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Hot for the Holidays: Complete Book of Knife Skills - Review

Monday, November 22, 2010 Posted by Rita A

Here is a great idea for the chef in your family. Whether he or she is a seasoned chef or simply a kitchen cook the Zwilling J.A. Henkels Complete Book of Knife Skills is the perfect gift!

The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care
By Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan

The Zwilling J.A. Henkels Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care written by Jeffrey Elliot & James P. Dewan comes to use from the knife skills of the knife manufacturer Zwilling J. A. Henkels. Everyone who creates meals in a kitchen needs to use the proper knife. Good knife skills make preparing and presentation a breeze.

How many of us have a favorite knife? I know I have several but I usually reach for my favorite chef knife. What I didn't know is that not all knives are correct for different cutting tasks. With the help of the Complete Book of Knife Skills, I learned more about the proper way to hold a knife, which knife to choose, and that practice makes perfect! The book begins with a history of cutlery which is pretty interesting. Then it explains the types of knives and blades. It has pictures detailing each particular knife. I never knew there were so many types. I learned how to properly store and sharpen my knives as well as how to be safe while working with knives.

I will have to practice more with the Guide hand procedure. It is actually the safest way to use a knife but my instincts kept telling me to pull my hand away. A few more times in the kitchen and I should have this technique down. Once you have mastered the guide hand procedure, the rest of the book details the different knives and how to correctly handle each one for particular food preparation. You will learn how to make basic vegetable cuts and of course which knife works best to do so. Working with poultry is easier when you follow the guide to cutting a chicken. You will no longer be intimidated by butterflying meat for cooking. It is all detailed for you in full color photos.


- More than 1,200 color step-by-step photos clearly illustrating each technique

- A concealed wire binding that lies flat, keeping a cook’s fingers on the knife where they safely belong

- Clearly labeled full-color illustrations throughout

- Concise, detailed, and easy-to-understand instructions on how to:

* Hold a knife

* Basic cuts

* The proper techniques for cutting poultry, fish, meats specific fruits and vegetables, and garnishes

Some examples of what readers will learn include:

- How to set up your work station
- Basic knife safety measures
- How to hold a chef’s knife
- How to hold your guide hand
- How to use a chef’s knife
- Other knife grips
- Chiffonade
- Rondelles
- Cutting a chicken into eight pieces
- Boning a leg of lamb
- Scaling fish
- Shucking oysters


by Jeffrey Elliot and James P. DeWan
(Robert Rose Inc.; October 2010; hardcover/$34.95)

To Purchase: You can find The Zwilling J. A. Henckels Complete Book of Knife Skills at Robert Rose online or at Amazon. Check with your local book seller too. This book would make a very welcome holiday gift for the chef in your circle.

ISBN-10: 0778802566
ISBN-EAN: 9780778802563

Price (USD): $34.95

Number of Pages: 384
Published Date: Oct 2010

Disclosure: I received a gratis copy for this review. No monetary compensation was offered or accepted for this post. The opinions above are my own. Others experience may vary.

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  1. JanPattersonRN said...

    Oooh. This makes me VERY happy. Now I have a pressie for my housemates. Thanks!