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Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, 3rd Edition Hardcover – September 22, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 3rd edition (September 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470194960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470194966
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.3 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,271 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The winner of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year Award when it was first published nearly two decades ago, Sauces is, in the words of Mark Bittman, "the single contemporary reference on the subject that is both comprehensive and comprehensible." Through two successful editions, it has established itself as a modern cookbook classic—and an essential reference for every serious cook.

James Peterson trained as a chef in France, and the book offers a thorough grounding in the art of classical French sauce making, from velouté, béchamel, and demi-glace to hollandaise, mayonnaise, and crème anglaise. But Peterson also presents a wide variety of lighter contemporary sauces—including pan sauces, purées, and vinaigrettes—as well as sauces from around the world, including salsas, pasta sauces, and Asian-style dipping and curry sauces. Best of all, he includes recipes not just for sauces, but for finished dishes. These recipes give Sauces a broader scope, showing how good cooking and sauce making are intimately related—and demonstrating how a correctly prepared sauce can transform a well-cooked dish into something truly sublime.

Now, with this new edition, Peterson has thoroughly revised and expanded Sauces to make it even more indispensable. You'll find more than sixty all-new recipes for dishes that showcase the leading role of sauces in cooking, such as Chicken Tagine with Harissa Sauce, Osso Buco with Julienned Vegetables, Lobster à la Nage, and Gold-Plated Chicken with Ginger, Saffron, and Almonds. There are intriguing historical recipes from medieval and seventeenth-century Europe as well as broth-based classics such as Pot au Feu and Bollito Misto. And, by popular request, Peterson at last includes a recipe for traditional American Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy.

This new edition has been completely redesigned to make it easier to use and includes more than thirty beautiful new color photographs of finished dishes with sauces. If you're a fan of the book's previous editions, you should note that Peterson has not cut any recipes for this edition, and that he has reinstated the popular sauce charts that appeared in the first edition.

Lively, erudite, and authoritative, Sauces remains the definitive modern work on the subject. And with this edition's additional recipes—there are now a total of 440—it is now even more valuable as a general cookbook. You'll find all the techniques and know-how you need to master the art of sauce making, and you'll also discover how sauces can take your cooking to a whole new level.

Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making

Béarnaise and Hollandaise

Coq Au Vin

Pear-Butterscotch Sauce


"...bound to become a culinary icon...Any serious cook will want to own this book." (MostlyFood.co.uk, November 20th 2008)

More About the Author

James Peterson is an award-winning food writer, cookbook author, photographer, and cooking teacher who started his career as a restaurant cook in Paris in the 1970s. He is the author of fifteen titles, including "Sauces," his first book and a 1991 James Beard Cookbook of the Year winner, and "Cooking," a 2008 James Beard Award winner. He has been one of the country's preeminent cooking instructors for more than 20 years and currently teaches at the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump's) in New York. He is revered within the industry and highly regarded as a professional resource. James Peterson cooks, writes, and photographs from Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

This book exceeded every expectation I had.
timothy a. mcatee
If you are serious about sauces, especially if you are serious about cooking, then I highly recommend this book.
T. Villemure
It's quite technical but I found it very easy to read and follow the recipes and directions.
B. Robertson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Alleyrat on January 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This tome on sauce making is easily the most thorough coverage I have ever been exposed to. Well, it's the only one I've been exposed to, and I doubt there is anything as complete as this.

Readable, in-depth, expansive, edifying, and complete.

This is a book that needs to be studied and intellectually digested over a period of time as if one were attending college to become a world class chef. This is professional material and should be treated accordingly.

A prized gift for the professional, the potential professional, and the (really) serious home cook.

That being said, if you want to just whip up a quick sauce in the pan, I'm not sure this will serve your needs. There are dozens of sauce recipes, and they're good, but the idea behind the book is to teach you how to use a particular technique, then apply your knowledge in your own unique way. This is a "get a PHD in sauces", not a whip-it-up-quick index card recipe book.

Twenty muscular chapters include:
1. A Short History of Sauce Making
2. Equipment
3. Ingredients
4. Stocks, Glaces, and Essences
5. Liaisons: An Overview
6. White Sauces for Meat and Vegetables
7. Brown Sauces
8. Stock-Based and Non-Integral Fish Sauces
9. Integral Meat Sauces
10. Integral Fish and Shellfish Sauces
11. Crustacean Sauces
12. Jellies and Chauds-Froids
13. Hot Emulsified Egg Yolk Sauces
14. Mayonnaise-Based Sauces
15. Butter Sauces
16. Salad Sauces, Vinaigrettes, and Relishes
17. Pruees and Puree-Thickened Sauces
18. Pasta Sauces
19. Asian Sauces
20. Dessert Sauces

A superb instructional manual that will make you an expert if you study and apply some effort. It gets my highest rating and reccommendation for anyone who craves praise for their cooking prowess (like me).

- Alleyrat
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Kip Stanton on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
'Sauces' is a well written book and a fascinating read; the organization takes a bit of getting used to. It covers the principles of Escoffier, makes that practical, and does some marvelous delving into contemporary sauces of all sorts.

Being a home chef I'm still absorbing and trying a lot of advice Peterson gives here. I use it to supplement other things I may be working on, because in some way shape or form, it almost always comes down to having a great sauce to go with what you're having for dinner, be it simple or complex. And this definitely helps in that department.

Need a luscious brown sauce for an impressive meal? How about a mayo made with a nice lobster infused oil for a special sandwich or salad? Why not improve the flavor of your tomato sauces? What about thickening your sauces with purees? Unless it's an integral sauce of course, but even then... this is all evolving even as it adheres to tried and true methods, isn't it?

The book appears to be aimed towards the professional reader who may be wondering, aside from the myriad vagaries of saucemaking, how on earth to incorporate these sauces into a service schedule. Seriously, how do you keep your Sauce Americaine alive for hours with all that fresh lobster coral in it? One no longer has to wonder.

It's not a book for everyone, especially if you just want a primer. It does some laying out of steps on the how's, but the concentration is on the why's. If you're looking for an informative and experiential discussion on the art of Saucing, with recipes to boot, then here it is.

It's a great for anyone interested in making better sauces.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful By T. Villemure on February 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like many people in the last generation or so, I did not grow up with sauces. My mother told of the sauces that her mother made back after the depression, but dismissed these as being unhealthy and only useful as a way to stretch small portions of meat for a big family.

However, a good sauce really can tie a meal together. It is a way of taking something good, and turning it into the sublime. It can even rescue something not-so-good and make it quite delicious. How many times have you seen children only willing to eat certain foods that are smothered in gravy or ketchup?

And so we come to Peterson's "Sauces". This is not a book of recipes (although it contains many), but instead a history and a textbook of saucemaking. I didn't think that I was especially interested in sauces of the middle ages, but as I read that chapter I think that it gave me a better understanding of the foundations of sauces. If you are really interested in sauces, this book might be the only sauce book that you'll ever need. It will give you an understanding to become a sauce artist, and not just a sauce technician.

I have only made a small dent in reading this tome, but already it has improved my cooking. I was recently able to put together a delicious mustard veloute that would have been impossible for me before reading this. If you are serious about sauces, especially if you are serious about cooking, then I highly recommend this book. If you are just looking for a couple of quick and easy sauce recipes to enhance your cooking, then I suggest you buy something a little 'lighter'.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K. Moore on November 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic, comprehensive sauces book, but instead of using it as a recipe book, it's more like a textbook. It starts off teaching you the history of sauces, introduces you to some different styles that have developed over the ages, and then embarks on a mission to teach you the method of making each kind of sauce, followed by variations in recipe for different tastes, textures or effects. You can't jump to the middle and pull out a recipe for an au jus unless you want to go back and read all about the method of creating an au jus, and the typical steps taken. Once you've learned the method, THEN you can really understand the guidance he provides in the recipe. I haven't had the time to dedicate to reading such a thick volume, but I look forward to getting into it- definitely for the serious sauce maker!
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