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Hardcover The Professional Chef Book

ISBN: 0470421355

ISBN13: 9780470421352

The Professional Chef

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

"The bible for all chefs." --Paul Bocuse Named one of the five favorite culinary books of this decade by Food Arts magazine, The Professional Chef is the classic kitchen reference that many of America's top chefs have used to understand basic skills and standards for quality as well as develop a sense of how cooking works. Now, the ninth edition features an all-new, user-friendly design that guides readers through each cooking technique, starting...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Should not have been rated "VERY GOOD" condition!

Book is complete, but cover looks like it was chewed. Did not deserve a rating of "VERY GOOD" condition. I do look forward to making recipes from this cookbook.

A New Standard

Cookbooks are a dime a dozen. There are plenty of books out there that are filled with their fair share of mouth-watering recipes. What is rare is a book that tackles cooking from a conceptual and technical angle. Books like The Joy of Cooking or How to Cook Everything try to go beyond the typical cookbook and try to be kitchen manuals. But what those books are is cookbooks first, and books about how to cook second. The Professional Chef is culinary textbook akin to what you'd expect from an academic text for teaching a vocation. As you might guess, the book approaches cooking as a profession. Culinary students will benefit from ample discussion not only of technique and cooking procedures, but also of the various other roles and skills demanded of chefs. For example, the book discusses the various systems and conventions of dividing labor in the kitchen, and describes the differences between an executive chef and a saucier chef. For those in culinary school or thinking about pursuing a culinary career or education, this book is perfect. But for home cooks and cooking enthusiasts, don't assume that this book is not for you. If you're serious about cooking, even just as a hobby, there's something to be said about the comprehensive approach of learning techniques, terms, ingredients, and procedures in a structured way that proceeds from the simple to the complex--which is exactly what this book presents. It discusses and introduces the reader to nearly ever major ingredient and nearly every major cuisine. It's encyclopedic in the depth and breadth of the information within--much more so than the Joy of Cooking or similar books--and it gives the kind of technical training that one really needs in order to read, follow, alter, and otherwise truly understand recipes in the first place. The recipes that are included--and there are many--include just about every major dish from every major cuisine. Goulash? Check. Béarnaise sauce? Check. Are dolmades your thing? It's in there. What about an authentic pad thai or summer roll? You'll find those too. What's great is that the text relates dishes so that similar dishes can be seen as progressions or alterations to basic techniques that are being covered. You learn how to braise, then you get various applications of that procedure from around the world. The text presents cooking from a truly global perspective, so students and readers won't find it difficult to tell how a single concept transcends dishes such as pilaf, risotto, cous cous, paella, pilua, or jambalaya and how the minor variations in technique and the focus on particular ingredients, flavors, and textures, makes these individual dishes what they are. In short, you'll learn things in this book that you might not learn well or at all in any other book. The seriousness with which the text approaches cooking will benefit the home cook and help him or her to excel beyond the Rachel Rays and Paula Dean's of the world, while those aspiring to a

Good foundation for a home cook

I am a home cook, but wish I had chosen a career in culinary arts. I am not interested in starting in such a grueling field at this point in my life, but I am interested in developing my culinary skills. That's why I chose this book. From this book, I have been learning about foods of different regions and basic cooking techniques. Some of what they offer is not that applicable for the home cook, such as how to inspect a giant hunk of meat when it's delievered to your place of business, and the recipes are designed for food service; for example, most soup and stock recipes prepare 5 gallons. I have had success with scaling some of the recipes down, but other recipes don't scale down as well, especially if you're making just one or two portions. But I didn't get this book for the recipes as much as for the techniques. With that in mind, I am very pleased with this book and imagine it will become an important part of my home designed culinary education.


I'm a big foodie and have been for many years. This is my cooking bible along with "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee. If you want a foundation in cooking that will allow your skills to spread like wildfire than this is the book you want. Part cookbook, part text - it teaches you the essentials then let's you spread your wings a bit with a variety of recipes from all over the world. Not the definitive source for every recipe, but the definitive source for techniques and application of those techniques to produce amazing food. Endorsed by the likes of Thomas Keller, Anthony Bourdain, and The Two Hot Tamales. Does take some time and dedication on your part though. I spent a year reading and working through it (with previous editions). The newest offering is cleaned up, a few errors were fixed, more recipes, and includes a greatly expanded introductory section. I first got on board with a tag-sale copy of the 6th edition. Wish I would have found it when I first became interested in cooking! I would easily pay $500 for it.

Make this one your core technique book

I've always believed that the serious amateur chef (or skier, auto mechanic, or gardener) can always benefit from professional training and approach. The Professional Chef (7th ed., 2002) is promulgated by the venerable Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA). It is the institute's complete basic professional course. The book is profusely, nay, minutely, illustrated.Since The Professional Chef is a text, written based on the CIA's experience in teaching food techniques to thousands of students who often come to the Institute knowing next to nothing about food, it is organized for learning. The book gives full detail on every basic culinary technique, explains scientific backgrounds of major food phenomena, repeats and recapitulates nicely. This is a serious text, but of course you do not have to master the whole thing.Ever wanted to really know how to cut a carrot? The Professional Chef will give you illustrations and exact instructions on julienne, batonnet, brunoise, paysanne, fermière, lozenge, rondelle, and tourné techniques. Preparation techniques for individual vegetables-onion, garlic, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, chestnuts, corn, artichokes, peas, avocados, asparagus-get their own illustrated spreads.Lest you begin to think "this is way too much detail for me," bear in mind that the CIA has bent over backwards to make these materials superbly usable and didactically sound. Dip often into this true resource; double dip if no one is looking.Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at
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