New Making Of A Cook Hardcover – Nov 5 1997
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Professional cooking schools have used Madeleine Kamman's The Making of a Cook since it first appeared in 1971. She has now revised it to reflect newer techniques, the availability of a wider range of ingredients, and the recent American aversion to fat. She suggests eating fats in moderation, and includes recipes for cholesterol-free gingerbread and more. Fundamentally, Kamman teaches classic French technique as applied to American ingredients. For example, she carefully explains how to make a classic espagnole sauce as chefs have made it for centuries and also provides, as an alternative, a brown stock made in the microwave.
A good chef must understand food chemistry; any good cook is fascinated by the hows and whys of the kitchen. Kamman gives the information that a professional requires, with clarity anyone can understand.
The main drawback to The New Making of a Cook is that its size makes it awkward to have in the kitchen, though you will want it handy for recipes such as Stuffed Pork Butt with Apples and Pistachios; the Pilgouri at Delphi, a bulgur pilaf studded with Feta cheese; Chocolate Puff Pastry; and Kamman's brilliant quartets of recipes for vegetable stir-frys and steamed chicken breasts.
From Library Journal
Although this massive book began as a revision of Kamman's classic The Making of a Cook (1971), it's really an entirely new work; the text has been rewritten and greatly expanded, and few of the recipes are the same. The organization is similar, based generally on techniques and "building blocks" rather than courses of a meal (not surprisingly, the chapter titled "The True Way to That Man's Heart" has been dropped). While classic French dishes are still important, there are many lighter recipes, and Kamman, aware of the realities of the modern work week, incorporates time-saving suggestions and variations into more complicated recipes. Kamman's masterwork contains an incredible amount of information not only on techniques and ingredients but also on food science, cultural and culinary history, and myriad other topics. Although the book's size may seem intimidating, home cooks will find many creative everyday recipes here, and more ambitious cooks will turn to it for both inspiration and reference. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The recipes are generally clear and the ones I've tested work well.
So why only 4 stars? Mainly it is the indexing. It is sometimes hard to navigate the book to find what you want. Unlike the Joy of Cooking which seems designed to be an immediate reference work, Making of a Cook takes more work to find what you're looking for.
Also, there are some surprising ommissions for a book intended primarily for an American readership. There's virtually nothing on roasting a turkey other than one somewhat odd recipe, and some commentary following the discussion of roasting a chicken. There's considerable difference between roasting a 4 lb. bird and a 14 lb. one.
But, the good stuff is definitely worth the investment of time. The explanations of why certain techniques matter and the recipes themselves make this a must have.
Mme Kamnan's book is, objectively, quite hefty. I started Chapter 1 with some reservation but 100 pages later, I looked up and it was way past my bedtime. Two days later, I finished the last page.
This book is enchanting, informative, funny, insightful and, for the most part, scientifically accurate. I would unhesitatingly recommend it to anyone interested in the history, science or art of cooking. It's rather much like spending a long afternoon with a French housewife in Provence.
It's a great book for the money. Just try comparing it to any of the other really exhaustive cookbooks out there.
Most recent customer reviews
This is the best cooking resource I have used in the 25 years I have been cooking. For New Years I made Chateaubriand for six for the first time ever, and it was perfect. Read morePublished on Aug. 24 2000 by Bryan Jackson
Very imposing treatise on life! Everything and more that I hoped to ever learn. I just wish I had ten days to read the whole thing. Read morePublished on May 15 2000 by greg leaf
This is an essential book if you are a well-disciplined cook who loves to read, and to understand the hows & whys of cooking. It's a hefty book to say the least. Read morePublished on June 29 1999
This invaluable reference spends most of it's time on the end table beside my recliner so I can read a page or two between commercials! Read morePublished on June 19 1999
This is simply the perfect book for any serious amateur or starting professional chef. This hefty volume may look imposing at first, but I promise you that it's well worth every... Read morePublished on May 1 1999 by firstname.lastname@example.org