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Culinary Artistry Paperback – Nov 4 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Culinary Artistry
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  • The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs
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  • The Professional Chef
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (Nov. 4 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471287857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471287858
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 3.3 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 862 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

If you really find food fascinating--the idea of food, working with food, and the eating of food--then Culinary Artistry should be on your bookshelf. There are two books at work here. One is What Chefs Have to Say About the Foods They Create. The other is Fun with Food Spread Sheets. A cynic might suggest that after putting together Becoming a Chef, the authors had so much leftover interview material that Culinary Artistry was but the natural outcome. The chef's point of view, however, would be to make use of everything passing through the kitchen, to throw nothing away. In other words, if Becoming a Chef is an entrée, then Culinary Artistry is the special of the day.

The book is divided into sections that discuss and reach out to chefs to join in that discussion of such ideas as the chef as artist, dealing with sensory perception in food, composing with flavors, putting a dish together, putting together an entire menu, and standing back to admire the growth of a personal cuisine. This is thoughtful material. It is not how-to material. These guided conversations are made practical for the home cook by charts such as which foods are in season and when, the basic flavors of foods (bananas are sweet; anchovies are salty), food matches made in heaven (lamb chops with aioli or ginger or shallots), seasoning matches made in heaven (dill and salmon), flavors of the world (Armenia means parsley and yogurt), common accompaniments to entrées (beef and potatoes), and, most fun of all, the desert-island lists of many of the chefs quoted so extensively throughout the text. Many recipes accompany the text.

How this will affect any individual's own culinary art, be that professional or personal, remains unclear. It may be as private an experience as reading. For the uninitiated, this book will prove that there's a lot more going on with food and restaurants and chefs than they may ever have imagined. --Schuyler Ingle

From Booklist

In this ambitious guidebook to the current state of culinary art in American restaurants, the authors offer a comprehensive flavor catalog of comestibles that constitutes a palate-pleasing palette of the spectrum of gustatory stimuli. They flesh out long lists with reflections and observations on the craft of cooking by some of the world's most illustrious chefs, both historical and contemporary. These philosophical ruminations give the up-and-coming chef an understanding of the evolution of taste in the past half century by comparing the classic tastes of France's Fernand Point with the tastes of current celebrity chefs, such as Alice Waters and Rick Bayless. Although short on prescription (hence, the paucity of recipes), the book is exhaustive in its rosters of flavor complements. So extensive are the volume's lists that the book is useful as a reference tool for only the most serious chefs and die-hard foodies. Mark Knoblauch --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is one of the best books in my collection. It is not a recipe book, nor is it a book on presentation with pretty pictures. It is a book to help you take the next step in developing your own recipes or to use as a reference when improvising. I have found several uses for this book so far and I keep it close at hand any time I am in the kitchen.
1. This is a great reference for what foods go together.
2. Helps in figuring out how to balance flavours.
3. A source of inspiration for new recipes.
4. The few recipes in this book are actually very good.
I would not reccommend this as a beginer book. It will be most useful once you have a handle on some techniques and a variety of recipes. I really cannot say enough good things about this book.
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Format: Paperback
Culinary Artistry is a book some may passover or leaf through in the bookstore for the likes of the Joy of Cooking or a Martha Stewart volume 20 cookbook. But look closer, the charts and the what-goes-well-with-what sections of this book alone are worth the price if only to give the food lover an inspired moment to create a dish with ingredients he or she may love. If you find yourself saying, "gee, I'd really love to have salmon tonight but I don't know what to put with it", pick up this book, find Salmon and refer to the extensive list of items that the interviewed chefs prefer with it and an idea is born. After that, all it takes is a little know-how in the kitchen and you've created your very own gourmet meal. If you choose to read from front to back you'll also discover page after page of insightful information from some of the nation's top chef's. Take your time, it's not a novel but it can be read like one and used as reference even after you've reached the last page. For the money, this is a book that will stay on your shelf for years to come and still manage to provide a new idea each time. So put down the Martha Stewart Haloween cookie issue and give Culinary Artistry a try, "It's a good thing". Sorry about that last one, she's infectious.
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By A Customer on April 28 2002
Format: Paperback
I cannot think of a better reference in my kitchen. When I plan to cook venison, what flavors go with it? I grab Culinary Artistry and find out, now what kind of side should I cook? I have never found another book that is such a great reference.
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Format: Paperback
Wonderful book...the sections on seasonalities of foods (like liver and pates are fall/winter foods)...and food classical food pairings (eg cranberries with orange, walnuts with bleu cheeses...) are indespensible for planning menus and creating new dishes!
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Format: Paperback
Fabulous book; as a hotel catering sales manager, this book is absolutely the best reference available to help develop special menus for my clients. Extremely well written and organized.
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Format: Paperback
I am a self-taught home cook who enjoys the activities of the kitchen. I entered the cooking arena one of the standard ways, using cookbooks. Collections of recipes familarized me with the techniques and ethnic cooking styles. Gradually, my cookbook collection included reference books that provided some of the theory behind tastes and preparation styles. Gold's 1-2-3 series, Peterson's Sauces, and others introduced to me the philosophies that allow a cook to go beyond mimicking a recipe to improvising and even creating a dish. Culinary Artistry is perhaps the best available reference for learning about the traditions of combining flavors and food groups.
It contains vital information that I suspect is taught only in some of the culinary schools. It provides valuable charts of information about cooking and menu planning. The book contains sections on Menus, including a seasonality chart and a chart explaining successful seasoning combinations. There is a section for Composing Flavors, the highlight of which is a chart showing successful food contrasts. Another section involves Composing A Dish. Here there is a chart showing great food matches and one showing seasoning matches. The Composing A Menu section offers a chart showing frequent accompaniments to meats and paragraphs presenting theories about Hors Douevres, Cheeses, and Desserts. This was a sparse and incomplete passage in an otherwise comprehensive book. Finally, there was a fun section addressing the Evolution of Chef's Styles. Here the authors provide sample menus comparing chef's offerings from earlier decades to their present day productions.
The volume offers multiple anecdotes, quotes, and side bars concerning the views of popular chefs. Various recipes are interspersed to illustrate the principles.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this and the Flavor Bible as prime reference guides. You learn how to sculpt a full plate of taste profile and textures as well as plating suggestions. It is great. You need to have an idea on how to use it, but, if you have a bit of talent; this book should be on your shelf! I am a cross reference queen. This and the other book are allowing me to have more fun in the kitchen. Which also means happy people around me as I like to feed more than just myself.
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Format: Paperback
"Culinary Artistry" came to my attention as an Amazon.com recommendation which mentioned that if I enjoyed the authors' book "The New American Chef" (which I did, very much), that I might also enjoy this book. Amazon got it right in spades: "Culinary Artistry" is yet another breakthrough approach to thinking about food by these authors. Cuisines, menus, dishes and flavors are both constructed and deconstructed, providing the experienced cook with a blueprint for successful experimentation. This book is an invaluable resource to anyone confident enough in the kitchen to want to innovate, yet smart enough to know that it's important to know the "rules" before you try to break them successfully. This is an absolutely brilliant book, one that I have referred to almost daily since it's been in my possession.
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