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Old 02-01-2012, 10:55 PM   #361
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I never take a cookbook into the kitchen...notes only.
Just what room do you take your cookbooks into??
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Old 02-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #362
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The living room...just like normal folks...
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:56 PM   #363
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I never take a cookbook into the kitchen...notes only.
I erred a few times and I learned my lesson. My beloved hard cover Joy of Cooking has a small stain on at least one page. I was so furious at myself that I vowed to mend my ways. It makes me shudder to think that Julia & Jacques or Julia's Mastering the Art of French Cooking could ever have a stain. I'm pretty sure most of my cookbooks will fetch a dear price some day when I'm gone to my final reward. Even better if they don't have books then! I'm pretty sure that's at least a couple decades in the future.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #364
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At first I wasn't going to, but I broke down and waded through this entire thread. I'd like to offer a few comments:

1. Just to settle the issue, "chef" is title that applies to the person who runs a professional kitchen. It merely means "chief." Sometimes it's appropriately applied to those who run specific stations in the kitchen, for those few who still run full brigades. In theory, a "chef" doesn't even have to know how to cook.

2. I found myself bemused at all the ways members define "best." My over-riding question: How to you begin to judge a chef's cooking ability unless you've tasted his/her food? That's what the job is all about. If I'm counting right, in going on 400 posts, only three mentioned that at all.

3. Count me among the abnormal. Cookbooks, to me, are tools, not some sort of sacred icons. I wouldn't hesitate to take any of the 500 or so I own into the kitchen. And if one of them gets a gravy stain on a page, so what?

Finally, to answer the OPs question. Counting only celebrity chefs whose food I've eaten, along with other factors, I would unhesitently choose Eric Ripart. But I may be biased, as I firmly believe that if Ripart isn't the finest chef working in America he runs whoever is a very close second.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:14 PM   #365
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I never take a cookbook into the kitchen...notes only.
I'm the opposite. Many of my books have stained pages, not to mention notes on how I modified the recipes right on the very page so I can remember for next time.

I designed my book to have a solid spine but a spiral binding inside so the book lays flat. Otoh, when it's a coffee-table book, I xerox the pages I want to use so I won't break the spine.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #366
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It's always bugged me how little room there is in the margins to record modifications. So, when we designed our books, we intentionally left space for notes and comments at the bottom of each recipe for just that reason.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:15 PM   #367
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Jacques Pepin. Hands down.

We also have a chef here that appears occasionally on TV as a guest. Jasper White. He is a recognized authority on seafood. He makes his chowders the old fashion way. No thickeners other than a few mashed potatoes that are in the chowder. And he uses salt pork or slab bacon.

Sara Moulton is on PBS and the Create channel. The Create channel shows a lot of the cooking shows from their archives. Nick Stellino is presently being shown once a week.

The FN wanted to clean house and attract a younger audience. So a lot of the chef's left and went elsewhere. Too bad. They now have fewer trained chefs and more home cooks. I want to learn the tricks that the pro's use. Home cooking I know. All that cheerfulness in the kitchen is more than I can take. There are some days I just don't feel that happy to be cooking.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:40 AM   #368
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I'm the opposite. Many of my books have stained pages, not to mention notes on how I modified the recipes right on the very page so I can remember for next time.

I designed my book to have a solid spine but a spiral binding inside so the book lays flat. Otoh, when it's a coffee-table book, I xerox the pages I want to use so I won't break the spine.
I have to admit that I am VERY OCD about any books...I am barely able to write my name on the inside cover. The cookbooks are used as references, modifications go in a notebook and then into the cookbook.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:19 AM   #369
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Since we are a bit off topic anyway, I use two large photo albums. The first one gets all of my clippings/ recipes to try. The recipes with modifications or as is gets moved to the second book only if I absolutely know its TNT and I will make it again.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #370
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We also have a chef here that appears occasionally on TV as a guest. Jasper White. He is a recognized authority on seafood. He makes his chowders the old fashion way. No thickeners other than a few mashed potatoes that are in the chowder. And he uses salt pork or slab bacon.
Jasper White is one of the best chefs anywhere, imho. We used to be neighbors when I lived in the North End. and although he is "famous" for seafood, and his wonderful Summer Shacks, he can cook me the dinner of his choice anytime.

I think he is not more famous (nationally) because he's never sought that out. But everyone who loves to cook should know him, at least through his recipes.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:38 PM   #371
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Jasper White is one of the best chefs anywhere, imho. We used to be neighbors when I lived in the North End. and although he is "famous" for seafood, and his wonderful Summer Shacks, he can cook me the dinner of his choice anytime.

I think he is not more famous (nationally) because he's never sought that out. But everyone who loves to cook should know him, at least through his recipes.
Anytime I am asked where do I want to go to dinner for some event (birthday, Mother's Day, Etc.) I always choose the Summer Shack in Cambridge.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:37 AM   #372
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I'm the opposite. Many of my books have stained pages, not to mention notes on how I modified the recipes right on the very page so I can remember for next time.

I designed my book to have a solid spine but a spiral binding inside so the book lays flat. Otoh, when it's a coffee-table book, I xerox the pages I want to use so I won't break the spine.
I hear you on that one. One of my fav cookbooks is The Encylopedia of Cooking by Family Circle. I have made notes in that, etc. I have to hide it now. When we adopted our cat, Lucy, she liked it too. Not in a good way, though. A few of the pages have claw marks.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:57 AM   #373
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I don't like Gordon Ramsey, either. I find him boorish and cruel. I don't care if he cooks well, he's already lost my interest in anything he does by his obnoxious behavior.
I totally agree, plus I can't stand to look at him.

I think Sara Moulton is pretty good. I think all of her shows are reruns, but I have learned a lot from watching her. She used to have a show on The Food Network. People phoned in with questions, and it was live. I miss the "old" Food Network.

There was another chef back then... David Rosengarten. I can't remember the name of his cooking show, but I loved watching it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:52 PM   #374
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Since we are a bit off topic anyway, I use two large photo albums. The first one gets all of my clippings/ recipes to try. The recipes with modifications or as is gets moved to the second book only if I absolutely know its TNT and I will make it again.
This is what my grandmother did. I've never been able to make it work for me. My practices are to scribble all over my cookbooks. Nothing is too sacred here. If PF saw what I can do to a cookbook, she would have prescription-grade OCD. At least I use pencil....usually.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:30 PM   #375
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This is what my grandmother did. I've never been able to make it work for me. My practices are to scribble all over my cookbooks. Nothing is too sacred here. If PF saw what I can do to a cookbook, she would have prescription-grade OCD. At least I use pencil....usually.
Actually, you can do whatever you like with your books...just don't ask to borrow one from me. I told someone once I'd rather lend my toothbrush.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:01 PM   #376
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This is what my grandmother did. I've never been able to make it work for me. My practices are to scribble all over my cookbooks. Nothing is too sacred here. If PF saw what I can do to a cookbook, she would have prescription-grade OCD. At least I use pencil....usually.

I write all over my stuff, I just put it up and bound once it's perfected and um that means....I only have a handful of recipes kept, (grandmother's stuffing, moms macaroni salad, my meatloaf etc...) I am by far a throw it in kind of cook, I rarely make the same thing twice, I am usually disappointed in most recipes, I can pick apart something quickly
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:07 PM   #377
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Actually, you can do whatever you like with your books...just don't ask to borrow one from me. I told someone once I'd rather lend my toothbrush.
Although my 1975 Joy of Cooking has lots of notes and drips and splashes, I would never do that to book belonging to someone else. Actually, nowadays there isn't room to bring a cookbook into the kitchen. It stays on the dining table (right next to the archway between the kitchen and dining room) where I can quick read what it says. Most of our recipes are typed up and printed out with notes. We keep them in a ring binder and take them out and stick them to the fridge with magnets, when cooking.

Getting those pages dirty is a good thing. When they are dirty enough, I enter the notes into the file and reprint.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #378
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I've adopted the cyber lifestyle. I keep all my notes on my computer. My cookbooks are reference volumes. The Internet is also my reference. When I decide to cook any recipe I look it up in my cookbooks and on the Internet, and I come up with a proposed recipe. I type very quickly so I just open a new file and combine my cookbook and Internet into a proposed recipe. I save it and print it out, and I work from my printed notes. I annotate and update the saved file after dinner. My end goal is to post everything I've developed when it's ready for prime time. Once it's reached that stage I use my posts to remind me if I've forgotten some measurements, and use my posts as an ingredient check list.

I don't see any reason to write on my cookbooks. Nobody but me will see them. I'm not like some of the people you meet who control people by keeping their recipes secret. My own personal friends would rather have me cook one of my recipes for them and visit with me while I'm cooking. People who will never meet me in person are welcome to learn my recipes and I hope they build upon them. I hope I hear back what improvements they suggest.

That's why I post all my recipes on the Internet, and that's why I don't write in my cookbooks.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:42 PM   #379
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I don't see any reason to write on my cookbooks. Nobody but me will see them. I'm not like some of the people you meet who control people by keeping their recipes secret

Maybe I'm tired, Greg. But I don't understand the connection between these two sentences.

What has willing to share recipes to do with whether or not you write notes and comments in cookbooks?

If somebody wants the recipe for something I've made, I give them a copy, if it's my own. Or, depending on circumstances, I either copy the annotated version from the cookbook, or let them do it themselves.

Like you, I don't understand people who keep their recipes secret. I mean, what's the point? In the first place, been my experience that most people who ask for a recipe never actually make it. And, in the second place, what if they do? It won't be the same, because no two people cook the same, even if slavishly following a recipe.

I cook because physically doing so makes me happy. But the goal is to make other people happy through food. If somebody else can do that using a guideline they got from me, then I've made two people happy that way.

A win-win situation.
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:47 PM   #380
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I have a friend who gets rave compliments on two dishes: meat loaf and potato salad. She doesn't get compliments on any of her other food. She refuses to share those two recipes. I guess she is afraid that no one will ever compliment her food again if they can make her two signature dishes.
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