amazing gourmet food is within everyone's reach—even my friends and I, who are on a tight budget."

"A little goes a long way. Anything that's going to give you a lot of flavor with a little amount is something worth spending money on."

Extracted from:, Dave Lieberman Quotes, (



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