The New American Chef: Cooking with the Best of Flavors and Techniques from Around the World Hardcover – Nov 5 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Dornenburg and Page (Chef's Night Out; Becoming a Chef) collaborate successfully once more, bringing together the international inspirations that today's chefs draw from. As unusual, often imported ingredients become more readily available, the authors believe that "there is an exciting opportunity for experimentation and exercising creativity. On the other hand, experimentation-particularly in the hands of an inexperienced chef-can be disastrous." Dornenburg and Page address this problem by bringing together 10 fundamental international cuisines in one handy volume. Drawing on the knowledge of the leading exponents of each fare, and liberally sprinkling in quotations, they distill these styles, ingredients and techniques into a philosophy that can guide the chef or the inspired home cook to produce authentic results. Whether focusing on Japanese or Moroccan cuisines, the authors call for advice upon the likes of such notables as Paula Wolfert, Rick Bayless and Daniel Boulud, who provide not only their expertise but also their recipes. Each section is divided into the fundamentals, including a culinary map, flavor palette, ingredients and techniques as well as a suggested reading list from cookbook shop notable Nach Waxman, before finishing with several timeless recipes that provide a basic repertoire. Most recipes require a certain level of knowledge and competence, but some, such as the clean-tasting Gazpacho Andaluz and vibrant Chicken Tangine with Prunes, are within reach of any cook. The finished work is deceptively thorough, but it works better as a guide to the values, tastes and methods that form each cuisine than as a recipe book.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The best books are written with a crystal-clear purpose in mind, and Beard Award-winning writers Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (BECOMING A CHEF, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT) have really honed in on a crucial subject for THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF.
Their analysis of the current culinary situation hits the nail on the head. "Whereas a young professional cook may have had the opportunity in years past to develop a solid grounding in classic technique (most frequently French) before branching off into multiethnic experimentation, today the same cook has to work from day one with an extraordinarily wide variety of ingredients and techniques," they write. "The widespread availability of international ingredients has outpaced our ability to assimilate them into our daily cooking. This represents both a major opportunity and a major challenge for the New American chef."
Few full service restaurant operators or, especially, restaurant critics would argue against Dornenburg's and Page's thesis.
This book is designed to fill the ever-widening information gap. And while it seems like an impossibly large topic to cover, this clever duo devised a format that distills the essentials of 10 influential cuisines (Chinese, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Moroccan, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese) into digestible lessons for the reader.
Each chapter begins with a lengthy profile of a particular country's cuisine, with key fundamentals spelled out via interviews with respected chefs and cookbook authors. Then come recipes (one hundred in all for the book) that enable the reader to tackle the lessons just learned. Dozens of celebrity chefs dot the roster of contributors.
"We've narrowed down the gist of what you need to know about each cuisine in order to retain its spirit in your cooking," Dornenburg and Page say. "In thirty pages per cuisine, we can make you feel like you have just taken an immersion course in that cuisine and our experts will enable you to better reproduce its food and its spirit in your kitchen."
What a godsend. This book will be of value to just about anyone who works in the back of the house or write a menu cooked there. (Restaurant Hospitality, December 2003)
"The New American Chef...explores flavors and techniques in the words of the chefs themselves" —Gael Greene (New York, December 22, 2003)See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Notably missing from this book are the cuisines of: Greece, Middle East, Germany, and the Caribbean.
As a book is being written, new and unforeseen topics appear. The writers and editor decide whether this unforeseen topic is out of scope for the book, or, if it is not, the topic is to be included for all chapters. Considerations in the yes/no decision include schedule, resources, and funding. If these three components cannot be properly executed for the entire book, the topic should be abandoned. For this book, each cuisine is on its own as if it had its own budget; good information that is included in one, is excluded in the rest. This is just poor design and layout. Here are some inconsistencies:
Page 47 has a table showing the menu for a formal Japanese dinner. It lists 12 courses and the order in which they should be served.Read more ›
The 10 countries featured are Japan, Italy, Spain, France, China, India, Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, and Morocco. Each chapter begins with the basics: principles of the cuisine, major ingredients and pantry staples, tools and cooking techniques. Numerous voices contribute opinions and recipes throughout (recipes are headed with chef's name), and occasionally there is even a bit of conflict. Mario Batali, for instance, uses only imported Italian tomatoes while Lynne Rossetto Kasper finds the imports "disappointing."
There are 100 recipes, but the real savor here is the opinionated, enthusiastic teaching. Black and white photos showcase the personalities at work. This is a staple of the cookbook shelf, for cooks of all levels.
Most recent customer reviews
I have been trying to buy a copy of this book on Amazon ever since hearing the authors speak at the Cascadia Culinary Arts conference here in Washington on May 22 (they were... Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by Chef Tim
As a fan of the Dornenburg and Page duo, I love their new book The New American Chef. I am also happy they expanded beyond restaurant chefs to include some of my favorite culinary... Read morePublished on June 2 2004
I had already thought that THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF was one of the best books I read all year. I subscribe to the authors' enewsletter, and just read that this book was mentioned as... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004
This book rocks!! I like to get my information at a glance. That's why I really like certain aspects of this book, especially all the charts on how to stock your kitchen... Read morePublished on Feb. 13 2004 by Tom
I have always been stressed about how to create a meal for guests. The New American Chef has changed my life. Read morePublished on Dec 23 2003 by laura day
The best books are written with a crystal-clear purpose in mind, and Beard Award-winning writers Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (BECOMING A CHEF, CHEF'S NIGHT OUT) have really... Read morePublished on Dec 12 2003
Very well written and engaging! This book makes a wonderful holiday gift, with many tempting recipes from all over the world. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003 by Rama K
I started reading The New American Chef late one night, and had to force myself to stay in bed and not race right to the kitchen and start cooking. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2003
What a wonderful book! Crisp and full of flavor, like the first bite of a fall apple. Beautifully written with tons of information, yet very approachable--I can't wait to cook my... Read morePublished on Nov. 22 2003 by C. Penney