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    $103.00 $73.60
    1. Food for Fifty (11th Edition)
    $40.95 list($65.00)
    2. Garde Manger, The Art and Craft
    $25.17 $24.95 list($39.95)
    3. How to Open a Financially Successful
    $55.00 $42.50
    4. Essentials of Food Safety and
    $104.20 $51.00
    5. The World of Culinary Supervision,
    $11.96 $9.45 list($14.95)
    6. The Freezer Cooking Manual from
    $59.75 $36.55 list($69.60)
    7. Cooking Essentials for the New
    $31.47 $26.99 list($49.95)
    8. On Cooking: Techniques From Expert
    $23.96 $18.14 list($36.21)
    9. Culinary Artistry
    $95.00 $72.86
    10. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts:
    $12.71 $9.88 list($14.95)
    11. Frozen Assets: How to Cook for
    $44.10 $41.50 list($70.00)
    12. The Professional Chef, Seventh
    $50.40 $49.27 list($80.00)
    13. La Varenne Pratique
    $10.85 $9.99 list($15.95)
    14. The Silver Palate Cookbook
    $20.02 list($29.95)
    15. Cover & Bake (A Best Recipe
    $23.10 $21.00 list($35.00)
    16. Tru : A Cookbook from the Legendary
    $18.87 $17.25 list($29.95)
    17. Becoming a Chef
    $12.89 $9.80 list($18.95)
    18. Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen
    $10.88 $4.95 list($16.00)
    19. The Making of a Chef: Mastering
    $17.10 $11.49 list($19.00)
    20. The Complete Caterer

    1. Food for Fifty (11th Edition)
    by Mary Molt
    list price: $103.00
    our price: $103.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130205354
    Catlog: Book (2000-08-18)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 79320
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A vital MUST HAVE handbook for professionals!
    Whether one is cooking in a restaurant or a school kitchen, this is the most valuable handbook. You'll want it at ready reference. I know, because never a week went by that I didn't consult it while running my bakery/deli in the Oregon Cascades.

    I must confess that I didn't tell customers my recipe source. I preferred they think me a genius or as having come from a family steeped in cooking history. They knew I was no genius (hell, they knew I wasn't even very smart) but they did like the foods we provided. And, when I decided to produce a new, tasty meat pie, it was this book that I consulted to improve upon my concept.

    Choose not to buy this book and you probably are never going to know what you don't know. Choose not to consult it while it sets on your shelf will probably endanger your relationship with your harshest critics.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have!
    I discovered this book several years ago while working as a hall director for a cooperative living residence hall. The college women who lived there cooked for their fifty housemates.

    Molt's book was a godsend for us; the instructions were basic, easily understood, and useful.

    The best aspect of Food for Fifty is the fact that, recipes aside, the book gives excellent tables and instructions for cooking times/weights/quantities beyond the recipes it lists. In other words, it is quite useful when adapting one's own recipes to meals for 50 or 100 people.

    I have since used Food for Fifty in another food service job, where it was equally useful and well-received. I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you're doing institutional meals, church meals, or simply work with large food quantities on a regular basis. It's worth it!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Small variety and non-healty recipies make this book a pass
    Unfortuately, this book has a limited number of fish and chicken recipies and the ones it does have, aren't very healthful. It does have more of a selection for meat recipies. I returned the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book that explains how to do food service excellance!
    Most referance books I use in my job (I am a cook) does not go into detail how to use math to compute how much to use or how less to use according to scale. Examples and explanation makes it so much easier to understand what is required to do the proper job. I love the equilivants of which items which could be compatable to food items. My only complaint is that sections to find measurements to total needs to be more organized to make it easier to find in the tables. At my job, this book really is considered a "bible" and I'd buy it for my own personal use!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "bible" for serving 100+ young professional musicians/staff.
    The tables provided are worth the price alone but the basic recipes are invaluable. They can be adapted to different requirements. Quantities, particularly vegetables, are somewhat conservative compared to what I find needed but the age of the "fifty" (or 100)and their physical activities make a difference. It is the general guides - cooking temperatures/times/specific cuts of meats/yields of purchased bulk versus usuable portion that I find myself referring to over and over. This is also what is missing or reduced in other similar books. I have used a number of the baked goods recipes and find them all to be excellent. Seasonings are very low in most recipes but that is easily remedied - especially spices in the sweet breads and desserts and herbs in most dishes. They need to update that which I hope to find reflected in the newest edition. This book would be a great resource for any type of small catering company, restaurant with changing menu, or institutional food service. ... Read more


    2. Garde Manger, The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen
    by The Culinary Institute ofAmerica
    list price: $65.00
    our price: $40.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471468495
    Catlog: Book (2004-05-28)
    Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
    Sales Rank: 59657
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    With nearly 500 inspiring recipes, Garde Manger is the most comprehensive reference book available on the subject. Bringing the kitchen-tested wisdom of The Culinary Institute of America's chefs and teachers to the reader, the comprehensive book covers a range of topics, from salads and sandwiches to hors d'oeuvres and appetizers--all the hot and cold food preparation knowledge the skilled garde manger needs. All-new photographs by award-winning photographer Ben Fink show finished dishes and important techniques to help the reader visualize key concepts, from curing salmon and bacon to making and decanting flavored oils. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedic Authority on Cold Food Prep and Service
    One could compare this book, 'Garde Manger' by the Culinary Institute of America to Martha Stewart's 'Entertaining' like a comparison of Richard Feynman's Lectures on Physics to a popular history of 20th century physics. Unfortunately, that comparison does not hold up. The more appropriate comparison would be between a technical work on wood joinery to a glossy 'This Old House' imprimatur book on cabinet making. The difference between the classroom and the home kitchen is simply not that large. One can even bend the simile around on itself to say that the laboratory in which new culinary thoughts arise is in the home kitchen and not in the teaching classrooms of the Culinary Institute of America.

    All this playing with comparisons is simply meant to make the point that while this book is presented as a textbook by the most prestigious culinary training institution in the country, it's material is simply not that different from a book with more obviously commercial origins.

    This book does have a lot of material you will not find in a Martha Stewart or Ina Garten or Paula Deen book. High on the list of interesting background information is the history of how the French Revolution may have been a major contributor to the rise of restaurants and the great strength and variety in French cuisine.

    The real story here is cold food and how it is prepared and served in (French) restaurants. On this subject, this book is a delightful source of both recipes and Alton Brown / Shirley Corriher type background. Honestly, the true culinary counterpart to Feynman's lectures would be Harold McGee's oft quoted books on food science.

    This CIA book gives a wealth of recipes for salad dressings and other cold sauces, cold salads, sandwiches, cured and smoked foods, sausage, forcemeats, cheese, hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, condiments, and basic recipes (spice mixes and the like). One thing that immediately endeared me to the book is its treatment of vinaigrettes, which easily outdoes even Martha Stewart's better than average treatment. This material is worth the price of admission. Another service it supplies, with the authority of a teaching institution, is to simplify some culinary terms. For example, it always bedeviled me to know the difference between, for example, a relish, a salsa, and a chutney. Turns out that they simply are three different words for the same basic preparation. Like 'plains', 'veldt', and 'pampas', they are different words for the same thing reflecting three different ethnic sources.

    The chapters on curing and sausage may interest fewer readers than most, but there is much you can get from these chapters even if you never make a sausage. I was particularly struck by the fact that government regulations require that pork used in sausage making be 'certified'. That's a little fact that people like Emeril and even Alton leave out of their little how to shows on sausage making. As a great believer in serendipity, I believe you never can tell what inspiration you can get from unfamiliar material. Here lies the greatest value to this book. It tells you a lot of the things which more popular treatments of the same subject can easily overlook. This includes things like sanitation, shelf life, and equipment care. As an aging hippie whose fantasies were fueled by the 'Whole Earth Catalogue', I find the chapter on cheeses to be worth a month's run of 'Good Eats' shows.

    One can say that this book is really meant for the restaurant professional, but I believe it has many uses for the home cook. The most important use is as a resource for making pantry items like prepared catsup, mustard, relish, crackers, spice mixes, salad dressings, and stocks which one may typically buy at the supermarket. If you put your mind to it, you will certainly attain a better tasting product. What may be more important is that you will also certainly attain a better tasting product with no laboratory chemical ingredients.

    For the real foodie, this book is a treasure. It gives recipes for lots of things few other books take the trouble to cover. The danger to the newbie is that they may not see those points at which the book's coverage is not complete. One area is in the recipes for stocks. These recipes are 'bare bones' instructions with none of the usual cautions and explanations given in some other books. If you are really serious about stock making, consult 'Jeremiah Tower Cooks' or Judy Rodgers's 'The Zuni Café Cookbook' or even the CIA's 'New Professional Chef' text. One can excuse this somewhat since these are hot preparations in a book about cold food. I would have preferred a reference to a work that gave the subject a more complete coverage.

    One irritating thing I find in some reviews is a complaint about something which is outside stated range of the book. This book is about cold food. Do not expect details on baking or hot cuisine. Any material on those matters should be taken as a convenience to the reader.

    I was a bit surprised to find at least one typo in this textbook by a respected school, published by textbook specialist Wiley. I found no errors that will mislead the home cook.

    The book has several features I consider essential in a textbook. One is an bibliography. Another is a list of sources. Another is a glossary of terms. Another, very important, is an index of recipes.

    This book is excellent if you are building a culinary library or do a lot of entertaining or are especially fond of salads and sandwiches, or simply like to read about food. The only reservation an interested reader may have is the price. The $60 list price inhibited me for several months, but I believe the book is worth it if you do any entertaining or make any quick cold lunches in your kitchen. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for making salads and sandwiches
    I love this book, but I thought it did not cover baking very well. I purchased the Study Guide for Baking ISBN 0974328707. This book covers all the basics of baking and there is also another book on Advance Baking ISBN 0974328715. This book goes more into depth of baking, including custards and frozen desserts. These books help me greatly getting through my culinary courses.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for making salads and sandwiches
    I needed to purchase this book for my Garde manger course and I never knew there were so many different types of salads and dressings. I also purchased the Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations and it helped me greatly on all levels of sanitation. Unfortunately, the Garde manger book of CIA does not cover the subject. Even handling vegetables, fruits and salads you have to be careful. This sanitation book even help me with my other culinary subjects.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Title should read "For Professionals Only"
    This is a book that is geared toward the professional chef only. The layperson might glean a few tips from it but it would never be used on a regular basis for cooking at home.

    4-0 out of 5 stars encouraging
    This volume is fantastic. It is encouraging to see culinary professionalism displayed so everyone can see the bones of it. I am a chef and enjoy its purism and sense of direction. It is a great culinary tool for myself and my cooks. I am currently teaching a class in garde manger for which I have ordered this book as a text. This is a must for your collection. ... Read more


    3. How to Open a Financially Successful Bakery
    by Sharon L. Fullen, Douglas R. Brown
    list price: $39.95
    our price: $25.17
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0910627339
    Catlog: Book (2004-05)
    Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Company (FL)
    Sales Rank: 18803
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The small bakeries that are popping up every where in this country can be started with a low investment compared to other food business, and can be highly profitable! This is the A-to-Z guide to making it in your own small bakery! Learn the expert tips, tricks, and a vast gold mine of crucial how-to information you just can't find anywhere else. This is a perfect book for entrepreneurs, schools, colleges and technical training centers. This detailed text contains all the information you will ever need to needed to start, operate, and manage a highly profitable bakery.

    While providing detailed instruction and examples, the author leads you through finding a location that will bring success, learn how to draw up a winning business plan (The Companion Cd Rom has the actual business plan you can use in MS Word tm.), how to buy and (sell) a bakery,basic cost control systems, profitable product planning, samplefloor plans & diagrams, successful kitchen management, equipment layout and planning, food safety & HACCP,successful food & beverage management,legal concerns, sales and marketing techniques, pricing formulas,learn how to set up computer systems to save time and money, learn how to hire & keep a qualified professional staff, brand new IRS tip reporting requirements, managing and training employees, generate high profile public relations and publicity, learn low cost internal marketing ideas, low and no cost ways to satisfy customers and build sales, learn how to keep bringing customers back, accounting & bookkeeping procedures, auditing, successful budgeting and profit planning development, as well as thousands of great tips and useful guidelines.Never before has so much practical information about the bakery business been offered in one book.

    This is an ideal guide new for comers to the business as well as experienced operators. In addition to basic operational practices this book will demonstrate show how to: increase impulse sales and improve presentation, utilize merchandising fixtures and techniques,cross merchandising, point of purchase materials, how to develop a product sampling program. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Companion CD ROM is invaluable !!!
    The book is great and the most updated on the subject - but the CD rom included with the book is superb and a very nice added bonus! It contains a full 50+ page business plan in Word for easy editing with financial statements, over 50 customized forms for your use in PDF format, and a check list of thousands of items you need to open - these are all bonus items included on the CD ROM !!!
    We have looked at other business plans and software and all were over $100.00 - this is a great value - my only comment is the book is so packed with info. the type size is a little small for my aging eyes...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Great Value with the CD Rom
    While providing detailed instruction and examples, the author leads you through finding a location that will bring success, learn how to draw up a winning business plan ( The Companion Cd Rom has the actual business plan you can use in MS Word tm.), how to buy and (sell ) a bakery, basic cost control systems, profitable product planning, sample floor plans & diagrams, successful kitchen management, equipment layout and planning, food safety & HACCP, successful food & beverage management, legal concerns, sales and marketing techniques, pricing formulas, learn how to set up computer systems to save time and money, learn how to hire & keep a qualified professional staff, brand new IRS tip reporting requirements, managing and training employees, generate high profile public relations and publicity, learn low cost internal marketing ideas, low and no cost ways to satisfy customers and build sales, learn how to keep bringing customers back, accounting & bookkeeping procedures, auditing, successful budgeting and profit planning development, as well as thousands of great tips and useful guidelines. Never before has so much practical information about the bakery business been offered in one book.

    This is an ideal guide new for comers to the business as well as experienced operators. In addition to basic operational practices this book will demonstrate show how to: increase impulse sales and improve presentation, utilize merchandising fixtures and techniques, cross merchandising, point of purchase materials, how to develop a product sampling program ... Read more


    4. Essentials of Food Safety and Sanitation (4th Edition)
    by David R. McSwane, Richard Linton, FMI FMI, Nancy R. Rue
    list price: $55.00
    our price: $55.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0131196596
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-19)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 167601
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential of Food Safety & Sanitation
    I am using your textbook for a class I teach for the Oklahoma City/County Health Department.I Love It!The class I teach is the Food Service Operator's Certification Course that is required by all food service operators in this county. I am a Registered Dietitian who is contracted by Oklahoma State University-OKC and Francis Tuttle to teach the class for the health department. It is kind of a community service offered by the two schools. I have only been teaching the class for three years now, and by far your book is the best.

    Your book has made my job so easy and so much fun!Some of my students are returning to do the re-certification class and bringing managers in who have not taken the class in 20 years.In the past, they have just challenged the test every three years, because they thought the class was too boring. (and theyknew it all).
    I would highly recommend this book to educators in the nutrition field. I think all nutrition majors need to know this important information. I also recommend it for a reference for my food service managers in my nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Meets the training needs for Food Handlers
    As an instructor who teaches Food Safety classes to front-line employees, I find this text an excellent resource. It is comprehensive yet still easy-to-understand, a difficult combination to achieve for some of the technical aspects of foodborne illness, pathogens, etc. The cartoon-style drawings add to the enjoyment. I have had many trainees who share these positive comments. Only negative comment would be to include color photos instead of the old, grainy B&W.

    Also recommended for the Food Safety Trainer: "Keyword Index: 1999 FDA Model Food Code"

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent food safety training resource
    Essentials of Food Safety & Sanitation is a comprehensive, easy-to-understand guide to help food workers produce safe food. In my job as editor of a food safety-oriented newsletter, I review and have access toa lot of training materials, but "Essentials" is the one I referto the most for current, reliable information.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Study Guide Available to accompany Essentials Textbook
    I wanted to make your users aware of the fact that a Study Guide has been developed to accompany Essentials of Food Safety and Sanitation.There are a growing number of states in America that require retail food managers intheir state to be certified in food safety. In many instances,certification is based on the ability to pass a nationally recognized foodprotection manager certification examination.Many people who are seekingcertification desire to have some training in food safety before sittingfor the certification exam.However, these people do not always live inareas where such training is readily available.This is why the authors ofEssentials of Food Safety and Sanitation developed the Study Guide toaccompany the book.The Study Guide is published by Prentice Hall, and itsISBN is 0-13-532144-1. ... Read more


    5. The World of Culinary Supervision, Training, and Management (2nd Edition)
    by Noel C. Cullen
    list price: $104.20
    our price: $104.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130225436
    Catlog: Book (1999-07-07)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 419729
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Written by one of this country's 51 Certified Master Chefs, this #1-rated resource gives aspiring chefs, sous chefs, chefs de cuisine, and executive chefs the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to lead, supervise and manage foodservice workers—identifying those key areas that will lead qualified individuals into the chef positions of the future, and providing reasonable solutions to situations that typically evolve from them. Outlines in clear terms those elements crucial to success in today's quality driven foodservice industry—detailing the elements of supervision and total quality management; examining all aspects of training as it affects the chef supervision; and providing practical, step-by-step discussions on crucial management skills and functions involving a chef supervisor—from management to customer relations, menu planning, communication, team-building, goal-setting, problem-solving, supervision, training, discipline, and performance appraisal, and the training and motivation of the production/service team. Integrates unique “Chef Talk” segments written by leading U.S. chefs, and includes a new chapter “Building Teamwork in the Kitchen”.For those in the culinary, hospitality & travel/tourism professions; ideal for use in training seminars and for those studying for certification for the American Culinary Federation Educational Institute. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    2-0 out of 5 stars A cure for sleeplessness
    I know that Dr. Cullen knows what he is talking about, I know that this book is the standard to which other books on management are held, and it is almost always required reading, but this book is instant somnia. Some of the information also seems a little dated and cliche now that every manager in the country uses these techniques. Reading it in conjunction with The Chef Manager really helped me plow through.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read this book
    I've met Dr. Cullen. He really has his stuff together and knows what he is talking about. Truely a wonderful text. ... Read more


    6. The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet : A Month of Meals Made Easy
    by Nanci Slagle
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $11.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0966446755
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-25)
    Publisher: 30 Day Gourment Inc.
    Sales Rank: 15361
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Teaches busy cooks how to spend one day assembling and freezing a month's worth of tasty and nutritious entrees, side dishes, snacks and desserts in an easy-to-follow format. ... Read more

    Reviews (50)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST for freezer cooking!
    I have been using my 30 Day Gourmet manual for 3 1/2 years now and it is by far the best of it's type!!! I started out with Once A Month Cooking, and knew there had to be a better system without all those casseroles!! A friend introduced me to 30DG and I knew from my past experience that this was THE book! And it is!

    The included worksheets alone are worth more than the price of the book! The recipes are great... my family of 5 likes most everything I've tried. The recipe variety is wonderful... breakfast, sandwiches, appetizers, desserts, snacks, main dishes, salads... it's all included! When I take a 30DG recipe to a pot-luck, or serve it to company, I always get requests to share the recipe! I have been able to easily adapt my personal recipes to the 30DG system too. The website at 30daygourmet.com is great too! There are additional recipes you can get there, as well as support and info from the message boards. And more successful recipes from cooks like me who use the system.

    The greatest thing about the 30DG system is the flexability! There isn't a set menu that you have to make each time you cook. You choose the recipes you want to make, based on your family's likes and dislikes. You can cook as few or as many meals as you choose. If your grocery is having a sale on chicken, stock up and have a chicken cooking day. Do the same with pork or ground beef. You can cook with a partner or by yourself. You can use the system if you only have the freezer above your fridge.

    We moved 400+ miles last summer, and spent 40 days in an apartment while our house was being completed. My 30DG manual was the only 'cook book' that went in my car with me... it didn't get sent in the moving van with the rest of my kitchen! I wasn't taking a chance of something happening to it!

    If you only buy 1 freezer cooking book, this is the one to spend your money on!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I will never go back to cooking daily after this!!
    The 30 Day Gourmet provides a structured and well thought out process for cooking once (or less!) a month to feed your family. I cook once every 2 to 2 1/2 months for my family of three, and not only do we save money buying bulk, our meals are healthier and my picky family is happy.

    I found the system alone worth the purchase price, without the recipes! The recipes are good old church cooking, and most are easy to adapt to dietary needs. While I haven't tried them all, it doesn't matter, because the authors provide a web site where you can download more recipes for free, and a forum for sharing hints, tips and recipes with other 30 Day Gourmet cooks. Not only do you get a great cooking system, good recipes and a shot of humor, you get an on-line community and continuing help and support. This help has assisted me with new recipes, and adapting family favorites to the freezer. Meal time is stress free at my house.

    What more could you ask for??

    4-0 out of 5 stars Clear and easy to follow!
    I work long hours and have a long commute. I usually don't get home until 8 or 9PM, and that's just too late to go to the grocery and cook a meal from scratch! For years I've been making double recipes for weekend meals and then having the leftovers throughout the week, but in a kind of hit or miss fashion. Several nights a week, my husband and I would look at each other and say "What's for dinner?" When I discovered this book, I slapped myself on the forehead and said "Doh!"

    It makes perfect sense to devote a little extra time on the weekend to building up a store of meals in the freezer. Why didn't I think of this before?

    I liked the authors' approach to laying out the planning and preparation for the big cooking day. There is a lot of great information here on freezing and batch cooking. Great worksheets and checklists to help you get organized.

    However, I must say that the recipes are not to my family's taste. Maybe it's a regional thing (we live in Southern California), but these recipes seem kind of 1960s and bland to us. (Cream of chicken soup is featured in several of them. Well, my Mom used that in her casseroles, but I don't!) Maybe it's because the recipes are aimed at kids. (We have none.)

    We prefer recipes with more spices and variety (I cook a lot of Thai, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese dishes). However, I do not regret buying this book. All the info other than the recipes is very helpful and make this book worthwhile. I've simply adapted my own recipes to this plan.

    One last note--most people won't care about this, I know, but I've been in the documentation business for 30 years, so I do. The format of the book is slightly amateurish. Although easy to read, the charts look hand-drawn, and the fonts and page layout look like someone put it together in Microsoft Word. I would expect something a little more polished for my money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST of the Freezer Cookbooks
    The 30 Day Gourmet Cooking Manual is the BEST of all of the Freezer Cooking manuals!!! These ladies have REAL food for families and individuals...not what I like to call "California Food." Tasty, hearty, filling and oh so EASY!! The forms make once a month style cooking a breeze. This food is NOT leftovers, it is either not precooked before being frozen, or is not cooked all the way. Out of the 21 recipes I made for this month, only 3 were entrees I did not care for, and one of those was because I didn't use good enough wine in the sauce. Although their personal focus is on team cooking, I cook by myself for just myself and my husband and it works just fine. The recipes are scaled from four servings so all I do is package them in two-serving containers. If you want to learn more about 30 Day Gourmet be sure to check out their website at www.30daygourmet.com for more tips, recipes and stories from other REAL home cooks!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fantastic idea
    I stumbled upon this book by accident, and I am so glad I did! I used to hate cooking, and only within the past four years since getting married have I become more interested in it. That doesn't mean I want to cook every night though. My husband and I both work full time with long commutes, and have relied on convenience foods (which are getting old) and cold cereal for dinner.

    I was skeptical that I could really benefit from this book since I don't have a separate freezer (just a tiny one above my fridge). But you'd be surprised how much you can get in a small freezer if you pack items flat in ziploc bags. I made 7 recipes (doubled two of them) two weekends ago and now I feel like I'm on vacation! It's been absolutely wonderful to come home and simply heat up something from the freezer.

    The recipes are easy to make, taste delicious (we've devoured two pans of granola bars already), and there's much more at the website. I also purchased the software (another review in and of itself), which was an amazing amount of help in simplifying the process.

    The great thing about this whole concept is that it can work for anyone--not just large families--and you do not have to prepare 30 days worth of meals at once. A few smaller, shorter cooking sessions are very doable. And I'll soon be trying some of my own recipies in bulk, with the knowledge Nanci shares on what foods freeze well, and how to package them.

    My husband has been so impressed with the great food and the prospect of saving money and eating healthier, that he's going to take me shopping for a stand-alone freezer this weekend. Hoooray!! ... Read more


    7. Cooking Essentials for the New Professional Chef
    by Mary DeirdreDonovan
    list price: $69.60
    our price: $59.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471287172
    Catlog: Book (1996-09-09)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 220314
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Cooking Essentials for The New Professional Chef offers students an opportunity to learn the basics of cooking while using the actual reference that professional chefs have relied on for over a generation—The New Professional Chef™. In addition to providing an excellent foundation in such cooking essentials as raw ingredients, tools, classic techniques, and foundation recipes, the academic version of this professional reference clarifies every concept with supportive text, step-by-step photos in full color, illustrations, and tables. Special features designed to assist both students and instructors include the following:

    • Chapter Objectives emphasize key concepts and guide reading
    • Highlighted Key Terms and Concepts offer a quick recap of the language a chef should be able to use fluently
    • Footnotes define terms that might be unfamiliar the first time they appear in text
    • Self-Study Questions and Activities reinforce concepts and help students apply them in a problem-solving format
    • Tables and Charts put important technical information at the students’ fingertips
    • Sidebars highlight professional development issues, techniques, kitchen management strategies, and historical context
    • Chapter Summaries recap the lessons that should be mastered
    To help students build technique, the over 300 foundation recipes—conveniently grouped at the back of the book—are organized from simple to complex, with similar types grouped together. Students can quickly locate extra help with recipes by referring to the technique cross-reference feature that accompanies each recipe. In addition, color photos, tips, and historical notes provide additional support. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book for culinary students
    This book gives great information on preparing and handling food properly and of course the most important is how to store food before and after cooking. This book was a requirement for class but another book I purchase was not a requirement but I thought was extremely helpful was The Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam. This book had very similar questions to what's in class and on the exam and it help me pass with high grades. Thank you Dr. Leonardi and Ms. Heilman

    4-0 out of 5 stars If you want to know the hows and whys, this is a good book
    This book is required for the Culinary school that I attend and I have found it extremely helpful. As its title implies, it is for the serious student and a good reference book to keep because it identifies foods, explains proper handling, storage, and preparation tecnique, and also includes recipes. If you just want to throw together a recipe, buy a Betty Crocker cookbook. If you want to do it the professional way, buy this book. ... Read more


    8. On Cooking: Techniques From Expert Chefs, Trade Version (3rd Edition)
    by Sarah R. Labensky, Alan M. Hause, Sarah Labensky, Steve Labensky
    list price: $49.95
    our price: $31.47
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130618659
    Catlog: Book (2002-07-08)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 34143
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (20)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource
    I view this book as one of the essential resource books any serious cook should have. If I had named it, I would have called the book "On Food" because it is not just about cooking food, it actually gives you encyclopedia type entries to describe an enormous number of items in each chapter (e.g. fish, vegetables, meats). It will tell you where your food came from, in which seasons it is freshest, how best to prepare it and will follow each of these up with a number of recipes. Do not look to this book to be a cookbook, though. Is is more important to view the book as a resource to help you figure out the best types of preparations for that item you found at the market but have never used before. It is a great tool to just sit down and learn about cuts of beef and why some parts of the animal are great for one type of preparation versus another. That said, there are recipes and they are good, but to focus on them would be to overlook all of the education you can get from this book. This is used as a textbook in cooking schools, and the set-up is like a textbook, but a lot more interesting than the ones you had in college or high school because you can eat after you learn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply blown away by how much info is in this book!
    I'm a culinary arts student at the Art Institute of California, and total foodie, and I take my cooking very seriously. This book goes into explicit detail for each and every ingredient and cooking method. I'm not kidding when I tell you that there are three paragraphs and a chart to tell you how to boil water. That may seem like overkill, but now that I've been following the various guidelines of food preparation, I notice a subtle improvement in everything I make. If you're the kind of person who walks down the spice aisle of the grocery store for fun (like me!), or if you can't get enough kitchen gadgets (like me!) then you'll enjoy this book. Caution: don't read this one on an empty stomach!

    4-0 out of 5 stars best book for the new chefs
    one of the best books for new chefs or people that just whant to try and cook somthing then the norm easy to follow recipes

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of techniques I never heard of before
    This book is a great reference guide and I needed something to help me once in a while because I am in the restaurant business. There are many photos and information on techniques. Another great book is the Study Guide for the National Servsafe Exam. This book has excellent questions along with answers and explanations to help you get through your classes or to pass the state exam. There are also other culinary study guide books by Patrick Leonardi on Amazon.com

    5-0 out of 5 stars Broadbased and excellent
    Excellent book, a lot in there but nothing unnecessary. Is more broadbased then the leading book in the field. Draws upon more than just French style cooking and includes the view points of other chefs and their food. ... Read more


    9. Culinary Artistry
    by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page
    list price: $36.21
    our price: $23.96
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471287857
    Catlog: Book (1996-10-21)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 3621
    Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    If you really find food fascinating--the idea of food, working with food, and the eating of food--then Culinary Artistry should be on your bookshelf. There are two books at work here. One is What Chefs Have to Say About the Foods They Create. The other is Fun with Food Spread Sheets. A cynic might suggest that after putting together Becoming a Chef, the authors had so much leftover interview material that Culinary Artistry was but the natural outcome. The chef's point of view, however, would be to make use of everything passing through the kitchen, to throw nothing away. In other words, if Becoming a Chef is an entrée, then Culinary Artistry is the special of the day.

    The book is divided into sections that discuss and reach out to chefs to join in that discussion of such ideas as the chef as artist, dealing with sensory perception in food, composing with flavors, putting a dish together, putting together an entire menu, and standing back to admire the growth of a personal cuisine. This is thoughtful material. It is not how-to material. These guided conversations are made practical for the home cook by charts such as which foods are in season and when, the basic flavors of foods (bananas are sweet; anchovies are salty), food matches made in heaven (lamb chops with aioli or ginger or shallots), seasoning matches made in heaven (dill and salmon), flavors of the world (Armenia means parsley and yogurt), common accompaniments to entrées (beef and potatoes), and, most fun of all, the desert-island lists of many of the chefs quoted so extensively throughout the text. Many recipes accompany the text.

    How this will affect any individual's own culinary art, be that professional or personal, remains unclear. It may be as private an experience as reading. For the uninitiated, this book will prove that there's a lot more going on with food and restaurants and chefs than they may ever have imagined. --Schuyler Ingle ... Read more

    Reviews (47)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Reference Material
    I am a self-taught home cook who enjoys the activities of the kitchen. I entered the cooking arena one of the standard ways, using cookbooks. Collections of recipes familarized me with the techniques and ethnic cooking styles. Gradually, my cookbook collection included reference books that provided some of the theory behind tastes and preparation styles. Gold's 1-2-3 series, Peterson's Sauces, and others introduced to me the philosophies that allow a cook to go beyond mimicking a recipe to improvising and even creating a dish. Culinary Artistry is perhaps the best available reference for learning about the traditions of combining flavors and food groups.

    It contains vital information that I suspect is taught only in some of the culinary schools. It provides valuable charts of information about cooking and menu planning. The book contains sections on Menus, including a seasonality chart and a chart explaining successful seasoning combinations. There is a section for Composing Flavors, the highlight of which is a chart showing successful food contrasts. Another section involves Composing A Dish. Here there is a chart showing great food matches and one showing seasoning matches. The Composing A Menu section offers a chart showing frequent accompaniments to meats and paragraphs presenting theories about Hors Douevres, Cheeses, and Desserts. This was a sparse and incomplete passage in an otherwise comprehensive book. Finally, there was a fun section addressing the Evolution of Chef's Styles. Here the authors provide sample menus comparing chef's offerings from earlier decades to their present day productions.

    The volume offers multiple anecdotes, quotes, and side bars concerning the views of popular chefs. Various recipes are interspersed to illustrate the principles. My one criticism was that the book was laid out like a college textbook. Photos, captions, quotes, highlighted lines, sidebars, and other areas compete on the same page, magazine style. The book serves as reference, frequently glanced at rather than read straight through as a narrative.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Inspiring"..."A godsend."
    "FLAVOR MATCHMAKING: Some cooks look to books not for precise ingredients and specific instructions, but for inspiration. I've got a book for those cooks.

    It's the loftily named CULINARY ARTISTRY by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (1996), also the authors of the better known BECOMING A CHEF. It's not a cookbook per se. Nor is it a treatise on the techniques every cook ought to know. And it's certainly not a collection of culinary prose. It's more a style manual for those who need to find out if a certain something will go with another certain something.

    The most relevant information is found in the aptly named section 'Matches Made In Heaven.' Arranged alphabetically, the list comprises about 328 ingredients and seasonings and, for each ingredient listed, the authors provide several complementary flavors. It may not come as any surprise that the entries under beef ribs read ginger, horseradish, mustard, potatoes, tomatoes.

    But it is incredibly liberating, when in a chicken rut, to alight on the appropriate page and find 57 compatible ingredients for a plain old hen. When the vegetable bin is overflowing with leafy greens or I'm flummoxed over a side dish for a dinner party, I consider it a godsend to flip through the pages and decide on mustard with the greens and walnuts with the watercress.

    And it's inspiring to be reminded in the midst of Thanksgiving chaos that perhaps that pear dish needs a sprinkling of black pepper rather than a drizzle of honey. As with any reference work, it's not the entire book I value so much as a particular page or two in a desperate moment.

    The balance of the book's 426 pages are chapters on composing a dish and a menu, complete with advice from restaurant chefs. I confess I haven't read the book cover to cover. And I doubt I ever will. But it's nevertheless the one book that regularly makes the commute from office desk to kitchen counter." ...

    5-0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book.
    "Culinary Artistry" came to my attention as an Amazon.com recommendation which mentioned that if I enjoyed the authors' book "The New American Chef" (which I did, very much), that I might also enjoy this book. Amazon got it right in spades: "Culinary Artistry" is yet another breakthrough approach to thinking about food by these authors. Cuisines, menus, dishes and flavors are both constructed and deconstructed, providing the experienced cook with a blueprint for successful experimentation. This book is an invaluable resource to anyone confident enough in the kitchen to want to innovate, yet smart enough to know that it's important to know the "rules" before you try to break them successfully. This is an absolutely brilliant book, one that I have referred to almost daily since it's been in my possession.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Culinary Artistry deserves 10 STARS!
    Culinary Artistry deserves 10 stars for being the most important book in my kitchen!! When I'm stumped to make a new dish, I can open to any page of this book and come up with a new idea for any season, any occasion. This book fosters creativity like no other book I've ever read. Every other professional chef I know considers Culinary Artistry their secret weapon at the restaurant when coming up with a special menu or just a special for the night. I can't say enough about what a revolutionary book this is for people who know the fundamentals of cooking but are always striving to develop their knowledge, technique and cuisine. I learn something new every time I open this incredible book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference for culinary students
    I used this book as a reference for my hot foods classes in culinary school. It is well written and gives you many, many hints on how fully cultivate your talents in the kitchen. This book is a must buy for any culinary student. I also used the following for my baking classes in culinary school:
    Study Guide for Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations by Melissa Heilman
    Study Guide for Advanced Baking: Key Review Questions and Answers with Explanations by Melissa Heilman

    These last two books helped me to prepare for the types of questions seen on my baking and advanced baking classes. With the help of these two books, I got a 94 average. Some of my friends in other culinary schools told me about these last two books and how it helped them to reduce their study time and get excellent grades. The first book Culinary Artistry is an awesome book no culinary student should be without. I recommend these 3 books as must buys. ... Read more


    10. Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts: A Commercial Guide to Production and Marketing
    by MalcolmStogo
    list price: $95.00
    our price: $95.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471153923
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-05)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 120956
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This comprehensive guide to the commercial production of ice creams and frozen desserts for retail or wholesale operations covers planning and starting up a business, marketing and merchandising, production and service. ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for ice cream professionals
    Working as a dairy technician in a medium sized ice-cream-factory, I needed something to expand my knowledge on the subject. That's why I bought this book. And I was amazed: Ice Cream and Frozen Desserts: A Commercial Guide to Production and Marketing really met my expectations and did a lot more. It's well written, easily accessible and thorough. A must buy for both ice-cream-professionals and enthusiasts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent description of all phases
    This book was *exactly* what I was looking for to help me get started in this business. A very broad overview of many different topics related to the ice cream business.

    As my plans are to possibly open a parlor, some of the aspects of the commercial operations were not useful to me, but it *was* at least interesting to see how the big boys do it.

    The one area that I was a little disappointed in was the business aspects of it. There were some general discussions of things to accomplish, without any real instruction in how to go about actually *accomplishing* them.

    Overall, well worth the (rather steep, I admit...) price.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful in setting up a frozen desert establishment
    This book contains invaluable information about making ice cream and gelato and about setting up and marketing the product. I was not disappointed and learned a lot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book very informative
    As a professional in the industry for 11 years, this by far is the most intensive book I have had the pleasure to read. Not only to those who produce ice cream, but anyone interested in the industry as a profession will find this very informative and enlightening. This was obviously written by someone who has exstensive industry knowledge and truly wants others not to make the costly mistakes one often makes in a new endever. If I had read this 11 years ago I would have saved thousands of dollars and a whole lot of misdirected time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The source for anyone entering the business of ice cream
    This book gives the reader all the information needed to get into the business of making and selling ice cream. Along with the author's newsletters, ICE CREAM STORE NEWS and BATCH FREEZER NEWS, the reader will feel comfortable to move forward in this exciting business of ice cream. Contact the author at Mstogo@aol.com. for further information. ... Read more


    11. Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month
    by Deborah Taylor-Hough
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $12.71
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1891400614
    Catlog: Book (1998-12-01)
    Publisher: Champion Press (Mi)
    Sales Rank: 22889
    Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Frozen Assets is small in stature, but jam-packed with meal-planning advice. It contains recipe ideas, plus detailed instructions on how to get the maximum value from your food dollar, while also slashing meal preparation times.

    Deborah Taylor-Hough, mother of four, is as organized as a soldier. She shops one morning in less than an hour, chops and prepares ingredients the next night after dinner, and then spends one long day cooking. Making double and triple batches of 10 recipes, she ends up putting 30 meals for two adults and two children into the freezer, ready to heat and eat. Taylor-Hough's plan uses simple, familiar recipes. Her family eats meat loaf, baked ziti, and chicken and broccoli casserole made with canned soup. Each dish is repeated several times a month. To keep her grocery bill under $200 a month, she uses store brands and buys ground meat in bulk, and only when it's on special. As much a manual for a way of life as a cookbook, Frozen Assets tells how to create your own meal plans, cope with a small, "in refrigerator" freezer, and how to use this bulk-cooking method even if you are single. If you are into efficiency and want a guide to reorganizing your culinary life, this book is a must-have. It even offers advice on how to recover from a whole day of cooking. Taylor-Hough's recommendation: go out to dinner that night! --Dana Jacobi ... Read more

    Reviews (63)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ignore the Bad Reviews of this book. It's GREAT
    This book is wonderful. Deborah's cooking plan is well explained and easy to follow. I have tried several of the recipes out of the book and my family has enjoyed them. I will note, there are a few I won't try simply because I have a recipe for the samething or somehting similar and we like it or I know by reading it that my family won't enjoy it. I also make and use the baking mix and have never had a problem with it keeping and it doesn't smell like paint. These recipes can be successfully augmented to fit a lower in fat diet. I have also used the process Deborah outlines in the book with other recipes as well and have had a tremendous amount of luck. This includes lowfat and healthy recipes. (I use alot of Cooking Light recipes) One final note, I have other monthly cooking cookbooks and the cuisine is similar in style. If you want gourmet 5 star dinners every night maybe this method of cooking isn't for you. If you want to spend less time in the kitchen and save money, this is the book for you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Add Extra Time to Your Week
    The many practical, step-by-step tips for saving money when choosing and buying food make Frozen Assets a worthwhile book, but it is the author's large-quantity recipes and instructions for freezing them that make her book truly valuable.

    Although most recipes are not written for the health-conscious, as they contain many items high in fat and cholesterol, the author does include general advice on reducing fat and increasing nutrition in recipes. Most of the recipes in the book are child friendly, and can easily be adapted to a low-fat menu. The book includes sample shopping lists as well as lists of cooking tools that are useful in cooking large quanties of food.

    Although I had already invested in a box-type freezer before I purchased this book, the author explains how she has applied her "Cook Big But Not Often" philosophy even to small refridgerator-top freezers. Since I began applying the lessons of the book, I have frozen a wide variety of dinners, including soups, chile, and casseroles. All of the recipes were easy, inexpensive, and tasty, and all made several meals that I froze for future use. But the nicest part-- thanks Ms. Taylor-Hugh-- is that I've only been turning on my stove about once every 3 weeks, and I'm working on reducing that figure. I'm expecting my second child in 6 weeks, and it feels great to know that I'll be prepared with good, homemade meals for those hectic first few weeks with a newborn.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!
    With all the rave reviews this book has gotten, I couldn't wait to check it out myself. All I can say is, I'm glad I got it out of the library rather than spending my hard-earned cash on it. I guess it works for some people, but my objections to it are: 1) the advice on how to cook in bulk all seems very obvious to me, 2) the recipes are -- being diplomatic -- very unappealing and 3) the book could have used more editing -- many recipes and much of the advice is repeated several times throughout the book. With the redundancies eliminated, the book would have been about 1/3 as long.

    I don't need a book to tell me that I should pick several recipes, triple them, write down all the ingredients, check my cupboards for any ingredients I already have, and then buy the rest. I don't need a book to tell me to use large pots when cooking large quantities, or to use freezer containers when freezing things. I certainly don't need a book to tell me (several times) not to shop hungry, and to leave the kids home on shopping day.

    Then, there's the recipes. I can't imagine cooking any of these recipes even in small quantities, much less in mega-batches. It's hard to pick which recipe is the worst, but my candidate is "Chili Day Meatballs" -- which actually calls for cooking meatballs in a combination of, I kid you not, chili sauce and grape jelly! And to anyone who might try to tell me I should try it before saying it's awful -- I don't have to jump off a tall building to know I wouldn't like it, and I don't have to combine meatballs, chili sauce and grape jelly to know this would be a waste of good ingredients (I have no objection to grape jelly in its place, which as far as I'm concerned is in a PBJ sandwich, not on my meatballs, thank you very much!).

    And even if you like the recipes and find the advice useful, do you really need them to be repeated 3 or more times?

    I urge anyone who thinks they might like this book to borrow it from the library first and see for yourself -- you may be very glad that you did!

    5-0 out of 5 stars No more store-bought frozen food!
    Last year I received a copy of "Frozen Assets" as a gift, and I really enjoyed it. Because of reading the book, when my mother said she didn't have time to cook any more and hated store-bought frozen food, I immediately knew what to get her for Christmas! We filled her freezer with food from "Frozen Assets" and "Frozen Assets Lite" while she was out at work. When she got home and opened her freezer door, she was shocked and amazed. She said it was the best Christmas gift ever (she also got a copy of this book).

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Book Every Smart Cook Should Own.
    This book is wonderful! I usually get an average of 5 recipes per cookbook but I copied 25 from this one! This book will help you rethink not only how to cook and freeze, but how you buy groceries and will save you a ton of money. I suggest trying smaller portions than recommended and adjusting for your family's taste (more or less spices, etc.) before you cook in the larger quantities. Also, Appendix F discusses how to reduce the amount of fat in the recipes listed in the book. Enjoy! ... Read more


    12. The Professional Chef, Seventh Edition
    by Culinary Institute of America
    list price: $70.00
    our price: $44.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471382574
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-05)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 594
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    Recognized as the definitive cooking school textbook, the Culinary Institute of America's The Professional Chef is also the perfect guide for independent study at home. More than 1,000 pages are packed into the voluminous seventh edition, with information and recipes designed to teach technique. It is so comprehensive, it could be the only cookbook you need to own. Almost guaranteed to answer any question you could possibly imagine, The Professional Chef is one of the most useful reference books ever written for the kitchen.

    With thousands of photos showing step-by-step instructions, you'll learn to identify and trim any kind of meat, seafood, fruit, and vegetable, and extensive photos and descriptions of spices, pasta, and grains take the guesswork out of new and unusual recipes. Seemingly complicated techniques for recipes such as Hollandaise Sauce are described with photos and with so many tips, tricks, and troubleshooting guides you feel as though an instructor is cooking alongside you. Organized from the simplest techniques and most basic information to the more complicated, you can use this book as a reference guide, a resource for increasing your confidence in the kitchen, or as a recipe-filled cookbook. The seventh edition has been completely reworked to include more-contemporary techniques alongside classic, more-sophisticated recipes, and there's greater emphasis on food safety, nutrition, and technology in the kitchen. --Leora Y. Bloom ... Read more

    Reviews (44)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For the creative gourmet, as well as the pro
    If cooking is a creative process for you (as opposed to just following instructions), or you would like it to be, you'll love this textbook. The Professional Chef will help you expand your cooking fundamentals and teach you things that you'll use even when you're not cooking from it.

    What I love about this book is that it's not just recipes. My boyfriend's mother hates it for the same reason. Its chapters are structured by type of food and/or meal courses, and each one highlights general techniques for cooking and prepration, going through one recipe in detail and listing a bunch of others at the end. There's priceless info on general techniques (What are the different ways you can thicken a sauce or soup, and how do they differ?) and great reference info (What does spice x look like in its whole form?).

    As mentioned in other reviews, this is intended as a textbook for professionals in training at the Culinary Institute of America (a.k.a. "the Harvard of cooking schools"). So in addition to techniques and recipies, it contains info about food safety, nutrition, restaurant budgets, and other areas which are not necessarily applicable to the average home chef. But the slightly obsessed or very serious home chef will love reading about all of it.

    The bottom line is that it's a well done book, and if the title appeals to you, you'll enjoy it. The amazon price is an added bonus ...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ah, the Bible for every avid gourmand or cook!
    This is it! The one book that EVERY cook or gourmand must have! This text book, written by the world's premier culinary school, of which I am a student, is issued to every incoming student at the CIA. Time and time again I have turned to this book, and not just for my classes. As a chef, I often turn to this book to refresh my memory about an obscure technique, or even to remind myself about a fundamentally basic cooking method.

    This is BY FAR the best edition of Professional Chef that the CIA has put out to date! Writen by the staff and educators of the Culinary Institute of American, including Certified Master Chefs, this book is complete with BEAUTIFUL full page photographs, insightful advice and tips, product identification charts and photographs, detailed explanations about the "mysteries" of cooking or sauce making, complete and easy to understand recipes, fully detailed conversion charts, and more! What else could a chef want in a cookbook?!

    Once again, this book a must for anyone who loves food, loves to cook food, or loves to eat food!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Cook's Best Friend rev. by jarkens@dsisd.k12.mi.us
    I received "The Professional Chef" as a gift from a valued friend; it certainly is a challenging source of inspiration and information (glossaries, diagrams) for aspiring as well as veteran cooks. The recipes are set up in three-column tables, with Ingredients, Quantity, and Methods (numbered) in separate columns. From the basics to ideas and photos of advanced plating and buffet set-ups, this book is worth its weight in gold to anyone who cooks for fun or profit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this book
    It was a gift from a great friend. It is a very good "textbook". Any questions that you may possibly have can be answered in this book. Highly Reccommended!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great reference guide, though it contains errors...
    The Professional Chef is an excellent reference for any serious cook. If I were to own one cookbook, this would be it. However, I have found minor typographical errors. On page 4 of the seventh edition, in the box titled "Major Culinary Historical Figures", the description of Marie-Antoine Careme starts as follows:
    "MARIE-ANTOINE CAREME (1784-1883) become known as the founder of the grande cuisine..."
    -The verb "become" is incorrect; it should be "became".

    Also, on page 25 of the seventh edition, in the "common conversion" chart it states that 1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 1 fluid ounce. This is not correct, as 1 fluid ounce equals 2 tablespoons.
    I'm not a perfection[ist], but I mentioned these mistakes for the sole reason that there is a burrito in my eye. ... Read more


    13. La Varenne Pratique
    by ANNE WILLAN
    list price: $80.00
    our price: $50.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0517573830
    Catlog: Book (1989-09-17)
    Publisher: Clarkson Potter
    Sales Rank: 65361
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Unprecedented in both scope and clarity, La Varenne Pratique is destined to become the essential culinary reference for both novice cook and expert. Written by the founder and director of Paris's prestigious La Varenne cooking school and compiled using La Varenne's extensive resources, the book brings together a practical understanding of cooking techniques, ingredients, and equipment in an unrivaled guide to classic modern cooking.

    Here in one volume is the answer to every cooking question: how to make a hollandaise sauce (and why egg yolks will only absorb so much oil before the sauce self-destructs); the difference between entrecote and porterhouse; what marinades to use for lamb; which herbs will turn bitter if added at the beginning of a recipe; how to bone a chicken; the roasting times for venison, pheasant, and even squirrel; how to fillet a fiat fish; when to use a bain marie; and much more.

    La Varenne Pratique is divided into 22 chapters, among them Meat and Charcuterie; Poultry and Game Birds; Milk, Cheese, and Eggs; Pastry and Cookies; Preserving, Stocks, and Soups; and Microwave Cooking. Each chapter offers an overview of the food discussed and then explains how to choose, prepare, store, cook, and present it. Recipes are included wherever an important cooking technique requires a specific example-they are carefully chosen not only to illustrate a particular dish but also to illuminate a way of cooking. In addition, La Varenne Pratique includes a guide to kitchen equipment and a glossary of culinary terms.

    The photographic illustrations in La Varenne Pratique are beyond comparison. Throughout the book, techniques are clearly illustrated with specially commissioned step-by-step photo sequences that set new standards for culinary photography. Readers can actually see what texture a sauce should be, exactly where to make the first cut when boning a Chicken, what the "crust" on a clarifying broth will look like, and what larding a roast really entails.

    There has never been a book like La Varenne Pratique. Comprehensive, authoritative, and eminently practical, it demands a place in the kitchen of every serious cook. ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars I keep recommending this book
    La Varenne Pratique by Anne Willan bristles with more than 2500 full-color photographs. Willan is the founder of the famed Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris. Her standard are high, yet the text is as crystal-clear as her consommé. I opened the book at random just now to be dazzled by a two-page, twelve-photograph spread on just how to remove lobster meat from the shell. The instructions for complex operations like boning a leg of lamb, shaping a braided loaf of bread, baking fish in parchment paper, share quarters with basics like properly shelling peas, lining a pie mold, or testing the doneness of pan-fried meats.

    I have bypassed wedding gift registries three times now and given brides La Varenne Pratique; two of these brides have already validated my boldness by doing the same.

    Open randomly again, behold: color photos of fourteen types of root vegetables. So that's what salsify and scorzonera (vegetables common in Italy) look like! With photographs like these (eight varieties of beans, ten of rice, eleven of lettuce varieties) I am amazed that some magazines have to resort to publishing photographs of naked people in order to coax people into reading their trenchant articles.

    Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at www.stylegourmet.com

    5-0 out of 5 stars non-snobby, practical reference
    I got this book as a freebie when I worked in publishing, and after ten years using it I'd be glad to go back in time and pay full price.

    Clear, well-directed photography shows you exactly what to do and what your ingredients should look like. The focus is on methods and techniques, not recipes, though there are some recipes too. The skills described range from boiling an egg to making the most sophisticated souffle, so there is useful information for really plain cooking to fancy gastronomie and everything in between.

    The only area this book falls short on is the nitty-gritty basics like how to measure flour or bake a potato or calculate how many tablespoons in a quart. For that, get yourself a copy of the Joy of Cooking (1962, 1963, 1964 or 1975 edition much better than modern "improvements"). With these two you'll have virtually all the info on how to cook (aside from specific ethnic cooking techniques), and can focus on collecting recipes to your liking.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Complete to the T-Bone
    I bought this book when a friend recomended it to me. I used this book for everything dealing with cooking and baking and have been for a long time now. My brother-in-law came to me last week and asked me if I could recomend a good over-all cookbook and I didn't have to think twice. La Varenne Pratique is the only way to go. It covers everything dealing with techniques, cooking methods and general information on practically all foods. I also had the chance to go to France and work with Anne in her cooking school at the Chateau du Fey. It was by far the best experience that I ever had in the cooking field. Bon Appetit!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the one...
    If faced with having only one cookbook, this would be it. I have seen no better reference for finding not only the answers to the simple day-to-day questions, but also, the answers to those wierd questions questions that crop up from time to time.

    I believe that this book is the perfect book for the beginning cook with step-by-step instructions for making omeletts, peeling shrimp, chopping onions, etc...

    I also believe that this is the perfect book for even the most experienced cooks as it demonstrates complex techniques in very straight-forward, illustrated terms. Topics like making aspics, pastries, cleaning monkfish, piping chocolate decorations...

    This is the book I go back to time and time again. Pretty enough to be on the coffee table as long as your living room is close to the kitchen!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The perfect instructional cookbook?
    I'm a complete novice to cooking. On the advice of the local chef academy, I picked up this book along with my first real set of cutlery and cookware. It's fabulous! To paraphrase the introduction, success in the kitchen is predicated upon a mastery of ingredients and a mastery of technique. This huge tome covers both in fine detail, with exquisite photography and clear prose.

    It covers a vast array of ingredients, from selection at the market all the way through preparation, presentation, and (my favorite) potential problems with each.

    This is a truly encyclopedic volume and the finest instructional book I've seen on any topic. Bon appetit! ... Read more


    14. The Silver Palate Cookbook
    by Julee Rosso, Shelia Lukins, Sheila Lukins, Michael McLaughlin, Silver Palate
    list price: $15.95
    our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0894802046
    Catlog: Book (1982-05-01)
    Publisher: Workman Publishing
    Sales Rank: 2309
    Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (29)

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites!
    THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK was one of the first cookbooks to introduce new American cuisine into the kitchens of ordinary homes. With its emphasis on fresh ingredients and innovative dishes, it freed many cooks from mundane meals. Now, of course, two decades after its first printing, many of the recipes no longer seem inventive. Goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes are no longer exotic ingredients, and balsamic vinaigrette can be found at almost every restaurant. Now, instead of surprising cooks, THE SILVER PALATE COOKBOOK supplies them with a wonderful array of recipes that can liven up meal time.

    Most of the recipes contained in this volume are relatively easy to prepare, with some requiring more time and effort than others. The techniques do not require any special knowledge, and the recipes are logically laid out, with numbered steps and clear English. You'll find easily assembled dishes such as "Tomato, Montrachet, and Basil Salad" as well as the much more complicated "Layered Vegetable Terrine." My favorite recipes are "Marinated Beef Salad," "Curried Butternut Squash Soup," "Tarragon Chicken Salad," "Skewer Shrimp and Proscuitto," "Salmon Mousse," and "Coconut Macaroons." I can't come close to listing all the successful recipes I've prepared from this cookbook, although I occasionally find one that I don't like. Because most of the ingredients are now readily available in a good supermarket, you can assemble what you need without hassle.

    Anyone with a minimal amount of cooking experience should be able to succeed with these recipes. They are especially great for company since you can select impressive recipes that don't require long hours in the kitchen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you can only have one cookbook , this is the one.
    This is cookbook is as fresh and relevant today as it was when it was first published in the early 80s. It truly revolutionized home cooking in America with its emphasis on fresh ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It isn't a particularly long cookbook, but it still manages to be incredibly comprehensive. You'll find everything from elegant appetizers to comfort food desserts. Any time you're interested in trying something new or wanting to revitalize an old classic, this is the place to start. The authors went on to write other cookbooks which also contain lots of great recipes, but even "Basics" is not as comprehensive as this one. I can honestly say that I've cooked just about every recipe in this book and that each one has been a success. Not only are the recipes consistently good, but this book also makes great reading. In very practical terms the authors share truly useful tips on cooking techniques, kitchens gadgets and how to select produce. The book is particularly well organized so it's easy to find the recipe you're looking for.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good for special occasions
    This cookbook has great recipes to make for special occasions - most of them have a few ingredients that you don't have lying around the house, but when you are looking to make something a little fancier without spending all day, this is perfect. I especially recommend the dessert recipes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Something Old, Something New
    I was so glad to see that this book is still in print and availabe NEW. Our son is just beginning a love affair with cooking and I couldn't think of a better book for him to start out with. We owned a Deli for 7 years and this book was one of our inspirations. The cover of our old book is ripped and the pages are dog-eared and worn and covered with splatters here and there. That is the sign of a good cookbook! Even though this cookbook is aged, it has, like fine wine, aged well! If it were on your shelf, I'm sure it would end up looking like ours.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get the Golden Touch with Silver Palate
    My roomate, when I first moved to NYC fresh out of college and had this book. It took me a little while before I discovered it, and used it for some very basic recipies.

    A few years later, I developed a keener interest in cooking and re-discovered this book and its been a staple in my cooking library ever since. Everything in the book is detailed, but not too complicated to achieve the desired results. And the results, from pretty much everything in this book are amazing.

    So whether you're seasoned (no pun intended) in the kitchen or just getting a bit of grease on your hands, its a teriffic book for people of all skills and skill sets. ... Read more


    15. Cover & Bake (A Best Recipe Classics)
    by Editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine
    list price: $29.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0936184809
    Catlog: Book (2004-09-30)
    Publisher: America's Test Kitchen
    Sales Rank: 9028
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    Book Description

    With Cover & Bake, the editors at Cook’s Illustrated set out to revive the venerable casserole. From Turkey Tetrazzini and Chicken Divan to Crab Imperial and Hoppin’ John, casserole cooking represents the ingenuity and practicality of the American cook. In Cover & Bake, the editors set out to investigate the old standards and in the process have re-imagined the art of the one-dish meal to meet the demands of today’s cook.

    Here you will find classic assemble and bake casseroles like Macaroni and Cheese and Creamy Chicken and Rice as well as more inventive dishes like Mediterranean Chicken Bake and Polenta Casserole with Italian Sausage. We’ve experimented with techniques that allow you to cook everything in just one pot where possible, avoiding the need for hours of preparation and clean up just to get a casserole in the oven. And nearly every recipe can be made ahead allowing busy cooks to serve these wholesome dishes on a busy weeknight.

    Looking beyond what most people consider to be a casserole, the editors offer a rather original take on the subject with inventive skillet "casseroles," slow cooker meals that are really worth serving, pot pies with multiple topping options (many of which you can make ahead), oven braises and stews that cook in a low oven for hours so you won’t have to stand over a hot stove, and breakfast and brunch dishes that can be assembled the night before.

    In addition, this book contains all the relevant tastings and testings conducted in America’s Test Kitchen. Learn which casserole dish is our hands-down favorite. Are all storage containers created the same? Want to know which slow cooker has the best combination of features?

    In short, Cover & Bake is filled with 200 one-dish meals for everyday cooking. We’ve made these casseroles a whole lot better tasting while making sure that what everyone loves about casseroles remains – the fact that they are practical one-dish meals that require a minimum of fuss and last minute attention. ... Read more


    16. Tru : A Cookbook from the Legendary Chicago Restaurant
    by RICK TRAMONTO, GALE GAND, MARY GOODBODY
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1400060613
    Catlog: Book (2004-11-09)
    Publisher: Random House
    Sales Rank: 7530
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    Amazon.com

    In Tru: A Cookbook from the Legendary Chicago Restaurant executive-chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand present 100-plus of the stylish restaurant's most alluring recipes. The tempting dishes, which include the likes of Curried Cauliflower Soup with Cumin Crackers; Roasted Sturgeon with Braised Oxtail and Spiced Carrot Puree; and Roasted Poussin and French Lentils with Bacon Lardons and Truffled Green Brussels Sprouts are clearly presented. Though the majority require special ingredients and a time (and interest) commitment that make them best for special-occasion cooking, all should spark the imaginations (and whet the appetites) of readers interested in seeing what a top restaurant can do when it's at its peak.

    Beginning with an introduction to Tru, which includes a discussion of its genesis, culinary approach and service, the book then pursues dishes course by course, with special stops for amuse bouche (appetite-rousing mouthfuls), foie gras, game and cheese specialties, represented by the likes of Roquefort with Pear Chips and Hot Honey Walnuts. Pastry chef Gand then "takes over" and presents a wide range of the restaurant's "multi-course" desserts, including sweet Szechuan Peppercorn Créme Brûlée Spoonfuls, "main-course deserts" like Warm Chocolate Tart with Toasted Almonds Milk Sherbet, and petits fours including Hickory Nut Shortbread.With a section on basic preparations and color photos that depict the dishes in all their creative splendor. --Arthur Boehm ... Read more


    17. Becoming a Chef
    by AndrewDornenburg, KarenPage
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $18.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0471152099
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-06)
    Publisher: Wiley
    Sales Rank: 8043
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The updated edition of the book Julia Child called "a 'must' for aspiring chefs"-the James Beard Award-winning guide to one of today's hottest careers
    With more and more chefs achieving celebrity status, interest in the exciting world of today's leading chefs is higher than ever. Essential reading for anyone who loves food, Becoming a Chef gives an entertaining and informative insider's look at this dynamic profession, going behind the scenes to look into some of the most celebrated restaurant kitchens across the nation. More than 60 leading chefs-including some of the newest up-and-coming-discuss the inspiration, effort, and quirks of fate that turned would-be painters, anthropologists, and football players into culinary artists.
    Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (both of New York, NY) are the authors of the bestselling titles Culinary Artistry, Dining Out, Chef's Night Out. Dornenburg has cooked professionally at Arcadia, Judson Grill, and March in New York City and Biba and the East Coast Grill in Boston. Page, the recipient of the 1997 Melitta Bentz Award for Women's Achievement, is a graduate of the Harvard Business School.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone interested in the culinary arts
    This book takes the reader beyond the glamour of the celebrity chef and into the fire. Anyone considering entering the culinary feild must read this book. The authors speak with passion about the food culture and what is required to acheive success.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written about the restaurant biz.
    The back cover of this James Beard Award-winning book, which is out in a great new expanded edition, says it all:

    "Excellent." -THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE

    "Illuminating." -THE NEW YORK TIMES

    "Insightful." -THE DETROIT NEWS

    "Fascinating." -THE VILLAGE VOICE

    "Inspirational....Well worth giving or receiving." -GOURMET

    "If you're thinking of pursuing a career as a chef, aspiring to become a better one at home, or just curious about some of America's top chefs, you will love the new book Becoming a Chef." -MATT LAUER, NBC'S TODAY SHOW

    "Not for would-be chefs only....Contains tidbits of wisdom for all business warriors." -JUDITH DOBRZYNSKI, THE NEW YORK TIMES

    "I love Becoming a Chef." -DANA COWIN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, FOOD & WINE

    "One of the top 5 Editors' Choice cookbooks of the year....Eye-opening, charmingly written...terrific reading." -SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

    "Intriguing....Fascinating....This is a cookbook where the text is the best part. It is a very important book." -ANTHONY DIAS BLUE, WCBS RADIO

    "An extraordinary book....There's never been a book like this before." -DAVID ROSENGARTEN, ON THE FOOD NETWORK

    "Its insight into the philosophy of chefdom today is invaluable." -ALISON ARNETT, THE BOSTON GLOBE

    "Becoming a Chef is as thoughtful, eclectic, and enjoyable as Andrew Dornenburg's cooking. Which is to say, very." -ROBERT B. PARKER, BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE SPENSER SERIES OF NOVELS

    "Entertaining and enlightening....A must-read." -RESTAURANT HOSPITALITY ... Read more


    18. Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen
    by Nicole Aloni
    list price: $18.95
    our price: $12.89
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1557883521
    Catlog: Book (2001-02-01)
    Publisher: HP Books
    Sales Rank: 10718
    Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the author of Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen, the only 55 recipes you'll ever need to entertain with style and confidence.

    Features:
    € 55 essential dishes with lots of variations for every occasion
    € 38 versatile menus-from casual meals to elegant repasts
    € The basics of how to roast, grill, or steam meat, fish, and vegetables
    € From napkins to utensils-what every home entertainer needs
    € Hints and tips from the professionals to make every gathering as much a pleasure for the host as it is for the guests
    € Crowd favorites and exotic cocktails
    € Expert wine selections
    ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is THE book for party planning!
    I am planning on catering my own wedding with the help of a acquintance who does catering on the side. I have been looking for books that could help me plan a meal for 200 people, but without cheesy boring recipes. The reason I'm doing the cooking is we wanted some original and tasty menu items without breaking the bank. I also needed some practical information on how to pull off cooking for a large crowd without going crazy. This book is it, and it's the only catering book I found that fit the bill. Every other book I found had recipes like chicken kiev and casseroles. Snore! Even if you're having 10 people to your home, you can't go wrong with the tips and techniques mentioned in this book. It gives ingredient quantities as well as fabulous recipes and tips. There are even decorating and presentation techniques as well along with ratios for stocking the bar. The writing is crisp and intelligent without being stuffy and dull. All in all, a great book. A must buy for anyone planning a dinner party to hosting a large reception.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun for People who cook for fun
    What a book! Fun to read--not only is Nicole Aloni a witty and graceful writer, but with her background, she has hilarious and hair-raising tales to tell (Roast Duckling for Forty, anyone?) Add to that the incredibly interesting and not horrendously complicated recipes (think Chicken with artichokes and Olives) and her great tricks that you might figure out for yourself after working as a caterer for 20 years--everything from what to keep in your pantry to how to keep drinks cold without watering them down with melting ice to party theme and decorating ideas--all this and a sense of humor! A must read if you love to cook for friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So Easy, So Complete!
    My husband and I do alot of entertaining, but not on a grand "hire a caterer" scale. This book was exactly what I needed to host 4 or 40! The book is full of great recipes, but so are alot of cookbooks. But this book goes further. It has tables and charts and information about how much to serve, what kinds of glasses you need, how many ounces to plan on, entertaining your guests, setting themes, making sure your guests know what to expect, how to dress, etc. etc. The book doesn't have the glitz and glamour of full color photos...it has information you can actually use! After reading this book cover to cover (and using lots of the ideas and recipes!) I also had the great fortune to take a cooking/entertaining class from Nicole and learned even more! I now can't wait to get my hands on her new book!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
    The recipes are a little fancy with not very available ingredients in my area but overall very informative. I enjoyed reading it and hearing the author's ideas and experiences.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Secrets from a Caterer's Kitchen
    This book is so packed with useful information. What a difference it has made in my catering business. ... Read more


    19. The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute
    by Michael Ruhlman
    list price: $16.00
    our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805061738
    Catlog: Book (1999-10-01)
    Publisher: Owl Books (NY)
    Sales Rank: 3572
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Now in paperback, the eye-opening book that was nominated for a 1998 James Beard Foundation award in the Writing on Food category.

    In the winter of 1996, Michael Ruhlman donned hounds-tooth-check pants and a chef's jacket and entered the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, to learn the art of cooking. His vivid and energetic record of that experience, The Making of a Chef, takes us to the heart of this food-knowledge mecca.Here we meet a coterie of talented chefs, an astonishing and driven breed. Ruhlman learns fundamental skills and information about the behavior of food that make cooking anything possible. Ultimately, he propels himself and his readers through a score of kitchens and classrooms, from Asian and American regional cuisines to lunch cookery and even table waiting, in search of the elusive, unnameable elements of great cooking.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (78)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Future CIA students - read!
    Wow, what a great book! This book was given to my 20 year old son by his mentor chef just days after being accepted for the CIA program. What an incredible look into the school and the curriculm. After reading it cover to cover twice - he finally parted with it long enough for his dad and I to read it too. You have no idea how much better we felt sending our son clear across the country, knowing almost EXACTLY what he'd be going through, step by step. We now own two copies - one with us here in Washington State and one with our student in Hyde Park, NY. He's been in classes since June and says the book is right on the money. Also been great fun for him to expereince the different chef instructors that he'd read about in the book. Thank you Michael. You have no idea how jealous my friends are that there's not a book such as this about the colleges their kids are attending. Also loved "Soul" just as much. Who knows, maybe our CIA student will be taking that test someday in the future too!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I adored this book!!
    I just finished this book, and I absolutely loved it! I am a stay at home mom with an interest/obsession with cooking and I found this book to be absolutely intriguing!

    Michael Ruhlman does an amazing job at sucking the reader into being a student at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). If you have ever wondered what it was like to go to culinary school, you will be fascinated by his account of what goes on behind the scenes at the most prestigious one in America (and, some argue, the world). If you think cooking school is a walk in the park, think again! These students get run through the mill day in and day out, in their quest to make the "perfect" meal!

    If you are an aspiring chef...you must read this book. If you are a "foodie" (like myself) you will thoroughly enjoy this book. I, for one, am keeping it in my collection so I can read it again.

    Bravo, Michael Ruhlman!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Accurate Portrayal of Life at the C.I.A.
    As a proud graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and having attended the C.I.A. at the same time as the author, I can attest to the accuracy of this book. I had several of the same chef/instructors as did the author. (That's Certified Master Chef Ron DiSantis, a culinary badass, in the foreground of the cover photo)

    The book shows the demanding schedule required of those who wish to attend the hands down best cooking school in America, and possibly the world. It should be required reading for all who want to cook for a living.

    I like that Ruhlman goes into detail about the life philosophy of "Mise en Place", French for Things in Place. The term, in its strictest sense, means to have all of your ingredients chopped up and arranged logically, all of your pots, pans, and utensils ready to go. In a more general way, it means to be organized and professional. Good term, that.

    Anyway, it's a good peek into the kitchen. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superior Journalistic Look at a Facinating Subject
    This 1997 second book by journalist Michael Ruhlman is his first of several essays and collaborations in writing about the upper reaches of the American culinary scene. The most fascinating thing about the book is in learning with Ruhlman, as an outsider to the culinary profession, exactly how demanding a job in the culinary arts can be. What is taken as a matter of course by people like Daniel Boulud and Jaques Pepin comes as a surprise to outsider Ruhlman. The surprise is in the commitment to performance which chefs are expected to make to maintain a service to their customers.

    The book is a reporting on Ruhlman's taking an abbreviated version of the full curriculum at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), where only the President of the school and a few select senior instructors know of the author's real role at the school. This means that when the author did attend classes, he attended the full class, from start to finish, and was expected to perform as well as any other student. While the CIA has many of the appearances of a liberal arts college, it is much closer in practice to a trade school. One symptom of this is that the stocks produced by the basic kitchen skills classes are then used by other classes at the school and they are used by each of the four restaurants run by the school for students, faculty, and outside guests. In a sense, this is a mix of trade school and graduate school, where it is expected that no one will do work worthy of a grade less than a B-.

    The epiphany that reveals how serious the culinary profession is about uninterrupted service comes early in the first year when the school is hit by a serious snowstorm and the author considers whether or not he should attempt the difficult trek into the school. The great revelation is that the school and the instructor of Ruhlman's class on that occasion did not expect it to be above and beyond the call of duty to make it to class, and they would have not thought twice about lowering Ruhlman's grade had he been a true, full time student.

    When I left school, I was surprised at how much easier life at a job was compared to life in school. I am sure that had a lot to do with the fact that I entered a largely intellectual avocation where so much about how things are done and how long they will take can change from job to job and even lowly technicians are give some opening to contribute to setting target dates. Culinary trades are a much different kettle of fish, literally.

    In a professional kitchen, the line cook is totally at the mercy of who happens to walk into the restaurant that day, and how many people walk into the restaurant that day, and at what time. The challenge is to prepare so well and exercise one's skills so often that making six or eight different dishes to perfection at a sauté station becomes second nature. Since it is the job of the CIA to teach you how to do that, the classes can be very demanding.

    The first 30% of the book covers the introductory class on basic skills and the main character is the instructor of that class. The last 30% of the book covers time spent in two of the CIA's four practice restaurants. The middle of the book covers experiences in specialized classes for Garde Manger, baking, and other specialities. If you do not already know the serious difference between savory cooking and baking, the books chapter describing the baking class will clear this up in a big hurry.

    I confess that I am very fond of this type of book. To me it represents a successful presentation of material that reality TV shows can never hope to achieve. The paradigm for this kind of writing is Tracy Kidder's book 'The Soul of a New Machine', to which I would favorably compare this work. You should find it doubly interesting if, as I do, you have an interest in the how and why of the culinary arts and personalities.

    Very highly recommended.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A fascinating behind the scenes look...
    at what is required to make it through and excel in America's premier culinary school - the C.I.A. This book is certainly a must read for anyone who has ever entertained notions of taking their home-chef skills a notch further into the world of professional cookery. The information and tales found within will surely scare away potential students who will certainly be in the shock of their lives when confronted with 120 degree kitchens and the uncesasing pressure to turn over 8 plates in 4 minutes (with exacting presicion and perfection, mind you) all while hot splattering grease, insults and angry elbows attempt to jostle you away from focus. Certainly 'Kitchen Confidential,' and this one makes for a holy-duo of sorts for anyone and everyone who has/is currently/knows someone attending a culinary program - if this book doesn't force you to re-think a career plan it will, at the very least, leave you with a further sense of awe and respect for those who endeavour daily in it. bon apetit! ... Read more


    20. The Complete Caterer
    by ELIZABETH LAWRENCE
    list price: $19.00
    our price: $17.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385234805
    Catlog: Book (1992)
    Publisher: Main Street Books
    Sales Rank: 76398
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must!
    When I first started out, I did not know how much to serve and how to break down my expenses. After reading this book, that information was no longer a mystery. It is precisely what the beginner needs and what the experienced can use for reference. Not only does it contain information on what to charge and spend, it sets up scenarios that illustrate what the author is referring to. There are recipes that are fresh and practical and interesting. ... Read more


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