Top positive review
91 people found this helpful
Oooh la la! Magnifique!
on January 23, 2008
This book is outstanding! A must-have for every kitchen regardless of how experienced a cook you are. I attended the full time 6-month culinary program at the FCI a few years ago and this is almost verbatim our first quarter (6 week) curriculum. We then spent the next 3 quarters refining and practicing and expanding on all these techniques. If you don't want to sacrifice 6 months and $50,000 (an endless cuts and burns and bad hair days) to attend cooking school, then buy this book and cook every recipe over and over and you will become an excellent cook. If you master all the skills and techniques in the book, you can walk into any kitchen and hold your own as this is the foundation of classic cooking and the language of the kitchen.
Hints and tips from the Deans and Chef Instructors pepper the book for every technique with tidbits such as "...cook beans at a constant low temperature and cool them in their cooking liquid. ~ Dean Alain Sailhac" or "Do not cover a chicken after roasting or it will steam and make the meat taste reheated." ~Dean Jacques Pepin". It's like getting a personal cooking lesson from the greatest chefs of our time. The book teaches the 250 foundation techniques including stocks, sauces, soups, salads, eggs, potatoes, poultry, beef, veal, lamb, pork, fish, shellfish, marinades, stuffings, organ meats (my least favorite day in cooking school!), pastry dough, creams & custards, crepes, brioche, frozen desserts, meringues, mousses, and soufflés (my favorite day in cooking school! :)
It also explains in great detail terms in a kitchen, names of equipment and pots and pans, food safety, knifes and knife skills, and professional kitchen management. If you want to become an outstanding home cook or are considering or about to attend cooking school, I strongly recommend devouring (pun intended) this book. If you learn this book, or at least become familiar with all the techniques, then you will be leaps and bounds ahead of the game. Bon courage et bon appetit!