In new book, celebrity chef Ina Garten shares tips on how to Cook Like a Pro

StarMetro Vancouver - - DAILY LIFE - Rick Nel­son

For her 11th cook­book, Ina Garten — the Emmy-win­ning force be­hind the Food Net­work’s The Bare­foot Contessa — turns her at­ten­tion to pass­ing along easy-to-ap­ply tips that she’s gleaned from pro­fes­sion­als, her own ca­reer and her busy test kitchen.

“My goal with this book is that ev­ery­one will have the tools and in­for­ma­tion to cook to­tally de­li­cious and pro­fes­sional-look­ing dishes ev­ery time,” she writes in Cook Like a Pro (Clark­son Pot­ter, $35). “And even bet­ter — your fam­ily and friends will love you for it! How great is that?”

What comes first: the book or the tele­vi­sion show?

Usu­ally, I write the book, and then once the book is pub­lished I do the recipes on TV. This is the first book that I’ve done where I did them to­gether. I’ve al­ways been so rigid about it, be­cause I had the idea that, once you’ve seen the recipe on TV, why would you need the book? But some­times, when I’m work­ing on the TV show, I’ll think, “I wish I could have put this recipe into the book.” So, for this book, I de­cided to see what hap­pens, and let it hap­pen or­gan­i­cally. Some­times, we have to let the uni­verse re­act.

You in­clude lots of fa­mous peo­ple in the book, in­clud­ing New York restau­ra­teur — and Shake Shack founder — Danny Meyer. How did you con­nect him with hum­mus?

He was trav­el­ling in Is­rael, and he posted a video of some­one mak­ing an enor­mous batch of hum­mus. They were us­ing it as a sauce; it wasn’t a thing on its own that you’d serve with pita chips. And I im­me­di­ately thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to put to­gether a big plat­ter of hum­mus with a big veg­etable salad on top?” I went into the kitchen the next morn­ing and played with it, and I nailed it on the first shot. It’s re­ally good, and it’s dif­fer­ent from the way you nor­mally use hum­mus.

Wait, Ina Garten eats at Shake Shack? That prob­a­bly ex­plains the book’s Shake Shack-in­spired fried chicken sand­wich recipe. Ina Garten has just re­leased her 11th cook­book.

It was a treat; it wasn’t an or­di­nary Shake Shack date (laughs). They had just come out with their chicken sand­wich. It’s so good, it’s crazy. The se­cret to mak­ing it is that be­fore you fry it, you dou­ble dip it in the but­ter­milk and the flour. That gives it a nice, crisp crust.

I loved en­coun­ter­ing Chicken Mar­bella a la Ina. How did that re­make of a fa­mous recipe from The Sil­ver Palate Cook­book come about?

I wrote in the book that Nora Ephron used to say that if you went to a din­ner party in New York in the ’80s, you’d have Chicken Mar­bella.

Full Q&A at thes­tar.com/life

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