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Professional Cooking, 7th Edition
Format: HardcoverChange
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80 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
I am in culinary school and this is the required text for our classes. After hours of researching online, and even taking the time to call the publisher, I finally decided to take a risk by buying this "Trade" version rather than the "College Version," offered here on Amazon and in our school's bookstore. Rest assured! This book is EXACTLY the same as the "College Version," but it doesn't include the CulinarE Companion CD (which our school does not utilize anyway)! I even had the instructors at school ask the publisher about the differences, and they admitted that there are none! All of the recipes and page numbers match up identically. Save yourself the $36+ dollars and buy this version instead of getting ripped off by a marketing scam to get more money out of students by calling a book the "College Version" - I'm glad I did!

We are just getting into the book, so I can't offer too much of an opinion, but from what I've seen so far, I'm impressed! I just wanted to add my review so that hopefully another student like myself can save some money. I hope it helps!
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2000
I grew up with great home cooking and always took it for granted. When I went off to University I quickly realized that Macaroni & cheese would not do me the way it seemed to for many of my colleagues, so I set out to bolster my impoverished culinary skills. After several years of over-the-phone consultations with mom, experimentation, and generally bland meals, I still lacked the basic knowledge and skill to tackle any but the most detailed recipes, and I had more questions than answers. Then I stumbled upon Wayne Gisslen's "Professional Cooking 4th Ed." The standard text for many culinary schools, Gisslen's well organized text book is a must for the aspiring amateur home chef. Expertly laid out and documented with beautiful photography, it will take your cooking to the next level. Gisslen has structured his book to first provide you with an in-depth knowledge of ingredients and basic cooking techniques, these are then applied in the many exquisite recipes that follow. For example, chapter 10: Understanding Meats has subsections on: Composition, Structure and Basic Quality Factors; Understanding the Basic Cuts; Cooking and Handling Meats. The following chapter then applies these principles in recipes grouped according to cooking method. The recipes range from fairly simple to more involved and all the ones I've tried have been outstanding. ONE WORD OF CAUTION! This is NOT a step-by-step cookbook that the beginner cook can just pick up to whip up a meal on the spur or the moment. All the recipes require knowledge of the basic cooking techniques which are covered in the previous chapter(s). This is an amazingly in-depth text book and requires time spent in careful study. Also, since the recipes are scaled for the professional kitchen one must scale them down for personal use (covered in chapter 5). However, if you are willing to put the time in, you will be amazed at how much you learn. As your basic skill level increases so will your confidence for tackling previously intimidating recipes. This book will be a treasured resource on my shelf for years to come. A must for the professional as well as the amateur enthusiast and well worth the money.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
With each edition I can hardly imagine how the next one could possibly be any better and this one is no different. This book is the standard issue book at many cooking schools. That is actually how I came upon my first copy, from a friend who had finished Chef school and purchased a newer edition.
The illustrations are beautiful and very helpful, the directions clear and concise. Make no mistake, this is a complete cooking school course with everything except the tuition and practice. Starting at the beginning is a good idea because it is laid out like a course. So, it teaches a technique and then from that point forward in the book it refers to the technique. However, with a thorough index it is not a problem to find out where the technique was discussed.
There is no better book to learn professional cooking or just learn the techniques to astound your friends. Thorough and well documented, when it comes to learning professional cooking techniques, this is the book to have.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 8, 2002
While I am not a culinary student, I do love to cook and learn the science behind the food. This book is the most comprehensive, best photographed book I have seen. This is written for the student, or professional preparation in terms of quantities the recipes make. You can easily scale most of them to suit your personal needs. The book is divided into various sections there is a textbook feel as each area of food is explained thoroughly, then come the recipes. This book is nice as it offers many suggestions and ideas with each recipe. While this may not be the best choice for every cook at home, I think this is a good choice for people that want a little more out a cookbook.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2011
This is a fantastic compilation of knowledge! I used this book in culinary arts school as the text for 2 separate courses. It is filled with information and should be on the shelves of any chef, aspiring chef and serious self-taught home cook that wants to LEARN. If you are looking for recipes and for a "witty" dialogue with a not so bright or overly cheery housewife author, shop around - this isn't that book. If you are looking for a college text (10th grade reading level...) teeming with information....ding ding ding you picked a winner. The recipes are basic, but suffice to say there is a chapter or more of information leading up to the recipe, if your dish doesn't turn out, you can only blame yourself :) Bon Appetit!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2004
As someone already mentioned, it's a pity you do not have a six star rating. This is probably the best cooking book, professional and other that I have come across. It's accurate and reliable, and mostly it seems to cover everything.

Every time I have needed a recipe,or any info regarding preparaation of a meal of any sort, i have found the answer in this book. i am amazed again and again as to how up to date it is, and how anything I might find in new trendy cook books and magazines, seem to have already been printed in this book.

i am always grateful to own it.
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35 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2010
I got this book for my wife. She first saw the 6th edition when she took a 15 week-long course at the local college, and wanted this version to compliment what she had learned in the course.

The book itself is quite thorough, and she really likes it. On it's own the book scores 5 stars! The promoted CulinarE-Companion software that replaces the CD in older version of this book is horrible to nonexistent! The book was published on January 19th, and the "software" is only now showing up on the publisher's site (March 1st), and it doesn't even work!! Don't forget, this "College Version" costs more because of this "software".

This is extremely unprofessional. I had to contact the publisher when the software wasn't available on the site, and it took them a couple of weeks to get something online. The problem is they seem to have wanted to save some money by not including a CD with this edition, but instead they run a Flash-based application from their site. You need to register with the site, enter the registration code that comes on a card included with the book (in place of the CD in older editions), then you get access to a Flash page that doesn't even work!

I'm strongly encouraged to return this version, and buy the standard edition for less (it is only available on the Amazon.ca site, and no longer available on the Amazon.com site). This is a real disappointment.

If you are interested in this book, and I strongly recommend it if you are serious about cooking, then get yourself the standard edition and don't be fooled into paying $10-$20 more for the promise of software that does not even exist.

Cheers.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2011
I am a home cook. I was looking for a way to learn cooking techniques because I didn't think I could satisfactorly learn good techniques from recipes, no matter who wrote them. I was refered to this book by my local universities culinary arts teacher and I must say I am very satisified with it! I am not even all the way through yet but I am very satisified.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 1999
From beginner to professional, Professional Cooking takes anyone who loves to cook on a wonderful journey. From the basic (making breakfast eggs and coffee) to the advanced (rich sauces and international cuisine), Gisslen shows how it should be done. Ever had question about cooking? This book has the answers. If you must have only one volume in your kitchen, Professional Cooking should be that one. It's a winner in all areas.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 1, 2003
One word - incredible.
I've always loved cooking, and have always been a capable cook in the kitchen, but always wondered why certain things are done the ways they are (such as how does flour thicken a sauce without it getting pasty) and how to make simple things such as bases for sauces. This book has that information and a LOT more. After getting roughly 30 cook books through the past 5 years, I realize now that this is the only one I ever needed. All of the recipes I've tried have been incredible (the only annoying thing is the large scale they're made to, though that's easily remedied), and it's a cookbook that I actually like to READ as opposed to just pull recipes out of.
HIGHLY Recommended for any type of cook.
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