Fish heads give the best flavor to court-bouillon, a pinch of sugar takes the gas out of red beans, refrigerated mushrooms make the foods around them grow moldy faster. These tips, memories, and recipes from 15 New Orleans master chefs are a one-of-a-kind source for simple sandwiches (hot sausage on French bread), grand entrÃ‰es (red snapper with crawfish sauce), and uncluttered kitchen wisdom. Cooks who began as potwashers and salad girls discuss their professional beginnings and offer their most trusted methods--how to tend a roux, how much to cook the butter for sauce meuniÃ¨re, or how to get the best filÃ‰ for gumbo. Thyme and fresh bay leaves figure prominently, and fresh fish is a must--inland cooks might as well hang up their hopes, although there are a few recipes each for ham, pork, chicken, lamb, and such. For those who can't make it to the Dooky Chase Restaurant or Chez HelÃ‰nÃ¨, a spicy alternative.