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The Professional Chef Hardcover – Classical, September 5, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 7th edition (September 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471382574
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471382577
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

From Library Journal

In the seventh revised edition of the basic textbook for the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the editors claim that they explain to the potential chef not just how to cook, but why the CIA insists on doing things the way it does. Since the CIA is often criticized for problems ranging from its devotion to classic French technique to its role in maintaining the patriarchy that dominates the profession, such justification seems in order. But there is actually little of it, either in the introductory essays or in the text that follows. There is little else to find fault with in this well-organized, comprehensive text. But while anyone aspiring to a career in food service may find it useful, it falls short of being a good learning text for the average cook. Its recipes are all written in scaled formulas, rather than in the cups and spoons measures most consumers use. In addition, those recipes mostly yield ten servings, and the task of reducing them to manageable proportions will put off most nonprofessional users. So although this is an excellent guide to the profession, it is recommended only for academic libraries supporting culinary programs and larger public libraries with comprehensive cookery collections. Tom Cooper, Richmond Heights Memorial Lib., MO
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook and bake..
Mary K. Johnson
As a student of the Culinary Institute of America, there is only one true cooking book for me, The Professional Chef!
G. Selwyn
It is packed with useful information, delicious recipes, easy to follow instructions, colorful photos.
A. Copeland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Essman on February 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've always believed that the serious amateur chef (or skier, auto mechanic, or gardener) can always benefit from professional training and approach. The Professional Chef (7th ed., 2002) is promulgated by the venerable Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA). It is the institute's complete basic professional course. The book is profusely, nay, minutely, illustrated.
Since The Professional Chef is a text, written based on the CIA's experience in teaching food techniques to thousands of students who often come to the Institute knowing next to nothing about food, it is organized for learning. The book gives full detail on every basic culinary technique, explains scientific backgrounds of major food phenomena, repeats and recapitulates nicely. This is a serious text, but of course you do not have to master the whole thing.
Ever wanted to really know how to cut a carrot? The Professional Chef will give you illustrations and exact instructions on julienne, batonnet, brunoise, paysanne, fermière, lozenge, rondelle, and tourné techniques. Preparation techniques for individual vegetables-onion, garlic, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, chestnuts, corn, artichokes, peas, avocados, asparagus-get their own illustrated spreads.
Lest you begin to think "this is way too much detail for me," bear in mind that the CIA has bent over backwards to make these materials superbly usable and didactically sound. Dip often into this true resource; double dip if no one is looking.
Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at [...]
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107 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Mary K. Johnson on September 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have been cooking for quite some time now, and I am always digging for newer and better recipes and even different variations. This book had much more than I had ever thought that it would. It has a chapter dedicated to nutrition, kitchen safety, equipment, and all sorts of examples as well as photo's for everything, including cuts of meats, fish, poultry, etc.
It also thoroughly covers all sorts of food preparation, and the recipes!!! The recipes look just wonderful. It covers everything from simple broths, breads, sandwiches to different types of pastry. It is a great book for the beginner, as well as the experienced cook.
I have already tried a few of the recipes, and they are truely wonderful, and have been well tested. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook and bake..
One word of caution... Most of the recipes are geared to cooking of large quantities, for 10 portions or better. Breads for 8-10 loaves, and so on, so be prepared to modify your quantities.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Pat Wildenburg on November 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a business professional, there is very little time to enjoy the great things in life. A good part of this precious time is spent in the kitchen. I love to cook. It is quite a stress reliever. I have been cooking now for the last 14 years. While I tend to use cook books and cooking magazines to guide me, I did invest in the Professional Chef book about 3 years ago. It is an ideal tool. Not only does it have recipes galore, it is the A-Z catalog of cooking ideas, instruction, types of utensils one needs, etc. I highly recommend for those that are starting out; for those like me that treat cooking as a serious hobby; and for those serious chefs that are in constant pursuit of recipes...The CIA is magnificent...
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Brian Dolan on April 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
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 ...
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By D. Thomas on February 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I've been cooking since I was about 12, and in all the time since then I've basically been doing the exact same thing. Chop this, bake that. I hadn't really improved my cooking skills or learned anything new in years. I wanted to challenge myself. So I did a little research and decided to buy this book.

I've had it for a little less than two weeks now, and I am still amazed at the sheer depth of information in it. Not only are the recipes delicious, but the step-by-step instructions make even the most difficult concept easy to follow along.

Last night I made medaglione di bue alla pizzaioli with sauted potatoes for my entire extended family and chocolate XS cake after. Without a doubt the most complex meal I've ever made, and thanks to the crystal-clear instructions it all came out perfectly.

It should be said that most of the recipes take a lot of time and energy to make. If you include the time to make the sauce, it's rare to find a recipe that will take less than a few hours. But if you take a few hours over the weekend and make a couple good stocks and broths they'll last quite some time.

Already I've learned a lot, and am now much more aware of the balance between art and science that cooking really is. With every page I read and every recipe I try I improve my skills. This book is exactly what I wanted. Not just another cookbook, this spends as much time on technique as it does listing recipes.

This book is way more than you need if you're just looking for a cookbook, and will do nothing for you if you're not willing to spend hours preparing a single meal. But if you've got the patience to dedicate to the art that is gourmet food, then this is probably the most rewarding book you could ever hope for.
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