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The Professional Chef Hardcover – August 28, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 139 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

This eighth edition of the standard textbook for professional chefs in the U.S. expands previous editions' coverage of both the science and the art of cooking. The nation's most prestigious training school for food careerists concentrates the essence of its course work within a comprehensive volume that competent students must master. Every aspect of the restaurant business is addressed, from nutrition and portion sizing to fiscal and human resource management. Sections on equipment, from major appliances to handheld tools, show the bond between chef and technology. Chapters on world cooking identify the most typical cooking processes and give examples of commonly appearing ingredients in each style. Recipes record classic preparations that form the foundation for myriad elaborations and personalization to move cooking from mere technique to high art. Although beyond the need of most home cooks, this massive tome is a necessary reference-collection purchase for any library whose community includes food-service-training programs. Mark Knoblauch
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1232 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 8th edition (August 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764557343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764557347
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 2.3 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (139 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
`The Professional Chef, 8th Edition' by the faculty and staff of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), generally thought to be the best culinary school in the country, is truly a great textbook for, exactly as the title states, anyone who wishes to be a PROFESSIONAL chef, sous chef, line chef, garde-manger chef, catering chefs or even charity soup kitchen cook. It is NOT that good for people who may wish to simply be personal chefs, pastry chefs, bread bakers, or simply better home cooks. This is because every aspect of the book, starting with the recipes and including everything else, is oriented towards preparation for large groups of people. Virtually all recipes, even the bread baking recipes, are written to serve a minimum of 8, and generally between 12 and 20 people.

The other side of the coin is that this book contains hundreds of pages of information which you will not find in practically any other book. Much of this, such as the cost of serving calculations and other business considerations are not likely to be very interesting to the majority of amateur cooks (unless you happen to be managing a charity food service). But there are also lots that should be interesting to the average cook. Topping this list is the chapter on food safety. Most of us who read a cookbook now and then and watch our share of Food Network cooking shows (especially Alton Brown's Good Eats) will have a passing knowledge of food safety, but the material here will give one the confidence to know they are following the `professional' approach to food safety.
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Format: Hardcover
The Professional Chef is a well-organized, fairly complete cooking text and a very beautiful book. It deserves its great reviews. However, On Cooking by Labensky and Hause is somewhat longer (and thus more complete) and contains much more detailed exposition and recipes than The Professional Chef. It is not as flashy as The Professional Chef: If you were in a book store trying to choose between the two in a short amount of time, The Professional Chef would probably command your purchase; however, I own both and every single time I look for information or recipes, On Cooking has much more complete information.

Some examples: In On Cooking, there is a whole chapter on knife skills, as compared to sections in The Professional Chef. On Cooking's recipes include nutrition information and generally consume one or more pages. In The Professional Chef, each recipe consists of a quarter-page worth of information, though many of them are (beautifully) typeset to fill an entire page, so many of the book's pages consist mostly of blank space. The Professional Chef's section on anatomy of eggs and identification of quality and freshness is a very brief affair while On Cooking has tables of information, charts, and illustrative drawings. Furthermore, in On Cooking, the information about eggs in general is located in the same chapter as everything else on eggs, whereas The Professional Chef is organized like a culinary curriculum: one learns about how to select eggs long before learning how to cook them, so the section on eggs themselves occurs toward the beginning of the book, while the chapter on how to cook them occurs at toward the end of the book.

On Cooking is the more expensive and less flashy (but by no means less well-illustrated) of the two but it really is a superior informational resource.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a home cook, but wish I had chosen a career in culinary arts. I am not interested in starting in such a grueling field at this point in my life, but I am interested in developing my culinary skills. That's why I chose this book. From this book, I have been learning about foods of different regions and basic cooking techniques. Some of what they offer is not that applicable for the home cook, such as how to inspect a giant hunk of meat when it's delievered to your place of business, and the recipes are designed for food service; for example, most soup and stock recipes prepare 5 gallons. I have had success with scaling some of the recipes down, but other recipes don't scale down as well, especially if you're making just one or two portions. But I didn't get this book for the recipes as much as for the techniques. With that in mind, I am very pleased with this book and imagine it will become an important part of my home designed culinary education.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a big foodie and have been for many years. This is my cooking bible along with "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee.

If you want a foundation in cooking that will allow your skills to spread like wildfire than this is the book you want. Part cookbook, part text - it teaches you the essentials then let's you spread your wings a bit with a variety of recipes from all over the world. Not the definitive source for every recipe, but the definitive source for techniques and application of those techniques to produce amazing food. Endorsed by the likes of Thomas Keller, Anthony Bourdain, and The Two Hot Tamales.

Does take some time and dedication on your part though. I spent a year reading and working through it (with previous editions). The newest offering is cleaned up, a few errors were fixed, more recipes, and includes a greatly expanded introductory section.

I first got on board with a tag-sale copy of the 6th edition. Wish I would have found it when I first became interested in cooking! I would easily pay $500 for it.
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