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Old 10-07-2006, 11:42 AM   #11
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I liked it when I first got it, mine being the 7th edition. I still refer to it from time to time, but I find I don't use it very much after all. There has been a year or two I didn't open it at all.

I'd say spend your money somewhere else.

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Old 10-13-2006, 05:19 AM   #12
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Buy it.

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Old 10-13-2006, 08:04 AM   #13
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I bought #7 on ebay for $25. I love the book. Gisslen's is really super, too.
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Old 10-13-2006, 08:32 AM   #14
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There are several classics for the kitchen and the pro chef is one of them.
In and of itself it is a fine text, but it also helps unlock the secrets of such other classics as Larousse Gastronomique and Escoffier's cookbook, written for pros and needing a bit of interpretation for the home chef.
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Old 10-14-2006, 10:33 AM   #15
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I just received my 8th edition in the mail yesterday. It's definetly thick next to my 6th and 7th editions! (Amazon has it for less than $45).

Better organization in this one if thats at all possible. A large expansion to ingredient identification, and description of ethnic and regional ingredients from countries around the world. They even break down the differences in tradition amongst various provinces such as the cuisine of the Pyraness vs the cuisine of Lyon, etc. Recipe font has been cleaned up and ENLARGED! I can read the recipes from across the room. New photos too. Whoever did the photography for the 7th edition didn't know what they were doing. Most photos displayed three dishes - one in the foreground in perfect focus, and two behind it completely out of focus. Now it's just full-page photos of dishes (note: not all dishes have photos). More recipes too! I think it's been glossed over a bit though and simplified. Version 7 had alot of tables with detailed information. I guess they figured no one but losers spend the time to read through those tables (like me), so they eliminated some of them (all the truely important ones were kept - just thought I'd point that out).

Overall I believe it to be an improvement. Highly recommended!
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Old 10-15-2006, 01:06 AM   #16
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what exactly does this book teach?

Does it teach the home cook how to use chef techniques at home to do a better job overall in your cooking? Does it teach you the basics like stocks and sauces and build from there? I am just curious.

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Old 10-15-2006, 10:46 AM   #17
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It's a textbook as much as it is a cookbook.

It teaches all the skills and information you need to be a good cook using "French Techniques". It's about 1200 pages. Starts with questions like "What is a cook", moves to kitchen sanitation, identifying and choosing ingredients, cultural differences in food around the world, and then starts teaching technique through recipes. Once you learn the proper techniques and means of choosing ingredients - you can basically cook whatever dish you want. It also teaches you preparation and organization.

Some people hop around trying out a few recipes here and there. Some people (like me) started at page 1 and follow it as sort of a curriculum. Without a professional over your shoulder you'll take longer and probably waste more food than normal - but it's probably the closest home-school method you can use. Afterall, it is the textbook of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Even if you are an excellent cook already, it's great for recipes and reference. Hands down my favorite book in my kitchen.

Next on my list would be "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee. So long as you remember some of your high-school science, this book explains why food does what it does when it's handled/cooked. It's like the technical manual for all things food.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
It's a textbook as much as it is a cookbook.

It teaches all the skills and information you need to be a good cook using "French Techniques". It's about 1200 pages. Starts with questions like "What is a cook", moves to kitchen sanitation, identifying and choosing ingredients, cultural differences in food around the world, and then starts teaching technique through recipes. Once you learn the proper techniques and means of choosing ingredients - you can basically cook whatever dish you want. It also teaches you preparation and organization.

Some people hop around trying out a few recipes here and there. Some people (like me) started at page 1 and follow it as sort of a curriculum. Without a professional over your shoulder you'll take longer and probably waste more food than normal - but it's probably the closest home-school method you can use. Afterall, it is the textbook of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Even if you are an excellent cook already, it's great for recipes and reference. Hands down my favorite book in my kitchen.

Next on my list would be "On Food and Cooking" by Harold McGee. So long as you remember some of your high-school science, this book explains why food does what it does when it's handled/cooked. It's like the technical manual for all things food.
Thanks nicholas for the expanded explanation. It looks like this will be a book i will forsure be picking up. Sounds kind of like what alton brown does but even goes further. I will be getting this one soon.

Ok with what i was stating above that i thought it kind of was a building block book where it taught...ok this is a sauce. This are the types of sauces. This is how you can make each type of sauce (for example a bernaise). This is what you can do with each type of sauce. Is there any good book that teaches like that? I would love to find a good book like that. Of course i want more than just sauces but that was a good example. They would also teach basics like searing, braising ,ect.
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Old 10-15-2006, 03:53 PM   #19
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The Professional Chef Book is out and I definitely think that it is worth the money.
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Old 10-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #20
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ncage - Thats basically what the entire book does with step-by-step pictures. Then using the techniques in that section, it gives a bunch of recipes that you would use the same techniques for. There are sections on braising, steaming, sautees, pan-frying, stocks, sauces, etc., etc.. The initial chapters on ingredient identification and differences/desriptions in world/regional cuisine has been greatly expanded over the 7th edition.
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