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Paperback Jacques P?pin's Complete Techniques Book

ISBN: 1579121659

ISBN13: 9781579121655

Jacques P?pin's Complete Techniques

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Book Overview

The fully illustrated bible of cooking techniques from the world's best-known French cook is now in paperback and in one volume for the first time ever. From a master chef and the current co-star (with Julia Child) of the hit television series "Cooking at Home" comes everything the home cook needs to perfect his or her kitchen skills--assisted by instructive, step-by-step photography. Learn to de-bone a chicken, poach an egg, whisk a perfect bearnaise,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Essential Authority on Techniques. Highly Recommended

`Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques' may be one of the landmark works signaling the beginning of the Renaissance of American culinary practice. This volume, published in 2001, is an omnibus of two earlier works, `La Technique' published in 1976 and `La Methode' published in 1979, just as Pepin was changing his career from leading French chef to culinary writer and educator. These will probably always stand as his most important books.The book in English that is most similar to this is James Peterson's `Essentials of Cooking'. This newer volume is an excellent book with color photographs and coverage of subjects which is probably pretty complete for the average culinary amateur. Pepin's work is in an entirely different class, aimed at the professional and, by extension, the foodie wannabe professional.In Peterson's book, the first chapter, `Basics', covers twenty-four (24) topics. In his first chapter of the same name, Pepin covers seventy (70) subjects. Even allowing for the fact that Pepin includes nine (9) egg topics in Basics that Peterson puts in a later chapter, this is an impressive margin of coverage from Pepin. Pepin's topics tend to be somewhat more basic and focus heavily on knife skills, even including a section on how to sharpen knives. Even though these topics are simple, Pepin gives each technique all the attention it needs. One of the clearest examples of Pepin's great attention to detail is in his treatment of my favorite subject for evaluating one's culinary writing. This is how to make a classic French omelet. As I noted in my review of Peterson's book, Chef James is just a bit short on some important details. Pepin not only covers all the bases, but also adds a few tips to omelet making technique that I have not seen elsewhere. The only warning I give about his technique is that since it was written before non-stick surfaces on saute pans were perfected and available on high-end cookware, the author does not recommend them. All recent descriptions of omelet making strongly recommend non-stick pans for all egg cookery.The chapter on Fish and Shellfish continues Pepin's emphasis on basics, including several topics for which the average amateur chef may never have a use, such as methods for handling sea urchins, frogs legs, salmon in aspic, and pate of fish. Conversely, I am surprised to find no section on the `en papillote' cooking method that Peterson covers in detail. Other Peterson topics on which Pepin passes are methods for squid and preparing salmon steaks. The differences in coverage in this chapter alone make it worth one's while to own both books.The chapter on vegetables is a real wealth of techniques for making really cheap ingredients into impressive presentations. You can dream about poaching or smoking whole Scottish line-caught salmon, but you can easily afford to do one of the eleven (11) different techniques Pepin describes for potatoes. In fact, this is probably some of the most dramatic evidence of the French

Fabulous book with surmountable flaw

I just bought several cookbooks that espouse to teach one how to cook rather than simply supplying recipes. I will compare the others to this one, but let me start out by saying that this book is my favorite. Although I agree with other reviewers that the black-and-white photos are a serious flaw, I still gave it 5 stars because of the sheer comprehensiveness and imagination of the techniques and the recipes. It far outstrips the other books I bought. While I am a very visual person and totally dislike black-and-white photos, particularly small ones, the advantages of the book are such that I would not do without it, while I would cheerfully sell the other books I bought. The pictures are generally series of small black-and-white photos that show in a stepwise fashion how to each of the techniques. There is generally a picture of the finished product included. While I don't like this feature of the book, I find that, most of the time, one can glean the information needed from the photos. There are many occasions when it would be better with larger, color photos, and there are some occasions when the photos are quite useless, such as in the instructions for deboning a bird.In comparison, Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cooking Techniques, has only extremely basic recipes, and the techniques included is less comprehensive. Still, I am glad to have it so that I can actually see how to debone a bird.Another book Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America, is less about techniques, though there are some instructions for very basic techniques. It espouses to do everything, from technique to recipes, and it is a good cookbook for the beginning cook that wants to create sophisticated recipes without outrageous demands one's skill, time or grocer.

An excellent resource for the experienced or novice cook

Finally! The excellent and extremely clear and well written collection of techniques assembled by Jacques Pepin, one of the most knowledgeable and well respected chefs in the world, have been published in a reasonably priced, paperback book. If you are lucky enough to own Pepin's original hardcover books La Methode and La Technique, you already know how excellent the information is in these books. It is concise, practical, well written, and most of all, very useful! Even if you own La Methode and La Technique this book is worth purchasing. Both books are out of print and are hard to find and are reserved to my cookbook collection. This book is worth buying to keep readily on hand in the kitchen at all times. If you don't own the original two books than this book is doubly worth purchasing. Whether your are a complete novice cook or an experienced home chef you will find this book extremely valuable. The information is well organized which makes it to find the techniques that you are looking for almost instantly. Almost as important as the techniques are the recipes. Many of them have been used by Pepin for over 30 years and are truly time tested. They are well written, making it easy for any cook to get superior results at home. All in all, this is truly one of the best cooking technique books you can buy regardless of what level of cooking experience you have. The soft cover edition is lighter and easier to use, making it more practical to have on hand in the kitchen?as well as less expensive than the hardcover edition.

lucid and comprehensive review

If you've ever seen Monsieur Pepin on television, you know he is charming and clear, and a wonderful teacher. These qualities come through in this volume, a combined reissue of two classics from the '70s which have been out-of-print: La Methode and La Technique.After a short section on equipment, there are seven longer sections (with a varying number of techniques): The Basics (70), Shellfish and Fish (33), Vegetables (39), Poultry and Meat (54), Carving (9), Breads (8), Pastry and Dessert (96). An example of specific techniques covered -- in Poultry and Meat you would find, among others: Trussing Chicken and Other Poultry, Tying a Roast, Kidneys, Cold Parsleyed Ham, Trimming and Cooking Meat, and Cuts of Fillet. Each technique is several pages long, and is presented as a series of photographs, each accompanied by a sentence or two describing the step being taken. Directions are clear, pictures (of Jacques's own hands, he assures us) are well selected and illustrative.There are also many fine recipes, including many you may have seen on various television shows in which the author has appeared, such as the beautiful Christmas Yule Log. You will find basic recipes, like pie shells, as well as more advanced.The volume ends with conversion charts and an index.This is an indispensable resource for the serious cook.

Excellent Guide to Culinary Expertise

"La Technique" by Jacques Pépin rates as about the best book on cooking technique ever written. I have a set of the videos from Chef Pépin's shows on PBS that are based on this book, but I did not have my own copy of "La Technique" until now because this excellent book has been out of print and unavailable for some time. It has good illustrations and explanations of all the basic techniques necessary for prep work and cooking. My most-used technique that I have learned from Chef Pépin is how to slice and chop an onion quickly. Also, I learned about how to keep my knives properly sharpened at all times! "La Technique" is my kitchen bible.
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