Cover image for Craft of cooking : notes and recipes from a restaurant kitchen
Craft of cooking : notes and recipes from a restaurant kitchen
Colicchio, Tom.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Clarkson Potter/Publishers, [2003]

Physical Description:
272 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX714 .C578 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Tom Colicchio, chef/co-owner of New York's acclaimed Gramercy Tavern, offers inspriation to cooks of any skill level with 140 simple recipes and technical tips.

Realizing that his own culinary style had grown increasingly unembellished, and gambling that New York diners were experiencing that same kind of culinary fatigue (brought on by too much "fancy food"), Colicchio set out to prove that the finest food didn't have to be the most complicated. So in March 2001 he opened a new restaurant, Craft, that offered diners simple, soulful dishes centered around single ingredients that went on to shake up many people's ideas of what "restaurant food" should be like.

Craft of Cooking leads you through Colicchio's thought process in choosing raw materials--like what to look for in fresh fish, or how to choose the perfect mushroom--to show that good food is available to anyone with access to a good supermarket, farm stand, or gourmet grocery. The book also features "Day-in-the-Life-of-Craft" portraits, which offer a fascinating, behind-the-scenes glimpse at areas of the restaurant beyond the dining room. These segments allow you to peer into the fast-paced prep kitchen, to witness the high drama of reservations, and to get a taste of the humor and empathy necessary to serve New York's colorful visitors and foodies.

Using Tom's straightforward and friendly voice, Craft of Cooking offers recipes suited to any purpose--from a quick family meal to a festive dinner party for twelve.

Author Notes

Tom Colicchio is chef & co-owner, with Danny Meyer, of the Gramercy Tavern in New York. He has taught at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, Macy's De Gustibus, Williams-Sonoma, & cooking schools across the country. He lives in New York City.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

"I haven't tried to simplify these recipes for the sake of the home cook," writes Colicchio (Think Like a Chef). "Simple food doesn't mean simplistic. It requires a healthy dose of skill and hard work." And with that caveat, he offers up 125 uneven dishes. While there are plenty of recipes that are simple to prepare, most of the book's recipes require time, patience and, occasionally, deep pockets: Duck Ham must hang in the refrigerator for three weeks; Braised Monkfish calls for 17 ingredients, three of which are sub-recipes; and foie gras and black truffles make several appearances. Colicchio is unapologetic in including "behemoth" recipes-restaurant dishes that he admits may be out reach of most home cooks. Uncompromisingly fresh flavors are his touchstone, and squeamish cooks may find it disquieting to discover that many ingredient animals such as soft shell crabs and lobster meet their end at the cook's hand. Colicchio has subdivided the chapters into sections according to technique-roasting, saut?ing, braising, pur?eing, marinating. Each chapter includes ingredient portraits, as well as essays, that give a sneak peek behind Craft's doors. (While the photos throughout are nicely placed, the extreme close-up of carrots and celery on the cover is a kind of culinary Rorschach test.) The essays, though, are a jarring interlude because the book, which is written from Colicchio's point of view, suddenly does an about face by quoting the chef, and the disembodied narrator is never revealed. But will all this dampen sales? Certainly not. The Colicchio name is enough to sell this book, and the clear, simply written recipes will quell even the worst case of kitchen anxiety. Photos. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The food of New York City's upscale Gramercy Tavern, where Colicchio is chef/ co-owner, was featured in his unusual first cookbook, Think Like a Chef, which provided a glimpse into how a creative chef develops his recipes. Since then, Colicchio has opened several of his own restaurants, including Craft, where he serves what he describes as "simple, soulful dishes centered around single ingredients," served family-style. With the sauces, condiments, and other such accompaniments listed separately, the choice of putting together a dish left to a certain extent up to the diner, the menu there at first stymied some, including restaurant critics, but Craft has since become one of the most popular restaurants in the city. Here Colicchio offers his favorites of its "ingredients-driven dishes": Pan-Roasted Chicken with Chicken Jus, Pan-Roasted Asparagus, Porcini in Parchment. As in the first book, there are thoughtful explanations of technique and why the recipes work; for the more adventurous cook, there is also a selection of more elaborate or labor-intensive dishes. Mini-essays on "Family Meal," "Lunch Service," etc., provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Craft kitchen. For most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



PORCINI RISOTTO Although I can get dogmatic at Craft about using fresh ingredients, in this recipe we use dried porcini. After reconstituting, you're left with a wonderful mushroom-flavored stock, which is then used in cooking the risotto; this adds just one more layer of flavor to the finished dish. Serves 6 9 cups chicken stock 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 yellow onion, diced 3 cups arborio rice 1 cup dry white wine kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese to taste Bring 1 cup of the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms. Remove from the heat and set the mushrooms aside until they soften. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the stock. Strain the reserved stock through a fine strainer, then finely chop the mushrooms. Add the chopped mushrooms to the mushroom-flavored stock. Bring the remaining 8 cups of chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan. Allow the stock to reduce by about 1 cup, then keep warm over low heat. Combine the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, high-sided skillet. Heat over medium heat until the butter foams. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, about 15 minutes. Stir in the rice, thoroughly coating it with the onion, butter, and oil. Cook the rice until it is no longer chalky looking and begins to pop, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly until it has evaporated. Add 1 cup of the warm chicken stock. Simmer, stirring, until the rice is almost dry. Repeat twice more. Stir the mushroom-flavored stock into the rice. Cook, stirring, until the rice is dry again. Finish cooking the rice by stirring in enough additional warm chicken stock, a cup at a time, so the rice is just barely tender. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and add cheese to taste. Excerpted from Craft of Cooking: Notes and Recipes from a Restaurant Kitchen by Tom Colicchio All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.