Outlaw Cook' was a revelation. Folks like Jeff Smith and Marcella Hazan got me interested in cooking, but John Thorne pushed me into the path that I follow to this day. This is the only cookbook I've ever read that understands how men really eat: over the sink, in the dark, greasy to the elbows.
Basting is evil. Basting does nothing for the meat. Why? Skin. Skin is designed to keep stuff out of the bird, so basting just lets heat out of the oven. That means the turkey will take longer to cook... so don't touch that door!
A pie dough comes together exactly like a biscuit only there is very, very little liquid and no leavening involved. Other than that, the same rules apply. My best advice: handle the dough as little as possible.
Molecular gastronomy is not bad... but without sound, basic culinary technique, it is useless.
The worst food you'll ever eat will probably be prepared by a 'cook' who calls himself a 'chef.' Mark my words.
A lot of food shows need only to tempt. Some food shows only need to inspire, to empower. And there are a lot of shows that do that.
Do not allow watching food to replace making food.
I think a lot of food shows, especially when we started 'Good Eats' back in the late '90s, they were still really about food. 'Good Eats' isn't about food, it's about entertainment. If, however, we can virally infect you with knowledge or interest, then all the better.
I'm a filmmaker who decided to go to culinary school. All I picked up was the fact if I didn't understand what was going on with every single ingredient, I could be qualifying for, like, the lunch food job at my daughter's school.
You don't want flame to hit your food. Flame is bad. Flame does nasty things to food. It makes soot and it makes deposits of various chemicals that are not too good for us. The last thing you really want to see licking at your food while it's on a grill is an actual flame.
You know most of the food that Americans hold so dear - things like hamburgers and hot dogs - were road food, but even before they were road food, they were peasant food.
For me, it was kind of like going into the military or something. And anybody - any male - who has ever worked in a French kitchen knows what I am talking about when I say that.
The stubby French painter Toulouse-Lautrec supposedly invented chocolate mousse - I find that rather hard to believe, but there you have it.
Take ice. Ice is fascinating to me. Ice is the one thing in our world that went from an agricultural product to being manufactured.
I grill almost all of my fish with the skin on because that gives you real protection at least on one side. It's a nice barrier against super high heat which tends to make a lot of fish to turn really flaky. It's very easy to overcook fish on the grill. But I still brush it with oil before I start.