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From the PublisherWe don’t know how much attention is paid to the cold food aspect of your restaurant’s operation. But we’re betting you’d find a hundred things about it you could do better merely by skimming through Professional Garde Manger: A Comprehensive Guide to Cold Food Preparation (Wiley, $85).
Authors Lou Sackett and Jaclyn Pestka are releasing their 780-page book at the just the right time. Many restaurants now emphasize super-fresh local ingredients and artisan-quality small plate offerings. Both require more careful handling of ingredients and crafting of artful presentations, but less actual cooking, than was the case even a few years ago. Cheese boards, shellfish towers and charcuterie plates are just a few of the no-cook items that have become fixtures on many contemporary menus.
These three topics are covered extensively in this impressively comprehensive book. There's plenty of old-school garde manger fare, too: an entire chapter is devoted to aspic and chaud-froid work, and there's one just for mousselines. But don't worry. While the term garde manger may conjure up visions of stilted 1970s continental cuisine, this book's contents are right in step with the culinary times.
There are 375 recipes in all. But the greater value may come from the book's serious tone. The textbook-like approach lets whoever holds the position in your kitchen know that their work is indeed important and can be done much better than it's being done now.
Garde manger work will never be sexy. But this book gives you an easy way to upgrade the quality of the food that comes out of the cold food station in your kitchen. These days, that can mean a lot. (Restaurant-Hospitality.com)