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Produced by the Culinary Institute of America as a textbook for chefs-to-be, The New Professional Chef, Sixth Edition, is a book for all who love to cook, as well as students of the craft. It's a cooking school between covers, a teaching and reference work of extraordinary breadth.
In the first two of four parts, arranged in a progressive, logical sequence, the book provides a brief historical overview of the chef's role and discusses matters of interest to all cooks: the identification and purchasing of ingredients, nutrition, food safety, and sanitation, among other matters. The third part explores the techniques that underlie all cooking, from mise en place (readying ingredients), through sauces and soups and the dry- and moist-heat cooking methods, to charcuterie, baking, and pastry. This section, illustrated as elsewhere in the book by step-by-step color photos, line drawings, tables, and charts, is an unendingly informative book in itself. The book concludes with the recipes, arranged as a professional would want them, in chapters devoted to food categories such as sauces and entrees; breakfast and pasta dishes; and breads, cakes and pastries, among others. The hundreds of recipes (500 new to this edition) are designed for 10 or more servings; though reducible, their outstanding usefulness lies in revealing dish anatomy--the way recipes work. Updated with a 50-page chapter on international fare, and containing cooking trucs throughout, material on dietary substitutions, historical and anecdotal information, and serving suggestions, The New Professional Chef is an A to Z resource no culinary library should lack. --Arthur Boehm
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