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Stamm, Mitch. The Pastry Chef's Apprentice: An Insider's Guide to Creating and Baking Sweet Confections and Pastries, Taught by the Masters. Quarry: Quayside. Jul. 2011. 176p. photogs. ISBN 9781592537112. pap. $24.99. COOKING
The art of pastry is a skill many home cooks and even professional chefs find difficult to master. Following Aliza Green's Fishmonger's Apprentice and Eric Miller's Vintner's Apprentice, Stamm (International Baking & Pastry Inst., Johnson & Wales Univ.) here strives to do away with the stereotype that the art and process of pastry must be a complicated one. The organization of his book is simple; in two introductory chapters, "Ingredients" and "Equipment and Techniques," Stamm articulates that understanding the composition leads to a greater understanding of the final product. In intermingled sections "Interviews with the Masters" and "Illustrated Techniques," 17 of the world's great pastry chefs share their passion for their art and provide step-by-step preparation of specialties from their repertoires, with photos of each step.
Verdict If you can't afford to quit your day job and move to Rhode Island to attend Stamm's culinary classes, this book, comparable to Michel Roux's Pastry: Savory & Sweet, could be just what you need. And at this price, it's a bargain - Library Journal Xpress