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Hardcover The Professional Chef Book

ISBN: 0843605715

ISBN13: 9780843605716

The Professional Chef

The Professional Chef, the official text of The Culinary Institute of America's culinary degree program, has taught tens of thousands of chefs the techniques and fundamentals that have launched their... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Make this one your core technique book

I've always believed that the serious amateur chef (or skier, auto mechanic, or gardener) can always benefit from professional training and approach. The Professional Chef (7th ed., 2002) is promulgated by the venerable Culinary Institute of America (the other CIA). It is the institute's complete basic professional course. The book is profusely, nay, minutely, illustrated.Since The Professional Chef is a text, written based on the CIA's experience in teaching food techniques to thousands of students who often come to the Institute knowing next to nothing about food, it is organized for learning. The book gives full detail on every basic culinary technique, explains scientific backgrounds of major food phenomena, repeats and recapitulates nicely. This is a serious text, but of course you do not have to master the whole thing.Ever wanted to really know how to cut a carrot? The Professional Chef will give you illustrations and exact instructions on julienne, batonnet, brunoise, paysanne, fermière, lozenge, rondelle, and tourné techniques. Preparation techniques for individual vegetables-onion, garlic, leeks, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, chestnuts, corn, artichokes, peas, avocados, asparagus-get their own illustrated spreads.Lest you begin to think "this is way too much detail for me," bear in mind that the CIA has bent over backwards to make these materials superbly usable and didactically sound. Dip often into this true resource; double dip if no one is looking.Food writer Elliot Essman's other reviews and food articles are available at


First of all, this is not just a "cook book". It is a book about cooking and there is a huge distinction. In many ways it defies is a homage to Larousse in its references to (and admiration of) classical French cuisine but it is not a didactic recitation of rules nor is it a mind-boggling tome about the science of cooking.First of all, it is eminently readable and beautiful to view. The pictures are all full-color and offer minute details rarely found in other cookbooks. The steps for cleaning soft-shelled crab are a work of art. It is a guide "for the professional chef" which includes those folks who make money cooking or those amateurs who prepare elaborate meals for the sheer artistry and taste. What is most helpful are the "basics" - the little things that professionals do that makes their food taste so good.The first few chapters deal with the basics BUT is written with a professional in mind (how to buy meats in quantity, compute cost per meal, appropriate actions of kitchen workers, many descriptions). Then there are chapters on the science of cooking which require more than one reading. Following that we come to sauces, creams, soups, broths and roux - in my opinion, without a doubt, the most important items in the book since these form the basis of every reputable kitchen.A meticulous step-by-step approach is explained and illustrated in the best single-volume presentation of its kind. Always, there are little hints and common sense rules. Identifying meats, vegetables, fish precede actual recipes that are simply mouth-watering. WARNING*** This is not a tome for beginners but is quite possible the best teacher outside of a classroom you will ever find.

A Hobby Chef's Dream Tool

As a business professional, there is very little time to enjoy the great things in life. A good part of this precious time is spent in the kitchen. I love to cook. It is quite a stress reliever. I have been cooking now for the last 14 years. While I tend to use cook books and cooking magazines to guide me, I did invest in the Professional Chef book about 3 years ago. It is an ideal tool. Not only does it have recipes galore, it is the A-Z catalog of cooking ideas, instruction, types of utensils one needs, etc. I highly recommend for those that are starting out; for those like me that treat cooking as a serious hobby; and for those serious chefs that are in constant pursuit of recipes...The CIA is magnificent...

Much more than anticipated

I have been cooking for quite some time now, and I am always digging for newer and better recipes and even different variations. This book had much more than I had ever thought that it would. It has a chapter dedicated to nutrition, kitchen safety, equipment, and all sorts of examples as well as photo's for everything, including cuts of meats, fish, poultry, etc. It also thoroughly covers all sorts of food preparation, and the recipes!!! The recipes look just wonderful. It covers everything from simple broths, breads, sandwiches to different types of pastry. It is a great book for the beginner, as well as the experienced cook. I have already tried a few of the recipes, and they are truely wonderful, and have been well tested. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook and bake..One word of caution... Most of the recipes are geared to cooking of large quantities, for 10 portions or better. Breads for 8-10 loaves, and so on, so be prepared to modify your quantities.
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