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Chefs' Culinary Secrets & Cooking Philosophies | Tom Colicchio, Jamie Oliver, & Rachael RayCompiled by Vicki McClure Davidson
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' 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.
"Brown chicken stock forms the base for many sauces and braises and is an essential ingredient to have at the ready in your kitchen (it freezes well). Although you could use water in place of white chicken stock, I don't recommend it. The results are far superior—richer flavor and fuller texture—when you use white chicken stock instead."
"Salsify is an autumn vegetable, with a slightly sweet flavor that some liken to an oyster, and a potato-like texture that lends itself well to roasting. Like a potato, needs to be cooked slowly to keep it from becoming mushy. I accomplish this by braising the salsify gently in a little stock, which also adds a nice rich flavor, before roasting. Salsify is especially good with roasted meat and poultry."
"Nowadays, fresh herbs can be purchased in just about any good supermarket. Although most recipes call for only one sprig or two, don't be deterred by the size of a package of supermarket herbs. Buy the whole thing and use liberally; unlike dried, you run little risk of overpowering a dish with most fresh herbs. To wash, dip herbs into a bowl of cool water or under a thin stream of tap water. Always use a very sharp knife to chop herbs and do so only at the last moment—never in advance."
Extracted from: Colicchio, Tom, Think Like a Chef, Clarkson N. Potter, Crown Publishing Group, NY, NY, 2000.
"Cook often, eat well."
Extracted from: Creators of Top Chef and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef, The Cookbook, Bravo Media, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA, 2008.
"Certain ingredients can withstand imperfect preparation; please never serve me a badly cooked leek."
"We can debate the merits of eating meat versus eating vegetables. There are certain acids in our stomach that are present solely to break down meat, that wouldn’t be there were we not supposed to eat the stuff. But along with those acids, we also have freedom of choice, and while I personally like being at the top of the food chain, I fully respect the choice to abstain from eating meat, whether for reasons of health or conviction."
Extracted from: Top Chef Blog, Tom Colicchio, (http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/blogs/tom-colicchio/if-you-can-mock-a-leek-you-can-eat-a-leek-william-shakespeare-henry-v).
Cooked 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-selling 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, "The Big Cheese," season 2, episode 16, BBC/Food Network, first aired 2003.
Extracted from: Oliver, Jamie, Jamie's Kitchen: A Cooking Course for Everyone, Hyperion Press, Inc., NY, 2002.
Extracted from: The Naked Chef, "Babysitting," season 1, episode 3, BBC/Food Network, 1999.
Extracted from: Oliver's Twist, "Kitchen Builders," season 1, episode 5, BBC/Food Network, first aired June 12, 2002.
Extracted from: Oliver's Twist, "Tiger," season 1, episode 12, BBC/Food Network, first aired October 8, 2002.
In 2008, was the highest paid US television chef with her TV cooking/talk show, 14 best-selling cookbooks (as of 2008), her own magazine in 2005 Every Day with Rachael Ray), and cookware endorsements. In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated Ray's earnings for the year at $16 million. Garnered national attention from a 2001 segment on the Today show that aired during a blizzard; was signed to a $360,000 contract the next day by the Food Network. Nominated for Emmys for 30 Minute Meals and Rachael Ray. Known for her perkiness and big smile; famous trademark terms: "Yum-o!" and "EVOO" (for extra-virgin olive oil).
Extracted from: Ray, Rachael, Reader's Digest website, "Rachael Ray's Kitchen Shortcuts," (www.rd.com/advice-and-know-how/rachael-rays-kitchen-shortcuts/article28698.html), November 2005.
Extracted from: Quotes UBR website, (http://www.quotes.ubr.com/subject-quotes/a/author-quotations-a-z/rachael-ray-quotes.aspx).
Extracted from: Ray, Rachael, 365: No Repeats - A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners, A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, NY, NY, 2005.
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