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Old 01-03-2007, 04:28 PM   #31
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TPC isn't like reading "On Food and Cooking". Anyone can open to the chapter "Stocks", and see step by step pictures with big numbers guiding them through the process. It's an excellent place for people to begin, refresh, and review.

I think Anthony Bourdain said it best, "This is the mothership for recipes and basic culinary techniques", along with Paul Bocuse, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken (Two Hot Tamales), Thomas Keller, Michael Ruhlman, Eric Ripert, etc., etc. I know that it made a big difference in my cooking for sure.

I noticed in another one of your posts you said...
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Originally Posted by ironchef
"I firmly believe that anyone, beit cooks in the industry, home cooks, etc. should have a firm grip on the basics of any type of cuisine before they start improvising or else they have absolutely no foundation whatsoever. I mean, it's cool and all if you can make a white asparagus-truffle foam but if you can't make a basic beurre blanc or hollandaise then you're pretty much worthless."
I wouldn't say the person is worthless, just that they haven't found a book like TPC which would offer them the fundamental techniques of cooking (along with kitchen safety, what different tools look like and how to use them, along with pictures and descriptions of ingreidents). It has expanded information in tables and what not for those who want to learn more, but it doesn't get much more simple than the step-by-step photos they include for each cooking technique. After following the directions (and photos) for chicken stock people can turn the page and see ingredient lists (using the same exact technique) for other stocks (like white veal). Then using their stock they can follow step by step photos to make a killer Veloute in the next section on sauces. Then they can use the veloute skills to produce an amazing Blanquette de Veau, Beef Stew, Pan Gravy, Pot Pie filling, etc. As I'm sure you know it's the simple stocks and sauce techniques (along with basic cooking methods) from which almost every dish springs forth or is finished. This book teaches those basic techniques rather than just provide a list of recipes. I think that makes it a perfect companion to someone just starting out.

Haven't checked out the Dummy book, but I own a bunch of them. I like some of them, but others were a waste of cash. It all depends on who they get as the technical advisor. Guitars for Dummys is an excellent book that I started out with. Auto maintenance for dummys that I looked at for some relatives is a complete waste of paper dedicating an entire section on cleaning a points style ignition - something I'm willing to bet the majority of our vehicles don't require...

Anyhoo, I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:45 PM   #32
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The book can get a little technical for the novice cook but its a great reference book. Larousse, hey what can I say GREAT book unfortunately I do not have it yet. I would suggest Shirley O Corrihers book "Cookwise" for a novice just starting out in the kitchen has recipes and explains how and why things work the way they do. But bottom line TPC and Larousse are well worth the money.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:53 PM   #33
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If any of you subscribe to, or can find a copy of the current Saveur magazine (which I ADORE!!) "Special Issue", they have an interesting 2-page book review of The Professional Chef (Pages 22 & 23).

While it sounds interesting, for $75 I don't think it will end up in my kitchen.
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Old 01-14-2007, 01:56 PM   #34
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Got mine on E-Bay for no where near that price.
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Old 01-14-2007, 02:13 PM   #35
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$39.20 including shipping. One new trick, one new anything and it's paid for itself.
Amazon.com: The Professional Chef, 8th Edition: Books: The Culinary Institute of America
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:47 PM   #36
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It was the main text we used at my recent Boot Camp. GET IT!!! Yes, you will have to do some basic conversions, but absolutely worth getting and using.
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Old 02-13-2007, 09:57 AM   #37
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I was bought the 7th edn for my 21st and use it all the time. The measurements are all for huge quantities but it is a wonderful book even if only for the massive range of techniques and essential knowledge it teaches.

Buy it, you' won't regret it.
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Old 02-14-2007, 11:57 PM   #38
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Cookbooks tend to fall into one of two categories - collections of recipes, and books that teach you something about cooking and use the recipes as illustrations of the cooking techniques.

This book falls into the latter category ... would definitely be worth having.
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Old 02-18-2007, 05:55 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Cookbooks tend to fall into one of two categories - collections of recipes, and books that teach you something about cooking and use the recipes as illustrations of the cooking techniques.

This book falls into the latter category ... would definitely be worth having.
Absolutely agree. I have bought three editions, as they get beat up or missing in a kitchen. I can't believe it is so cheap. If it is as good as previous editions, at 75 or 100 it would still be worth it.

One basic reason is that the recipes and techniques are tested, and work without fail.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:33 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW View Post
Cookbooks tend to fall into one of two categories - collections of recipes, and books that teach you something about cooking and use the recipes as illustrations of the cooking techniques.

This book falls into the latter category ... would definitely be worth having.
He said it best.
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