In this unrivaled practical guide, one of the world's most widely respected cookbook authors condenses his vast knowledge and experience into the 100 essential techniques that every cook needs to know. 150 recipes and 1100 photographs unravel the mysteries of the method and provide practical application on the spot: How to boil an artichoke or cook a soft boiled egg, how to clean soft-shell crabs or roast a whole saddle of lamb, when to dice and when to chop. Each technique is further explained in terms of how it makes the food taste: What happens when fish is cooked in butter instead of oil? Why does roasting make vegetables taste so good? How do you decide to make a chicken stew or saute? Knowing how to execute a technique makes you efficient; knowing why you've chosen that technique makes you a master.