Customer Reviews for

The Professional Chef, 7th Edition

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2004

    The book came out a little dry

    Recipes are more like a musical scores, each subject to the interpretation of the conductor and arranger. I bought CIA7 to review the methodology of a full professional kitchen which is very different in terms of equipment and perspective than the home cook and kitchen. I was looking for a nuanced, precise, conceptually more rarefied discussion of what it means to subject foodstuffs to heat and enhancement. I am not sure I found it. At 1000 pages it is clearly compendious and I have not read it, all. But it has been my secret sharer for 5 days as I binge cooked for a week or so. Some people prefer Robert Parker to Hugh Johnson, the scientist to the sensualist. I prefer the latter, CIA the former, which makes for dry reading. I found CIA7 somewhat heavy handed, too much fat, too much flour. They have the most exquisite discussion on how to make a roux, alas then they use it in recipes. It appears as an academic, middle of the road approach, that has ignored much of culinary history since Michel Guerard¿s cuisine minceur in 1977, up through the new lightness of fusion cooking in Barcelona. How does one froth nori? Not in here. It helps to know how to cook very well before hand. Julia Child presents a far more succinct, far more intelligible, and far more complete presentation of pastry dough in all its permutations than does CIA7. Timing to doneness, as both quantity and doneness are variables, is rarely mentioned. One ought to know. True but sometime a hint would be informative. None the less I am glad I have it. It is the Joy of Cooking for people who care about food, but not necessarily an inspiration. Yet by its own purposes it succeeds.

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