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The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine Hardcover – October 1, 2012


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Hardcover, October 1, 2012
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The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine + La Cucina Italiana Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584799900
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584799900
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 10.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The International Culinary Center, founded as The French Culinary Institute in 1984, is the world leader in culinary education. With locations in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and Parma, Italy, the Center is a culinary incubator with cutting edge curriculums providing world-class graduates who advance the industry. The School of Italian Studies at The International Culinary Center is one of the most authentic Italian culinary programs in the country. The unique 28-week career program divides course time between New York or California and Parma, Italy.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Marc Clegg on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is by far the most comprehensive book of Italian cuisine avaiable in English to date. I own several books in English and Italian and this combines so much knowledge. I cannot even describe the amount of content in the book, its daunting. Giuliano Bugialli's Classic Technique of Italian cooking was probably the only book that came close to this level of instruction, however the content is dated and this is fresh! If you truly want to learn loads of Italian cooking technique and fundamental recipes from many regions, this is your book. It even has instructions on making pasta filata cheese (mozzarella) and ricotta. The only thing I can say that would deter someone from purchasing this book is that it is not for a "quick, I don't care" cook or someone who doesn't like to read or follow directions and learn new technique. Aside from that, I think it is worth its weight in gold.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jackal on July 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compared to Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine this book is a disappointment. That book by the same cooking school was very good. It introduced both techniques and some central recipes. It was organised in sessions introducing both techniques and recipes.

The current book is organised differently. First we get the recipes and then we get the techniques in the second half of the book. This is a very artificial split that I find quite annoying; especially since teach recipe chapter has its own technique chapter. The recipes are okay though.

In terms of content we get a few chapters on specific Italian techniques/recipes, like pasta, polenta, risotto, beans, bread. However, most of the techniques are similar to the other book. It is almost as if the authors were struggling to include content in the book. For instance we get a chapter on cheese making, but it is less than 10 pages in total including the recipe chapter. And it is not very helpful to just be told to buy mozzarella curd online. However, this is a minor point. The book also includes some bread and pastry. Note that the cooking school also has two separate books on these topics. Again I notice quite a bit of overlap with the current book.

After this negative assessment, I will still give the book three stars because it does contains quite a bit of useful information. However, if you already own the other books in the series, think twice before you buy the current book. (Personally, I would much have preferred a thinner, and cheaper, book that could be seen as an extension to the other books in the series.)

ADVICE Finally, do note that there is a bargain price edition of the book, if you know where to click.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By frumwannabe on May 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Like their book "The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine" (French), this could have been a wonderful instructional book; but the gorgeous photographs lack identifcation or captions. There are fewer pictures and information than in the French cookbook. The identifying label for the picture at the beginning of each recipe chapter and page number where that recipe can be found are great and show how good this book might have been.

But this book adds some new terrible cookbook techniques. It divides the information into two sections. Part One has the recipes and history of the foods with some helpful chef's notes; and there's Part Two: Lessons. Lessons actually tells you how to make the recipes. It would have been much better to structure this like almost every other cookbook ever written and put the information together rather than have you turning from one section to the next. The book is large and heavy.

And the inclusion of a bibliography is only partially helpful. Some of the books are antique and difficult to get like the one by Apicus. Others are by wonderful authors of Italian cookbooks; but that only makes me encourage you to buy cookbooks by Marcella Hazan, Giuliano Bugialli, Lidia Bastianich and Nick Malgieri instread of this book. Other authors are Martha Steward and America's Test Kitchen. I thought these recipes would be authentic Italian and come from the Italian side of The French Culinary Institute, not from other popular cookbooks. I love America's Test Kitchen because their food is always successful; but the few Italian dishes they've developed are for the tastes of the average American who enjoy Americanized Italian restaurants and fast food places like Papa Gino's.

This book would be a good addition to the library which already covers the essentials of Italian cooking for the great photographs, recipes and techniques it does provide.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Berman on January 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I did not want to like The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine. Any collection that appears ‘complete’ rarely ever is. Through the pages, I look for some recipe or technique that I know to be lost. And usually it is; not necessarily, some obscure bit, but a chunk that should be there but is absent and then my confidence wanes. Delightfully, I am proud to proclaim I do not think that to be the case with The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine. The compendium is all there!

It will take some time to get through The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine and it is not a cookbook, per se, for the casual cook or the weekend kitchen thrill-seeker. Once The French Culinary Institute, the good folks are now The International Culinary Center and have made the mental push-ups of The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine well worth the heavy lifting.

The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Italian Cuisine is a text book. Let’s be clear. It is technique-heavy and laden with history, instruction, nods to geography and process. The 500+ pages are divided, with a stroke of genius, by Recipes and Lessons. Within those sections, the recipes are gathered up into culminating groups on, say, vegetables. In that section, for example, there will be a bit piece on the etymology of name of the dish, a little dash of history and, perhaps, some notes on variations. The twenty chapters grab at the requisite pasta, risotto and breads, but are also colored with separate chapters on bean soups, various proteins, cakes and frozen desserts, among others. Speaking of color, there are over 600 photographs that make for a lesson on frenching a lamb rack or filling and shaping ravioli that much easier to bring to life in your own kitchen.
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