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The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care [Spiral-bound]

Jeffrey Elliot , James DeWan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 37.95
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Book Description

Sept. 23 2010

The definitive book on knife skills from the knife manufacturer recognized worldwide as the symbol of the best quality and function.

Every home chef needs a knife skills book. Cooks who know how to choose a knife, how to maintain it and how to use it properly work more safely, more quickly and more efficiently. Good knife skills also allow a cook to cut ingredients uniformly, allowing everything to cook at the same rate and creating the best presentation in the final dish.

The authors' unique approach in this book stems from their experience in the culinary classroom, where they observed how people learn. Elliot and DeWan refined their teaching process based on this vast experience.

Some of the features in the book are:

  • More than 1,200 color step-by-step photos that clearly instruct and provide information on each technique
  • Instructions on proper knife sharpening techniques
  • Arrows and other graphic devices that direct the reader to the exact photo on the page and the precise skill illustrated
  • A concealed wiro binding that lies flat, keeping a cook's fingers on the knife, where they safely belong
  • Concise, detailed and easy-to-understand instructions on how to hold a knife, the basic cuts and the proper techniques for cutting poultry, fish and specific vegetables and fruits, and creative garnishes
  • Coverage of Japanese-style knives and cutting techniques
  • Concise history of knives and knife-making

The Complete Book of Knife Skills was created in collaboration with Zwilling J.A. Henckels, one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-quality knives. This indispensable reference will allow home cooks to teach themselves knife skills based on professional instructors' years of experience.


Frequently Bought Together

The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care + The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
Price For Both: CDN$ 50.12


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Review

The right tools are great in the kitchen, but if you don't have technique you're not going to have much success. Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use Techniques and Care by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan (Rober Rose, 34.95) is a worthy text for every cook. Cutting skills are something that are easily taken for granted, but if you do a lot of cooking, proper technique will save wear and tear on your knives by using the right knife for the job and using it in a way that won't ruin the knife. It will also save you from injury by learning how to keep from cutting yourself or cramping your hands with improper grip. This hefty manual covers it all from the basics of vegetables and fruits through every kind of meat, fish and poultry and even sashimi. It also covers garnishes ---- the things that take you from utility to creativity, and that makes it fun. It's beautifully and very thoroughly photographed. If you know how to prepare it you're more likely to try something new. (Wendy Burke Winnipeg Free Press 2010-12-08)

The best things you can give a cook are a high-quality knife and a book on how to use it. Zwilling J.A. Henckels' Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care (Robert Rose, 34.95) will be treasured by cooks who would like to improve their kitchen skills. (Sharon Thompson Lexington Herald-Leader 2010-12-02)

This is a cooking course in one book, its illustrations explaining every cutting procedure, and including reducing your tears when you cut an onion, cutting up that pesky pineapple, and not cutting yourself. The two U.S. chefs start with tips on knives; they consider the chef's knife and paring knife basic. Step-by-step photographs cover all the popular fruit and vegetables, followed by cutting up a chicken, "frenching" a lamb rack, filleting a fish, and splitting a lobster. Painless, helpful, and sure to improve your cooking. Include a name chef's knife with your gift. (Julian Armstrong Montreal Gazette 2010-11-30)

Here is an excellent book that would be useful on any cook's bookshelf. Good knife skills are the single most important skill in the kitchen. They are the difference between enjoyable food preparation and kitchen drudgery. This very well-prepared book helps to give you everything you need to know about knives, and how to use them safely and efficiently. It has far more information than an average home cook needs, including how knives are made, and descriptions of scores of different knives, most of which never appears in a home kitchen. Detailed knife care, sharpening and honing are essential reading. Knife skill is a practical skill that is best learned in cooking classes or watching videos. This book, with numerous first-rate photographs, is the next best thing. Some techniques are simple, but the more complex ones (creaming garlic, for example) take your full concentration to follow through photos and descriptions.The two professional authors guide you through all kitchen jobs using a knife. The numerous sidebars and graphics provide great, useful information. The senior author works for a major knife manufacturer and a slight bias is evident. A DVD would have been a useful inclusion. (George Erdosh San Francisco Book Review 2010-12-05)

I think that this would make a wonderful gift for any budding home cook. (Jamie Drummond Good Food Revolution 2011-01-03)

Slice and dice like a pro. (Elizabeth Baird SunMedia 2011-01-05)

I just reviewed a copy of a brand new book, Zwilling J.A Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan. Leave it to a venerable knife company, J. A. Henckels, founded in 1731, to come out with the ultimate guide to cutlery. This book is one of the most thorough and complete on the subject I've ever seen, covering topics like shopping, storing, and sharpening as well as techniques for cutting, ranging from simple dicing, to fluting a mushroom, to spatchcocking (butterflying to you) a chicken. If you're at all serious about cooking, I recommend this book. One of the first things people do when they develop an interest in the subject, is invest in a set of good quality knives. But all too often, I watch, and cringe, as people use the wrong technique, allow their knives to get dull, and eventually abandon them for an inexpensive serrated model. Like many things, good knife skills require practice--remember the scene from Julie and Julia when Madame Child tackled a bushel of onions with abandon to master the art of chopping? Purchasing the Complete Book of Knife Skills alone won't turn you into a pro, but if you buy it, and read it, and use it as a teaching guide, you'll be on your way. I love the fact that it's spiral bound so the pages lie flat on the countertop, making it easy to refer to as you work. (Sharon Franke Good Housekeeping Magazine 2010-10-17)

Ask most home cooks what skill they would like to sharpen and they would tell you the same thing: knife skills. Don't you love how chefs chop those onions so fast? Now I have some great knives, but do I know everything I should about using it properly? I know how to find out. Culinary experts Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan have written a reference book: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques and Care (Robert Rose, $34.95). Learning how to hold and use a knife correctly will not only help you work more safely, but will also enable you to work faster and cleaner with less waste, making you much more efficient in the kitchen, says Elliot. Plus food will look and taste better. And step-by-step photographs are just what we've been waiting for. Bring on the onions. (Gail Ciampa Providence Journal Newspaper 2010-10-21)

Having a set of good knives is one thing but knowing how to use them takes you to another level of home cooking. The Complete Book of Knife Skills is very user friendly with simple instructions and detailed photographs. I specifically benefited from the section Everything You Need to Know About Knives. It covers the history, how knives are made, parts, blade styles, types, and care. I believe that once this section is mastered the actual use makes it much easier. It always amazes me to watch professional chefs on TV slicing, dicing, and chopping. They are quick and precise. This book shows us amateurs how to master this skill, from which knife to use, how to hold the knife and the object, to the actual performance. However, we can know all that but the most important thing is to be sure the knife is sharp. And, if you don't know how to sharpen a knife there are instructions and accompanying photographs on how to do so. For me, this book is a godsend. I have the whole gamut of professional knives but have never learned how to properly use them. The step-by-step methods in Complete Book of Knife Skills are showing me how to hone in on my skills and use the knives to my advantage. This book would be a wonderful gift for any aspiring chef or as a wedding present. Of course, having the right knives is a plus as well, so a Henckels knife would certainly be a great addition. Highly recommended. (Irene Watson Reader Views 2011-02-16)

The one slightly geeky aspect of cooking that every cook will benefit from is improving one's knife skills. A better understanding of how to hold and cut with a knife safely and speedily, how to hold food when cutting it, and how to cut accurately and uniformly will make preparing food more pleasurable and the presentation of food more appealing. The Complete Book of Knife Skills is a spiral-bound hardcover meticulously-explained course in understanding how knives are made, the different styles and uses of knives, how to sharpen a knife, how to set up an efficient and safe working environment, and how to hold knives and food for greatest safety and ease of cutting. After an initial chapter on basic vegetable cuts (dice, chiffonade, rondelles, and so on), separate chapters discuss and demonstrate how to cut individual types of fruit and vegetables, poultry, meat, fish and shellfish; how to carve and how to cut attractive garnishes, such as ribbons, strawberry fans, and citrus curls... A useful and visually interesting reference work. (Ron Mikulak Louisville Courier-Journal 2010-12-08)

This is the most comprehensive and easy-to-understand book on the correct use of knives in cooking we've come across. (Mid-Valley News 2010-11-10)

My teenage son who chops vegetables each weekend at Biagio's Italian Kitchen has learned impressive knife skills over the months, and he's the first to point out how many so-called cooking celebrities on TV simply don't know how to manipulate sharp objects. Oh, sure, you can extend your fingers perilously toward the blade--and it's all fun until someone finds the tip of a human digit in the salad niçoise. We hate when that happens. This very well-illustrated how-to book will spare you from making silly and dangerous mistakes, as well as teach simple knife-carving tricks to transform, say, cucumber and celery into little sculpted works of art. Shows you how to save big money by taking two minutes to properly butcher a whole eviscerated chicken, bone out a leg of lamb, butterfly shrimp and split a lobster. Learn how to use basic tools, and be amazed at the utter simplicity of it all. (Byron Eade Ottawa Citizen 2010-11-25)

After their two hands, chefs cite a good knife as their most indispensable kitchen utensil. Zwilling J.A. Henkels Complete Book of Knife Skills by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan begins with knife construction, safety and care. In textbook-like detail, using hundreds of photos and illustrations, it teaches techniques for slicing, dicing, peeling, julienne, chiffonade, rondelles and oblique and paysanne (tile) cuts for fruits and vegetables. Then it shows how to de-bone poultry, butterfly chops, French a rack of lamb, fillet a whole fish, shuck oysters and prepare squid. A final chapter is devoted to garnishes. If you need a knife to do it, this book shows you how. (Linda Brandt Sarasota Herald-Tribune 2010-12-08)

Very little cooking can happen if you don't wield a knife well, and that's one reason why The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan (Robert Rose) leads this list. Another reason is that it's a terrific book, laying out the construction and design of kitchen knives before teaching different cutting techniques and then going on to show how they apply to a variety of meats and fruits and vegetables. Nicely illustrated and spiral bound for ease of tabletop use, it's an essential. (B.A. Nilsson Metroland: New York's Capital Region Newspaper 2010-12-10)

Hurry to a bookstore and purchase it before the first edition is sold out. (Hrayr Berberoglu WinesWorld Magazine 2011-02-10)

About the Author

Jeffrey Elliot is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has cooked at Le Cirque and Le Bernardin in New York. He is manager of culinary relations for Zwilling J.A. Henckels, Demeyere and Staub as well as the executive chef for Zwilling J.A. Henckels U.S. He lives in New York City.

James P. DeWan is a chef, culinary instructor and award-winning food writer. His Chicago Tribune column, "Prep School," is now in its fifth year, and he has served on the culinary faculty at Kendall College in Chicago. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Established in 1731, Zwilling J.A. Henckels has the experience and competence that come with manufacturing knives of outstanding quality for more than 275 years.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have Manual for Every Chef Sept. 18 2014
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
While I prefer handcrafted Japanese steel over German, this book is invaluable and Henckels has done an exceptional job of clearly instructing the user on how to improve their knife skills.

This book is useful for all skill levels, ranging from novice to culinary professional (myself). It clearly explains a number of cuts, from classic French vegetable cuts to garnishes and even butchery. Each page displays step-by-step instructions, coupled with an ample amount of clear colour photographs. It even explains sharpening techniques, a large variety of knives, their uses, and how they are crafted, along with tips & troubleshooting.

If you think your knife skills could use a little work, you will love this book. I've already given a copy to my sous so that he may use it to train our new employees. As a chef, it's a joy to see the confidence in new cooks rise high as they hone their knife skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book April 24 2011
Format:Spiral-bound
It's a nice book, with cool techniques from basic to advanced ones. The knives history is also a plus! Some cuts are easy, but some you need to practice a little bit more and, by the end, eat all the knowledge...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Jan. 22 2014
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
Clear easy to read and understand. Though the pictures were great and showed exactly how to go about cutting things properly. Passed it on to my son to read and he agreed, said it saved him from a few cuts and allowed him to prepare food quicker and easier.
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