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The New Making of a Cook: The Art, Techniques, And Science Of Good Cooking Hardcover – November 5, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Professional cooking schools have used Madeleine Kamman's The Making of a Cook since it first appeared in 1971. She has now revised it to reflect newer techniques, the availability of a wider range of ingredients, and the recent American aversion to fat. She suggests eating fats in moderation, and includes recipes for cholesterol-free gingerbread and more. Fundamentally, Kamman teaches classic French technique as applied to American ingredients. For example, she carefully explains how to make a classic espagnole sauce as chefs have made it for centuries and also provides, as an alternative, a brown stock made in the microwave.

A good chef must understand food chemistry; any good cook is fascinated by the hows and whys of the kitchen. Kamman gives the information that a professional requires, with clarity anyone can understand.

The main drawback to The New Making of a Cook is that its size makes it awkward to have in the kitchen, though you will want it handy for recipes such as Stuffed Pork Butt with Apples and Pistachios; the Pilgouri at Delphi, a bulgur pilaf studded with Feta cheese; Chocolate Puff Pastry; and Kamman's brilliant quartets of recipes for vegetable stir-frys and steamed chicken breasts.

From Library Journal

Although this massive book began as a revision of Kamman's classic The Making of a Cook (1971), it's really an entirely new work; the text has been rewritten and greatly expanded, and few of the recipes are the same. The organization is similar, based generally on techniques and "building blocks" rather than courses of a meal (not surprisingly, the chapter titled "The True Way to That Man's Heart" has been dropped). While classic French dishes are still important, there are many lighter recipes, and Kamman, aware of the realities of the modern work week, incorporates time-saving suggestions and variations into more complicated recipes. Kamman's masterwork contains an incredible amount of information not only on techniques and ingredients but also on food science, cultural and culinary history, and myriad other topics. Although the book's size may seem intimidating, home cooks will find many creative everyday recipes here, and more ambitious cooks will turn to it for both inspiration and reference. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1228 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st edition (November 5, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688152546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688152543
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 2.5 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book is recommended for any serious home cook who wants to improve his/her cooking abilities.
Amazon Customer
The wealth of information on technique and cooking science is presented in such a manner that the book is easily readable cover-to-cover.
Scott Garvick
This is the best transatlantic summary of French cooking since Julia Child's _Mastering the Art of French Cooking_.
Michael Kaan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 97 people found the following review helpful By jerry i h on March 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
There are only half a dozen or so cookbooks that I trust implicitly and recommend without hesitation; this book is one of them, and is clearly king of the hill. That makes this cookbook the best ever written. Not until I re-read this second edition did I realize what a terrible cook I am. Now, when I wish to know how something should be done, this is the book I reach for. This is not a comprehensive collection of all common recipes you will ever need, so I do not always find the recipe I need here. Note that many 'standard' recipes are absent; recipes are chosen for training value. Upon reading this book, it is rather hard not to be inspired to go out and become a better cook, no matter what your skill level.

The original version of this book was a terse, didactic affair. Her information was so impeccable, that it began to be used in cooking schools as a text. With this in mind, the author re-wrote the book, adding a mountain of educational information, making a real textbook suitable for use in professional cooking schools. It is the best of its type. This new version, at 1200 pages, is double the length of the original. You will find many clever things not found anywhere else, viz a still-frozen sorbet, and a trick to measure the Baume of a syrup without a saccharometer. Almost all recipes have a sidebar that recommends specific wines to serve with each recipe. It has the courage to regularly recommend beer instead of wine due to the strong flavors of the respective recipe.

The chapter on eggs was excellent. The first 20 pages have more stuff on properly cooking eggs than all of my other cookbooks put together, and this includes a couple of professional ones.
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68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on September 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
`The New Making of a Cook' by Madeleine Kamman is hands down the very best first cookbook for everyone from rank beginners to experienced amateurs who learned cooking at their mother's knee. If you do not own a copy of this book and are serious about cooking, stop reading this review now, go to the top of the page, and click on the button to add this to your shopping cart.

No cookbook can do everything, but at over 1200 pages, this volume comes about as close as you can expect a good cookbook to cover every major important subject, including a healthy dose of material on nutrition, sanitation, ingredients, cooking with wine, cooking equipment, references, and the `why' of cooking. And, Ms. Kamman gives us expert opinions on each and every subject. On every topic with which I typically evaluate a cookbook, this one gets between an A- and an A+, and it covers each and every one of those points.

The weakest part of this book may be its title. Were you to browse cookbook titles without noticing the heft of this volume, you may mistake it for a memoir, such as Ms. Kamman's excellent `When French Women Cook' which is a memoir with great recipes from all around France. In fact, it is a superb course in cooking, and it is, in fact, used as the textbook for many cooking schools. The books to which this volume should be compared are the Culinary Institute of America's `The New Professional Chef', Wayne Gisslen's `The Chef's Art' and Anne Willan's `The Good Cook'. The first two of these are very reliable, but just a bit too much oriented to the professional. The last is excellent on technique, but leaves out just about every other subject covered by Kamman.
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119 of 128 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Your spouse is gone for the weekend with your children. How do you spend your time? If it is drinking a little too much wine and looking through cookbooks, this is the book for you. Kamman is a little self important, but she really loves to cook. Her love of food is infectuous and inspiring. I was bored with following cookbooks that telll you how to do things (any idiot can follow instructions). Kamman tells you WHY you need do things. I was looking for a book that would take me to the "next step" of cooking, and this is it. This book goes into a little too much detail, even for me. But I love it. I would rather have the information and not need it, than need the information and not have it. Please take notice that I am a little weird.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
If you only want to buy one cookbook, you must buy this one. It's got absolutely everything you could ever want to know about cooking. The really great thing is that it goes from very simple to amazingly complex, so you don't necessarily have to jump straight into making a veloute sauce from scratch right away. You can sort of adjust for complexity. Also, I really like the wine recommendations that come alongside most of the recipes. They're dead on.
It's a great book for the money. Just try comparing it to any of the other really exhaustive cookbooks out there.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Scott Garvick on February 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps the best cooking guide I have read! The wealth of information on technique and cooking science is presented in such a manner that the book is easily readable cover-to-cover. Madeleine Kamman certainly has given as much importance to writing this volume as she gives to her cooking and in doing so, has produced an extraordinary teaching source. She introduces concepts of sauces by presenting a very insightful history of saucemaking citing such masters as Escoffier and Careme. The bibliography itself is worth a great deal as it presents numerous sources which can be used for further study. This is definitely a required book for anyone who is serious about cooking!
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