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Knives Cooks Love by Sarah Jay, Hardcover

Sur La Table Kitchen Knife Book w/ Practice Recipes

Posted by JT Hats

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Knives Cooks Love by Sarah Jay,This very thorough book -- "Knives Cooks Love" by Sarah Jay -- goes far beyond the world of recipes and fine cuisine with an equally in-depth look at knife history, knife manufacturers, and even knife steel. If cooking is your true interest, skip ahead to the second part of Jay's book where you'll find tips on the use of both familiar and unusual blade styles and the critical secrets of such important kitchen skills as filleting fish and de-boning turkey, butterfly-style.

Not just for the kitchen, 'Knives Cooks Love" will look great on either desk or coffee table, with many well-done photographs of rare kitchen knives and antique cutlery with the blue patina of old carbon steel. Even if you love knives and leave the cooking to others, you'll find this book of value, with technical advice on the comparative quality of modern and ancient steel and an interesting argument about the true benefits of "damascus-like" blades. In the author's opinion, you may get more quality per dollar with solid modern alloys -- logical but somewhat disappointing if, like me, you grew up wondering about that mysterious metal and only now might be able to afford a knife made from it. I'm just a little disappointed that the author's view seems skewed in favor of new metal and modern manufacturing, giving the craftsmanship of older times only a glance.

Cooking gives many blade-fanciers the most opportunity to practice our knifework, and comments from many famous authors and chefs are scattered through the chapters to illustrate that we aren't alone in that love of the cutting edge. The book has a good balance between technical information and artistic thought, also spending considerable space on knifework itself, blended with recipes for practice and demonstration of particular techniques. If you're comfortable in your habits, you'll be surprised at the things you can learn here. You might already know most of this, but here and there you'll come across ways to do things better.

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