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Culinary Artistry Paperback – November 4, 1996
2016 Book Awards
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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." ...
First of all, although it was clear from the start, it is not a cookbook at all. Far from it, it is neither a book on the techniques every cook should know nor a collection of useful or good recipes. It is rather a reference book for food lovers and potentially for chefs.
Food matching is the most interesting section of the book. No doubt this is the perfect book for somebody who is not looking for specific dishes or ingredients, but for inspiration. However, having already bought "The Flavor Bible", you will notice that Culinary Artistry not only has some overlapping with `the bible" but also is rather incomplete. That is quite disappointing...
Admittedly, this book is quite useful for a reference concerning matching different food, although many of the matchs look standard, and any chef should know what goes with what. In all cases, it can be a good place to find ideas, or to remember food combinations, and the tables are very clear.
The biggest complaint - to the extent I was about to ask for a replacement or refund, is that, having received the book by mail, I could not notice that the book has rough uncut irregular edges making it impossible to browse through its pages. I also wonder whether I got a faulty or second hand book.
It comes as a surprise as the book deals with presentation and sense-inviting meals (e.g. flat food vs. architectural presentation)
As to the paper quality and the presentation itself, don't expect a great thing: it lacks pictures showing the artistic presentation of the finished plates.Certainly presentation is in my opinion part of food artistry.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would recommend this book to those who are really into cooking. You will learn a lot of stuff.Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
Regarding physical quality, the printer of this book should be tarred and feathered. And the publisher should be crucified for allowing such poor quality to be shipped. Read morePublished 2 months ago by john daley
Bought it as a gift. My friend who I gave it to loves the book. I can barely boil water but it looks like a good cookbook.Published 7 months ago by mdwright