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The Making of a Pastry Chef: Recipes and Inspiration from America's Best Pastry Chefs [Paperback]

Andrew MacLauchlan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 1999
"A first of its kind! In The Making of a Pastry Chef, Andrew MacLauchlan has gathered the hearts, minds, and souls of some of our greatest talents. It is easy to get caught up in the chapters of this inspiring collection of recipes and stories. This is required reading for anyone fascinated by food-and especially the sweet kind!"-Dan Budd, The Culinary Institute of America

"Being a pastry chef is so much more than baking a successful batch of chocolate chip cookies! In The Making of a Pastry Chef, you will find some of this field's top dessert makers talking shop with a colleague in a way that is frank and compelling."-Nancy Silverton, Campanile and La Brea Bakery

"This book reads like a who's who in the pastry world and contains a vast amount of information. Andrew's writing is as good as his pastry and his pastry is as good as it gets."-Michael Schneider, Chocolatier Magazine

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Product Description

From Amazon

The American restaurant revolution of the past 20 years has focused attention on a new generation of pastry chefs--men and women whose work has gained recognition beyond their field. In The Making of a Pastry Chef, pâtissière-author Andrew MacLauchlan presents more than 30 of these talented chefs, exploring with them what it is they actually do, how their own interest in dessert making developed and expresses itself, career trajectories, and more. Woven among the autobiographical and career data are more than 50 of the chefs' signature recipes, approachable formulae for the likes of Chocolate Polvarones (Mexican wedding cookies from Wayne Brachman, Mesa Grill, New York), Persian Mulberry-Poached Fiori Figs (Sherri Yard, Spago, Beverly Hills), and Pear Financier with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream (Sebastien Cannone, The French Pastry School, Chicago). The book will interest those contemplating a pastry career in particular, but will also appeal to readers curious about food work in general, as well as modern restaurant operation.

Beginning with a brief history of sweets (birch syrup was a prehistoric treat), the book then explores American dessert traditions, in the home and out. Other topics include desert-making inspiration, formative baking experiences, and customer demands and expectations, among others. The book also details a typical workday for a number of the chefs--it's a long day on your feet--and explores current and foreseeable pastry trends. MacLauchlan also provides a general-use flavor combination chart plus 60 photos depicting the dessert specialties and the chefs in action. Concise biographies of the chefs conclude this compelling account of lives spent in the service of the insatiable human sweet tooth. --Arthur Boehm

From Library Journal

As the title indicates, MacLauchlan, pastry chef at Santa Fe's Coyote Caf?, looks at the training, skills, and passion necessary in pursuing a career as a pastry chef. He organizes his book according to various aspects of this career, including its history, inspirations behind choosing this way of life, education and training, as well as traditions and trends. Unfortunately, the personal anecdotes of well-known pastry chefs that make this work interesting also tend to bog it down. Where one or two stories might make for an enjoyable and valuable reading experience, more than that results in a tedious repetition of advice. Interspersed among these oral histories are recipes that vary in level of difficulty. Still, this book is recommended for larger cooking and career guidance collections.ADebra Mitts, Burlington Area Lib., IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Within the history of human culture is the fascinating story of the value and development of sweets in societies and the technical evolution of pastry and dessert making. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Becoming a Pastry Chef for Dummies Dec 23 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is, as far as I know, unique. It is a valuable resource for those who are thinking about to or just beginning to make baking and pastry a career. I found it a very useful collection of advice and stories about the professional and practical aspects of pastry as a job.
Everyone who is going to culinary school for baking and pastry or who has recently graduated, as well as those in apprenticeships and other types of training, should read this book. To me, it is an indispensable vocational guide. Even those who are going into food and not pastry per se should read this, since cooperation between the savory and sweet kitchen is essential these days in restaurants.
This book is written by the executive pastry chef of the Coyote Cafe, and mostly it contains his opinions and viewpoints. It also has quotes from many famous and successful pastry professionals. Just so you can keep track, the book has brief biographies of the 30 or so professionals who are quoted throughout the text, many of whom you will recognize.
It contains the following chapters: History of Sweets (a mostly worthless re-hash of familiar material); Origins of Inspiration (childhood memories and early career experiences); Foundations of Learning (culinary schools, apprenticeships, and training); Inside the World of the Pastry Chef (what it is like under various conditions); Ingredients of Success (ingredients and menus); Traditions, Trends, Future (thumb-sucking chapter containing thoughts about the future of the pastry chef).
It also contains 4 dozen or so dessert recipes. Sadly, these are modern, new-fangled variations and recipes. They are more interesting for their creativity than as good recipes that you will want as part of your repertoire.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate Oct. 9 2002
By jumpy1
Format:Paperback
This book proves that just because you're a good pastry chef, doesn't mean you should write about pastry chefs! The writing is so boring that it reads like a term paper written by someone who couldn't care less. The information on the history of pastry is at times inaccurate (which wouldn't be such a big deal but they should have fact checkers, right?) and even a photo at the beginning of the book was mislabeled, in a way that showed the person thought no one would be able to tell. Other captions should have been left out such as "Pineapple" underneath a photograph of a pineapple. On the other hand, I always love to hear what chefs have to say, and this is no exception. It's filled with recipes, there is a useful table of interesting flavor combinations and lots of good statements from pastry chefs, though much of it is the average deal -- about how important the quality of your ingredients are and whether to make a tower of food or to keep presentation simple -- so, while I personally enjoy this kind of thing, I recommend it with reservations.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Informative March 15 2002
Format:Paperback
This book is full of information from the people who have found success in the world of pastry. They tell about what training they received and how helpful it was to their careers, what their day is like, how they come up with new ideas, and what they believe the future of pastry is.
The writing style lacks snap and, occasionally, clarity. The content of the chapter doesn't always exactly match the chapter title. But it is still a good resource for someone who is interested in the pastry business because the chefs that were interviewed for the book really love what they do. Their passion comes through, which I found to be inspiring.
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