“An Edge in the Kitchen” received a starred review in Publishers Weekly.
An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives
Chad Ward. Morrow, $34.95 (240p) ISBN 9780061188480
Though humans have been using knives for about two and a half million years, you’ll be hard pressed to find as succinct and complete a collection of wisdom on the topic as this masterful volume from cook and writer Ward. He covers nearly everything, from construction and general knife care to proper storage and sharpening, giving cooks all the information they need. Detailed instructions on how to use the most common knives are bolstered with photos that thoroughly illustrate key techniques like dicing, chiffonade and julienne, as well as the lost art of cutting up a whole chicken. Though enthusiastic about his subject, Ward maintains a refreshing level of sanity throughout, reminding readers that they really only need three knives—a chef knife, a paring knife and a bread knife—to accomplish the vast majority of tasks. Better yet, Ward offers recommendations for budgets under $100, as well as reliable sources for custom-made kitchen knives (which “can be had for about the same price as you’d pay for the more pedestrian stuff”). Those looking for in-depth descriptions of every knife imaginable and/or detailed butchery instructions will not find it here, but those interested in upgrading or maintaining a reliable set of knives will find this book as indispensable as the tools themselves. (June)