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.