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The New American Chef: Cooking with the Best of Flavors and Techniques from Around the World Hardcover – November 5, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (November 5, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471363448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471363446
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dornenburg and Page (Chef's Night Out; Becoming a Chef) collaborate successfully once more, bringing together the international inspirations that today's chefs draw from. As unusual, often imported ingredients become more readily available, the authors believe that "there is an exciting opportunity for experimentation and exercising creativity. On the other hand, experimentation-particularly in the hands of an inexperienced chef-can be disastrous." Dornenburg and Page address this problem by bringing together 10 fundamental international cuisines in one handy volume. Drawing on the knowledge of the leading exponents of each fare, and liberally sprinkling in quotations, they distill these styles, ingredients and techniques into a philosophy that can guide the chef or the inspired home cook to produce authentic results. Whether focusing on Japanese or Moroccan cuisines, the authors call for advice upon the likes of such notables as Paula Wolfert, Rick Bayless and Daniel Boulud, who provide not only their expertise but also their recipes. Each section is divided into the fundamentals, including a culinary map, flavor palette, ingredients and techniques as well as a suggested reading list from cookbook shop notable Nach Waxman, before finishing with several timeless recipes that provide a basic repertoire. Most recipes require a certain level of knowledge and competence, but some, such as the clean-tasting Gazpacho Andaluz and vibrant Chicken Tangine with Prunes, are within reach of any cook. The finished work is deceptively thorough, but it works better as a guide to the values, tastes and methods that form each cuisine than as a recipe book.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Like ten cookbooks in one. The authors feature ten different cuisines, then asked some of the country's best chefs to contribute (look for French recipes from Daniel Boulud, Italian dishes from Mario Batali)." --BON APPETIT magazine

"#2 of our Top 10 Book Picks of The Year: This fabulous new book puts its finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary American cuisine...Takes you on a gastronomic tour of the world." --Cheri Sicard, FABULOUS FOODS

"The cream of the crop of this year's best cookbooks...The authors tapped the knowledge and recipes of top chefs for lessons in 10 popular cuisines." --Marilynn Marter, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER

"This is a one-volume cooking school that delves into the techniques, sources, flavors and fundamentals for serious students of the philosophy of food and cooking."
--METRO TIMES DETROIT

"Distinctive...You might want to file such mostly-for-reading books as THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF under 'food for the mind.'"
--William Rice, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

The best books are written with a crystal-clear purpose in mind, and Beard Award-winning writers Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (BECOMING A CHEF, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT) have really honed in on a crucial subject for THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF.
Their analysis of the current culinary situation hits the nail on the head. "Whereas a young professional cook may have had the opportunity in years past to develop a solid grounding in classic technique (most frequently French) before branching off into multiethnic experimentation, today the same cook has to work from day one with an extraordinarily wide variety of ingredients and techniques," they write. "The widespread availability of international ingredients has outpaced our ability to assimilate them into our daily cooking. This represents both a major opportunity and a major challenge for the New American chef."
Few full service restaurant operators or, especially, restaurant critics would argue against Dornenburg's and Page's thesis.
This book is designed to fill the ever-widening information gap. And while it seems like an impossibly large topic to cover, this clever duo devised a format that distills the essentials of 10 influential cuisines (Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Moroccan, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese) into digestible lessons for the reader.
Each chapter begins with a lengthy profile of a particular country's cuisine, with key fundamentals spelled out via interviews with respected chefs and cookbook authors. Then come recipes (one hundred in all for the book) that enable the reader to tackle the lessons just learned. Dozens of celebrity chefs dot the roster of contributors.
"We've narrowed down the gist of what you need to know about each cuisine in order to retain its spirit in your cooking," Dornenburg and Page say. "In thirty pages per cuisine, we can make you feel like you have just taken an immersion course in that cuisine and our experts will enable you to better reproduce its food and its spirit in your kitchen."
What a godsend. This book will be of value to just about anyone who works in the back of the house or write a menu cooked there. (Restaurant Hospitality, December 2003)

"The New American Chef...explores flavors and techniques in the words of the chefs themselves" —Gael Greene (New York, December 22, 2003)


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This was a great book - very informative and interesting.
Irene
This is a great book, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes to experiment with new cuisines in the kitchen.
Tom
What a wonderful palette of cultures and ethnic cuisines from around the world.
Jill Baron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Unlike the first reviewer of this book, I had no preconceived notions of what The New American Chef "should" or "shouldn't" be. When I recently picked it up, what I found was a surprisingly fresh and insightful look at the subject of international flavors and techniques and how they are influencing today's (and tomorrow's) idea of American cuisine. This is a tribute to the authors' increasingly well-known reputation for going places no other food writers have gone before (and readers of Culinary Artistry won't have to ask what I mean by that!). By their own admission (on p. xiv), the authors' goal "was not to take a comprehensive, encyclopedic approach to these 10 cuisines...Rather, to share some of the underlying tenets each one has to offer." I've never read another cookbook that took on this challenge, and certainly none has so insightfully.
In The New American Chef, the authors manage to "deconstruct" the underlying essence of each of the 10 cuisines they profile. In other words, what makes Japanese cuisine unique? To the authors, it is the cuisine's extraordinary emphasis on seasonality. What makes Italian cuisine unique? The Italian sensibility when selecting ingredients. And so on through Spanish, French, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese and Moroccan cuisines. Then each chapter underscores that central lesson by providing insights and guidelines and recipes from some of the world's best-respected experts on each of those cuisines (e.g. Mario Batali and Lynne Rossetto Kasper on Italian; Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, and Hubert Keller on French, etc.). The chapters are not cookie-cutter in structure, obviously, because each chapter focuses on a different aspect of cuisine.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By laura day on December 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have always been stressed about how to create a meal for guests. The New American Chef has changed my life. Beautiful and varied recipes with simple suggestions on presentation has made me a confident chef (dare I call myself by this name) and entertaining a joy. I gave this book to everyone for the holidays from kids going off to their first apartments, newlyweds, my parents, clients and my eleven year old son (who then asked for a kitchen tool as a holiday gift). We love to try the recipes and the book is written in a way that makes you realize why the cooking channel is true entertainment. It reads like an ambrosia of short stories.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andrew and Karen are at it again! After writing excellent, provocative works such as two of my favorites: Becoming a Chef and Culinary Artistry, combine again to research and bring together this impressive volume sketching out the emerging New American Chef. Words like fusion and New World and other concepts seemed to fall short of what they were trying to get at, so this concept: New American Chef showcases ten world cuisines which bring there own philosophies and emphases and ingredients and techniques to these United States to combine with our burgeoning wealth of culinary talent to produce this wonderful new cuisine which this book showcases.
I can remember becoming first interested in high school when taking a date out on that impressive prom meal when gourmet was specific dishes, e.g. Steak Diane, etc. But now, there is such a wide variety of everything, with so many more choices of not only dishes, but cuisine specialty houses and more. This book gets to that. The mixture of cultures and global reach has brought us to this melting pot concept of gourmet. Here there are ten major world cuisines: Chineese, French, Mexican, Indian, Spanish, Moroccan, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese. Each of these is represented by its approach, similarities and specialties, then a representative recipe sampling.
While there is ample opportunity here to learn more about cuisines I'm already into: French, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican, Chineese, Japanese; there is certainly opportunity here to explore some new cuisine such as Thai, Indian, etc. although I'm not all that enthralled with them in my experience so far.
And just that is the beauty here, one doesn't have to be excited about all ten, or the majority of them. There is so much here to be learned and experimented with.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Matthus on February 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"The New American Chef" is a brilliant concept, brilliantly executed by award-winning authors Dornenburg and Page: Take some of the brightest minds in the culinary world today and have them provide a shorthand approach to the cuisines in which they are expert. The result is a Who's Who of Cooking sharing fascinating insights into the flavors, techniques and "gestalt" of 10 different cuisines: Rick Bayless and Zarela Martinez on Mexican cuisine, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Mario Batali on Italian cuisine, Paula Wolfert and Rafih Benjelloun on Moroccan cuisine, and dozens of other experts on seven other cuisines (Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese). The authors' approach to singling out and articulating the essence of each cuisine is also a breakthrough contribution to understanding both the differences and the similarities among various cuisines. I'd never previously thought about the similarities between, for example, Japanese and Spanish cuisines, or French and Chinese cuisines - an insight that has the power to change one's approach to cooking. With my copies of the International Time-Life series gathering dust on my bookshelf, I'm delighted to have this captivating new single-volume reference to turn to for insight, inspiration, and incisive modern recipes.
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