on October 22, 1998
The Art and Science of Culinary Preparation is a good book for those individuals seeking sound basic knowledge about cooking skills. The are a lot of drawings to aid in understanding the principles discussed. There are some nice begining recipes as well. This makes a nice addition to anyones library. This book reminds us of the needed fundamentals we use every day in cooking. A very sound value for the money spent. This book is the first book we use at my culinary school, and is used in the tests for certification in the American Culinary Federation tests.
on February 24, 2009
The only problem with this book is the misleading title. If you are a beginning foodservice pro or a prospective pro, you should probably have this book. However, it is hard to see how this book would be of any use to a home cook, even if you are very good at it. It has few recipes, procedures, and lessons that are of immediate, practical application in the kitchen.
The copyright page lists "National Apprenticeship Training Program for Cooks, Registry N-90093, U.S. Department of Labor", not to mention "Kraft Foodservice Inc" and "The Kraft General Foods Foundation" as funding sources.
This book is rather peculiar, covering subjects that are not usually included in standard cooking literature. This is probably what makes it both unique and useful. As such, it has a rather unique position on your professional bookshelf.
One common method of breaking into foodservice is to devote a couple of years of your life as an apprentice, and volunteer your time to working in professional kitchens (yes, you heard me: your paycheck will be zero dollars). In return, the chef will do his/her best to teach you the craft. This book has those intellectual, book knowledge sort of things about food and ingredients that you are suppose to know before walking into a professional kitchen, even as a volunteer or entry level prep cook.
I should also note that the quality of subject coverage is variable (in fact, being able to judge which is which is an excellent test of your culinary knowledge), probably due to first hand experience by what appears to be a single author. I also have a few nits to pik, especially in the early chapters. Overall, the information was useful and reliable.
The formatting could have been, uhh..., a little more professional.
on July 4, 2012
This is a fantastic book, and is very well written. I have the pleasure of
knowing the author personally and he is very intelligent and formulated the book
very well. As a professional Chef I reccomend this book to anyone who is serious about food.
If food is mearly a hobbie I suggest you pick up one of Alton Browns books.