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Culinary Artistry Paperback – November 4, 1996
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If you really find food fascinating--the idea of food, working with food, and the eating of food--then Culinary Artistry should be on your bookshelf. There are two books at work here. One is What Chefs Have to Say About the Foods They Create. The other is Fun with Food Spread Sheets. A cynic might suggest that after putting together Becoming a Chef, the authors had so much leftover interview material that Culinary Artistry was but the natural outcome. The chef's point of view, however, would be to make use of everything passing through the kitchen, to throw nothing away. In other words, if Becoming a Chef is an entrée, then Culinary Artistry is the special of the day.
The book is divided into sections that discuss and reach out to chefs to join in that discussion of such ideas as the chef as artist, dealing with sensory perception in food, composing with flavors, putting a dish together, putting together an entire menu, and standing back to admire the growth of a personal cuisine. This is thoughtful material. It is not how-to material. These guided conversations are made practical for the home cook by charts such as which foods are in season and when, the basic flavors of foods (bananas are sweet; anchovies are salty), food matches made in heaven (lamb chops with aioli or ginger or shallots), seasoning matches made in heaven (dill and salmon), flavors of the world (Armenia means parsley and yogurt), common accompaniments to entrées (beef and potatoes), and, most fun of all, the desert-island lists of many of the chefs quoted so extensively throughout the text. Many recipes accompany the text.
How this will affect any individual's own culinary art, be that professional or personal, remains unclear. It may be as private an experience as reading. For the uninitiated, this book will prove that there's a lot more going on with food and restaurants and chefs than they may ever have imagined. --Schuyler Ingle
"Most used cookbook: CULINARY ARTISTRY by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg."—Grant Achatz, chef of Alinea, in the November 2006 issue of Chicago magazine
“To this day, if I'm really stuck for a flavor pairing, I will still refer to CULINARY ARTISTRY for its charts of common, and not so common, matches."—Michael Laiskonis, 2007 James Beard Outstanding Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, in Saveur
“My favorite cookbooks: CULINARY ARTISTRYand El Bulli.” —Hung Huynh, winner of “Top Chef” Season 3
“Favorite cookbook? CULINARY ARTISTRY. It’s a really great reference book for chefs."—Stephanie Izard, winner of “Top Chef” Season 4
“One of my favorite cookbooks isCULINARY ARTISTRY.”—Hosea Rosenberg, winner of “Top Chef” Season 5
“One of 10 must-have cookbooks [of all time]…Gives you insight into how chefs think.”—Alison Fryer and Jennifer Grange, in the Toronto Star
“One of six cookbooks every beginner should own.”—Nathan Lyon, Real Simple
“CULINARY ARTISTRY offered a groundbreaking approach to the idea of flavor pairings…The book is said to have revolutionized the way leading chefs cook.” (WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio)
“For inspiration…Incredibly liberating…A godsend…The one book that regularly makes the commute from office desk to kitchen counter." —Renee Schettler, The Washington Post
"CULINARY ARTISTRY seemed to pull together everything that was missing in my ideology of food....It is a myriad of endless flavour combinations....One particular chapter fascinates me: 'Meet Your Medium.' This chapter encapsulates all that is important to cooking....What I love about this book is the fact that it can give you a framework on which to build your own food style." —John Campbell, executive chef, the Michelin two-star restaurant The Vineyard at Stockcross, Berkshire, England
“CULINARY ARTISTRY is absolutely brilliant. I now recommend it to aspiring mixologists as a key resource for understanding the ideas and theories behind creating unique flavor combinations and generally how to approach the craft as an artisan.”—Ryan Magarian, mixologist
“If you want to look like a genius in the kitchen, top picks includeCULINARY ARTISTRY."—Chad Ward, eGullet.org
"When you're in a kitchen where you have lots of cooks coming and going, someone's always dragging their favorite book in and it's dog-eared from use. It's well-known in food circles that CULINARY ARTISTRY is one of those books that people drag along with them or that they hand on to other chefs."—Lucinda Scala Quinn, MSLO Executive Editorial Food Director and host of "EatDrink" on Martha Stewart Living Radio
“When [current French Laundry chef de cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth] first moved up from commis to cook at The French Laundry, John Fraser (today the executive chef of Dovetail in New York City) had recommended that he read CULINARY ARTISTRY. The book features extensive lists of ingredients and other foods they get along with…CULINARY ARTISTRY had gotten him through those menu meetings during his formative years at The French Laundry.”—Andrew Friedman, author of Knives at Dawn: America’s Quest for Culinary Glory at the Legendary Bocuse d’Or Competition
"CULINARY ARTISTRY: This is the best reference book I've used."—Scott Giambastiani, executive chef at Google
“Most professional chefs skip cookbooks altogether, but one book you're likely to find well-thumbed on their bookshelves is CULINARY ARTISTRY… ‘People always ask me 'What goes good with what?' said chef David Kamen, an instructor at The Culinary Institute of America. ‘This is the book to have. It's very helpful.’"—Gemma Tarlach, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Not all spices go well together. An excellent resource for learning about spices and what they complement is CULINARY ARTISTRY."—BBQ master Mike Mills and Amy Mills Tunnicliffe in their 2005 book Peace, Love and Barbecue
"For those with an interest in adding 'kitchen' flavors and creativity to their cocktails, CULINARY ARTISTRY offers an intense introduction that will have you off and running."—Christopher Conatser, mixologist and 2008 winner of the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition
"One of our favorite research tools that we use when developing recipes for our books (the only diabetic cookbooks to win the James Beard and Julia Child Cookbook Awards) is CULINARY ARTISTRY." —Frances Towner Giedt and Bonnie Sanders Polin, PhD, DIABETIC-LIFESTYLE.COM
"One of the books that I have often recommended to various mixologists across the country has been CULINARY ARTISTRY. It presents the culinary palate in a unique mannerby illustrating the methodology that many of the world’s greatest chefs use to approach thinking about what flavors work best with other flavors…I found it refreshing to see it covered so well, especially since mixology specifically IS the art of flavor pairing."—Robert Hess, DrinkBoy.com
“CULINARY ARTISTRY is full of valuable advice for cooking professionals, and I highly recommend it.”—Rocco DiSpirito, in his book Flavor
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The rest of the book is fascinating in how the top chefs think about menu design, food preparation and presentation but I have only skimmed the book as yet. This is not a book you can read from cover to cover unless you are in chef school!
I find the book fascinating and I keep going back to it over and over again. It is interesting that I disagree with some of the concepts presented, but even top chefs disagree so I am not alone, and I am not planning to run a restaurant, just cook better and more interestingly for my family. This is a must-read book
I own a copy myself and this is has helped me at work. It's a great starting spot to put together some dishes.
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