From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"#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)