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On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (4th Edition) Hardcover – Jan 31 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1440 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4 edition (Jan. 31 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131713272
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131713277
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 6 x 28.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #174,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Attractively designed and extensively illustrated with color photographs, line drawings, charts and tables, this contemporary introduction to cooking and the culinary arts focuses on information relevant to today's students. Comprehensive and well written, and now offering a strong Media Program, On Cooking, 4/e emphasizes an understanding of cooking fundamentals, explores the contemporary dining option of vegetarian cooking, discusses nutrition and special health issues, and provides information on other relevant topics such as culinary history and food science.


  • Test Kitchen Program offers over 140 in-chapter recipes tested by culinary schools assures recipe accuracy.
  • Approximately 50 new recipes and expanded recipe variations add greater variety of recipes and offer additional basic, competency-based recipes.
  • A strong Media Program packaged with each text includes:

                    DVD ROM—an interactive assessment tool

                    Cost Genie CD—a cost management tool

  • New chapter Flavor and Flavorings explores distinguishing and understanding how flavoring affects taste & smell of foods; helps students develop flavor perception and be able to describe tastes.
  • New section on the Flavors of Wine and Spirits located within the Flavors and Flavoring chapter identifies the major wine varieties and illustrates how to use wines and spirits in cooking.
  • New chapter Vegetarian Cooking brings into focus an important contemporary dining option.
  • Over 1800 original color photographs and line drawings illustrate preparation and presentation techniques and identify fresh foods and ingredients, tools, and equipment.

About the Author

Sarah R. Labensky, CCP


Chef Sarah is a cookbook author, cooking teacher, former working chef and caterer, active community volunteer and passionate culinary professional.  She is currently employed as the Culinary Publications Specialist for FRP (Favorite Recipes Press) in Nashville.  She joined FRP after serving as Founding Director of the Culinary Arts Institute at Mississippi University for Women.  Previously, she was a Professor of Culinary Arts at Scottsdale (Arizona) Community College. 


In her former life, Sarah was a practicing attorney, with a J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University.  She also holds a Culinary Certificate from Scottsdale Community College.


Sarah has co-authored or edited almost over a dozen culinary books, including the best-selling On Cooking:  A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (Prentice Hall, 1995; 4th ed. 2006) and the award-winning On Baking (Prentice Hall, 2005).  Sarah is active in numerous professional organizations and is the Immediate Past-President of the IACP. 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ae54954) out of 5 stars 66 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae5e420) out of 5 stars Great for professional and amateur use Jan. 3 2009
By Michael Lombardi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was a requirement for a introductory-level college cooking course I took last semester. (I'm not a culinary student, rather restaurant management.) My professor (a culinary professional) said how valuable the book is and that he keeps it handy in his own kitchen; likewise my wife (a culinary amateur) often fights me to get her hands on it. Lots of recipes, specific mise-en-place to help get you started, and many illustrations, pictures, and definitions help you use this book. The book also contains very good touches on meat fabrication that will be expanded on in other books/courses.

In-depth coverage of each topic.
Wide coverage: covers everything from knife skills to herbs to hors d'vours to entrees to desserts.
Excellent illustrations and photographic series.

Probably required reading for you
Heavy, you'll want to make this class the only one of the day so you don't have to lug this book all over campus.
Bordering on dry, if nothing else, the chapters do get long.

Final recommendations:
If for home use, wait until the 5th edition comes out and then buy the 4th edition. I'd tell you to buy the 3rd edition now, but the 4th edition has some great additions over the 3rd.

If for school use, the 4th edition has some wonderful additions that you shouldn't skip over. If you need to save a few bucks by getting the 3rd edition and borrowing the 4th for those chapters, you'll get by. But, if not, go new or the best quality used you can get because you'll want to keep this book around after your class is over.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae5e474) out of 5 stars This will be used over and over again May 13 2007
By Theresa M. Daggett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I bought this for my first class in Culinary Arts and couldn't believe how wonderful it was for recipes, references, etc. When it arrived, my husband and I sat out on the back porch with a glass of wine and just poured over the pages, oooing and aaahing. We were in heaven.

Now that I'm in my second year of classes, I still refer to my first book and it already has the tell tale signs of a very well used book - sticky pages, smudges and the sort.

I would recommend this to anybody, not just knowledgeable cooks. In fact, my mother-in-law wants one for Christmas and I'm going to buy it for her.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae5e8ac) out of 5 stars Everything you ever wanted to know Jan. 23 2008
By P. Caruso - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book has EVERYTHING. Don't understand some of those basic terms they use on the cooking shows? They're in here! With great recipes and beautiful pictures, On Cooking is like an entire cooking course in itself.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae5ec6c) out of 5 stars Great Cookbook! Nov. 10 2006
By P. Katkin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I had to purchase this book for a cooking class that I had to take. I am by no means a chef and had never even had to cut chicken of a bone. This book was great not only as a text, but as a cookbook with easy instructions that even the most inexperienced chef (like me!) can follow. I highly recommend this book!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ae5ed50) out of 5 stars Beyond a Cookbook May 29 2007
By Cook'n in the kitchen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is much more than a cook book. This is the main text for several of my son's culinary classes. After looking through it and with my enjoyment in the kitchen; I just knew I had to have it. You'll learn techniques, history, trouble shooting, as well as hundreds of receipts. The perfect gift for the person "who has everything" or loves to get crazy in the kitchen.