61. When making mashed potatoes, after you drain the potatoes, return them to the hot pan, cover tightly and let steam for 5 minutes. This allows the potatoes to dry out so they'll mash to a beautiful texture and soak up the butter and cream more easily.
Spago, Los Angeles
62. If you want to make a proper Louisiana-style roux that's chocolate in color and rich in flavor, remember slow and low is the way to go.
Fresh Food Fast
63. For better-tasting asparagus, cure the stalks: Peel them, roll in equal parts sugar and salt, and let them sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off and prepare as desired.
Ciano, New York City
65. Always measure what you're baking. No shortcuts in pastry: It's a science.
Francois Payard Bakery, New York City
66. When using fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley, add whole stems to salads and sandwiches, and chop and stir leaves into salsas and guacamole.
Chefs vs. City
67. If you don't have time to brine your chicken, use this simple trick: Heavily salt the chicken (inside and out) about an hour before you cook it. Then pat it dry and roast. This ensures crispy skin and juicy meat.
Comme Ça, Los Angeles and Las Vegas
68. When made properly, risotto's richness comes from the starchy rice and the stock. As the risotto cooks, stir it with a wooden spoon in rhythmic movements that go across the bottom and around the sides of the pan. The rice should constantly be bubbling, drinking up the liquid as it cooks.
Lucques and AOC, Los Angeles
69. Use a cake tester to test the doneness of fish, meat and vegetables. It's my secret weapon — I use it in the kitchen to test everything.
Eleven Madison Park, New York City
70. Serving cake:
1. Serve at room temperature.
2. Don't "pre-slice" cake more than 20 minutes in advance. It dries out too quickly.
3. You don't have to eat the fondant. It's really pretty, but if you don't want a mouthful of pure sugar, peel it off.
4. The best cake comes from Baltimore. Just sayin’.
Ace of Cakes