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Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques Paperback – May 1, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

From one of the world's best-known and most highly respected chefs comes a true publishing event: a fully up-to-date, one-volume edition of La Technique and La Methode, featuring step-by-step photographs of Pepin's hands on every page - along with his inimitably clear and concise instruction on each technique.

Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques features everything the home cook needs to perfect:  poach an egg, whisk a perfect hollandaise, knead a crispy baguette, or bake an exquisite meringue with the perfection and efficiency of a professional chef. Featured throughout the book, Pepin's classic recipes offer budding masters the opportunity to put lessons into practice with extraordinary results.

Moving from the basics (holding and sharpening knives, peeling vegetables, separating and poaching eggs, making stocks and sauces, carving meats, even folding napkins) through each food category (fish and shellfish, vegetables, poultry and meat, breads, pastry, and dessert), Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques is the most comprehensive study of French cooking methods ever collected in one volume. It is sure to become an indispensable part of every home cook's library for many years to come.

When professionals work with ease and rapidity, it is a result of long years of practice and discipline. There are no secrets or tricks; only feats of skill (tours de main) acquired with prolonged effort. Through endless repetition, these techniques will become so much a part of you that you'll never forget them.

"People often tell me that what surprises them most is watching me cook and talk at the same time. This is because my hands are trained to the point where I do not have to think about the processes I use as I make a recipe-it's automatic. Instead of fighting the mechanics of cooking. I can concentrate on thinking about the combination of ingredients, about taste, and about texture. You may be very creative and imaginative in the kitchen, but you cannot take advantage of those qualities if you don't know the basics. A solid background must precede inventiveness." (Jacques Pepin, from the Introduction)

Jacques Pepin is one of America's best-known cookbook authors and cooking teachers, and has appeared regularly on PBS-TV for more than a decade, hosting or co-hosting with Julia Child or his daughter Claudine, more than 300 cooking shows. A former New York Times columnist, he is a contributing editor to Food & Wine magazine and has published nineteen cookbooks. He serves as Dean of Special Programs at The French Culinary Institute in New York City and teaches at Boston University. Born in Borg-en-Bresse, France, he was the personal chef to three French heads of state before moving to the United States in 1959. He now lives in Connecticut.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Jacques Pepin's landmark, fully illustrated guides to all of the cooking fundamentals, La Technique and La Methods, are finally available in one volume, fully updated by the author.

The publication of Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques is sure to be celebrated by expert cooks and beginners alike. Here, the man Julia Child has called "not only a renowned chef, a foremost authority on French cuisine, a great teacher and. truly a master technician" provides easy-to-follow instructions for hundreds of culinary procedures and preparations, including:

Braising Beef - Breading Veal Scallopine - Carving Poached Salmon - Stuffing Sausage - Making Chocolate Cigarettes - Cleaning and Boning Trout - Cooking and Presenting Lobsters - Filling Cream Puffs - Filleting Fish - Folding Napkins - Topping Fruit Tarts - Making Green Noodles - Grilling Poultry - Holding the Knife - Using Ladyfingers - Lining Cake Pans - Making Pepper Steak - Rolling Pie Dough - Poaching Eggs - Preparing Mussels - Peeling Onions - Using Fish Stock - Creating Apple Swans - Separating Eggs - Making Sole Meuniere - Stuffing Mushrooms - Trimming and Cooking Meat - Braising Chicken Livers - Frying Parsley - Poaching Salmon - Carving Rib Roast - Baking Country Bread and Baguettes - Making Fruit Cake - Flaming Bananas - Glazing Cake with Fondant - Seeding a Cucumber - Cleaning Salad - Fluting Mushrooms - Coating a Cookie Sheet - Folding in Butter - Icing a Vodka Bottle - Shucking Oysters - Peeling and Preparing Green Peppers - Braising Lettuce - Trussing Poultry . and much more.

"This is the book that every aspiring cook should read before picking up a French knife. Concise, informative, indispensable." (Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour)

"A through-going study of the skills of the kitchen as interpreted by an extraordinarily talented and skilled French chef. An invaluable book for anyone seriously interested in cooking with class." (Helen McCully, former food editor, House Beautiful)


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579121659
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579121655
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 3, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
`Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques' may be one of the landmark works signaling the beginning of the Renaissance of American culinary practice. This volume, published in 2001, is an omnibus of two earlier works, `La Technique' published in 1976 and `La Methode' published in 1979, just as Pepin was changing his career from leading French chef to culinary writer and educator. These will probably always stand as his most important books.
The book in English that is most similar to this is James Peterson's `Essentials of Cooking'. This newer volume is an excellent book with color photographs and coverage of subjects which is probably pretty complete for the average culinary amateur. Pepin's work is in an entirely different class, aimed at the professional and, by extension, the foodie wannabe professional.
In Peterson's book, the first chapter, `Basics', covers twenty-four (24) topics. In his first chapter of the same name, Pepin covers seventy (70) subjects. Even allowing for the fact that Pepin includes nine (9) egg topics in Basics that Peterson puts in a later chapter, this is an impressive margin of coverage from Pepin. Pepin's topics tend to be somewhat more basic and focus heavily on knife skills, even including a section on how to sharpen knives. Even though these topics are simple, Pepin gives each technique all the attention it needs. One of the clearest examples of Pepin's great attention to detail is in his treatment of my favorite subject for evaluating one's culinary writing. This is how to make a classic French omelet. As I noted in my review of Peterson's book, Chef James is just a bit short on some important details. Pepin not only covers all the bases, but also adds a few tips to omelet making technique that I have not seen elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
Finally! The excellent and extremely clear and well written collection of techniques assembled by Jacques Pepin, one of the most knowledgeable and well respected chefs in the world, have been published in a reasonably priced, paperback book.
If you are lucky enough to own Pepin's original hardcover books La Methode and La Technique, you already know how excellent the information is in these books. It is concise, practical, well written, and most of all, very useful! Even if you own La Methode and La Technique this book is worth purchasing. Both books are out of print and are hard to find and are reserved to my cookbook collection. This book is worth buying to keep readily on hand in the kitchen at all times.
If you don't own the original two books than this book is doubly worth purchasing. Whether your are a complete novice cook or an experienced home chef you will find this book extremely valuable. The information is well organized which makes it to find the techniques that you are looking for almost instantly.
Almost as important as the techniques are the recipes. Many of them have been used by Pepin for over 30 years and are truly time tested. They are well written, making it easy for any cook to get superior results at home.
All in all, this is truly one of the best cooking technique books you can buy regardless of what level of cooking experience you have. The soft cover edition is lighter and easier to use, making it more practical to have on hand in the kitchen�as well as less expensive than the hardcover edition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've ever seen Monsieur Pepin on television, you know he is charming and clear, and a wonderful teacher. These qualities come through in this volume, a combined reissue of two classics from the '70s which have been out-of-print: La Methode and La Technique.

After a short section on equipment, there are seven longer sections (with a varying number of techniques): The Basics (70), Shellfish and Fish (33), Vegetables (39), Poultry and Meat (54), Carving (9), Breads (8), Pastry and Dessert (96). An example of specific techniques covered -- in Poultry and Meat you would find, among others: Trussing Chicken and Other Poultry, Tying a Roast, Kidneys, Cold Parsleyed Ham, Trimming and Cooking Meat, and Cuts of Fillet. Each technique is several pages long, and is presented as a series of photographs, each accompanied by a sentence or two describing the step being taken. Directions are clear, pictures (of Jacques's own hands, he assures us) are well selected and illustrative.

There are also many fine recipes, including many you may have seen on various television shows in which the author has appeared, such as the beautiful Christmas Yule Log. You will find basic recipes, like pie shells, as well as more advanced.

The volume ends with conversion charts and an index.

This is an indispensable resource for the serious cook.
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Format: Paperback
jacques pepin has taught me so much over the years,it would take 10,000 words to give him the respect he deserves. in 3-4 minutes he can debone a whole chicken then make it look whole again!(i've got to find a video on that one). this book details many of his techniques and does a fine job of it.the photos should be color,and there should be more of them! photos make a cookbook easier to work with,especially for the novice.even so, this book is well worth the price, make it part of jacque's contribution to your cooking style. i'm the home cook version of a chef, i don't follow all recipes exactly and i've been known to substitute ingredients(such as mushrooms in place of truffles)but, following the advice of a chef of pepin's experience has sharpened my skills and i'm certain it will do the same for you.detract one star for the photos, but get the book!
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