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The New American Chef: Cooking with the Best of Flavors and Techniques from Around the World Hardcover – Nov 5 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (Nov. 5 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471363448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471363446
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #956,102 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'll let others provide the raves. Just like every 'how-to' book ever written, this book was written in segments. And, unlike most of those other how-to books, it shows. It all starts during the story boarding process of writing a book (outlining what you will write about). The heading structure is decided upon for the topics, and a well-thought-out book of this nature should have identical topics for every chapter. It is in this planning stage where inconsistencies are discovered and corrected and the writers and editor work together to fix them. This wasn't done well for this book. For example, for some reason Andrew has his own section in the preface where he writes in the first person about his experiences, Karen does not have her own section. The other two sections in the preface are written as the collective, "we."
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:
Japanese cooking
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.
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Format: Hardcover
THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF has a simple premise: Interview some of America's pre-eminent experts on 10 different cuisines (Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese, Moroccan), and share their knowledge and insights with readers through honing them down into 35 fascinating pages per cuisine. The result? Readers are able to take an educational and delicious tour around the world through the histories, cultures and cuisines of 10 nations. This is a great book to read, and an even better book from which to cook, as it features dozens of recipes perfected by some of the country's best chefs and cookbook authors including Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Penelope Casas, Susan Feniger, Lynne Rossetto Kasper, Zarela Martinez, Mary Sue Milliken, Julie Sahni, Piero Selvaggio, Nina Simonds, Masa Takayama, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Paula Wolfert, Su-Mei Yu, and many more. This single volume can take the place of 10 tomes on your cookbook shelf. However, if you're looking for even more great reading about each of these cuisines, Nach Waxman (legendary owner of New York's infamous Kitchen Arts & Letters bookshop) provides his recommendations for further exploration at the end of each chapter. THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF is the perfect gift for the food lovers in your life (even yourself!).
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Format: Hardcover
"The New American Chef" is a brilliant concept, brilliantly executed by award-winning authors Dornenburg and Page: Take some of the brightest minds in the culinary world today and have them provide a shorthand approach to the cuisines in which they are expert. The result is a Who's Who of Cooking sharing fascinating insights into the flavors, techniques and "gestalt" of 10 different cuisines: Rick Bayless and Zarela Martinez on Mexican cuisine, Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Mario Batali on Italian cuisine, Paula Wolfert and Rafih Benjelloun on Moroccan cuisine, and dozens of other experts on seven other cuisines (Japanese, Spanish, French, Chinese, Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese). The authors' approach to singling out and articulating the essence of each cuisine is also a breakthrough contribution to understanding both the differences and the similarities among various cuisines. I'd never previously thought about the similarities between, for example, Japanese and Spanish cuisines, or French and Chinese cuisines - an insight that has the power to change one's approach to cooking. With my copies of the International Time-Life series gathering dust on my bookshelf, I'm delighted to have this captivating new single-volume reference to turn to for insight, inspiration, and incisive modern recipes.
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Format: Hardcover
A global primer, organized by country, this book features some of the country's most renowned chefs discoursing on technique and ingredients and offering some of their signature recipes, like Daniel Boulud's Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine, and Barbara Tropp's Steamed whole Fish with Seared Scallions, and Julie Sahni's Shrimp Madras-Style.
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.
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