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The Professional Chef

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  5,824 ratings  ·  65 reviews
"A serious reference for serious cooks." --Thomas Keller, Chef and owner, The French Laundry Named one of the five favorite culinary books of this decade by Food Arts magazine, The Professional Chef is the classic resource that many of America's top chefs have relied on to help learn their cooking skills. Now this comprehensive "bible for all chefs" (Paul Bocuse) has been ...more
Hardcover, Eighth Edition, 1232 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 1974)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
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 ·  5,824 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Aug 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This thing is massive. I've been trying to read all the way through it for over a year and I haven't gotten there yet. They've already got another edition out, which looks like it's even better. The Professional Chef is the Culinary Institute of America's textbook and, as such, is an excellent basic instructional cookbook/reference book on many "standard" recipes and basic cooking techniques. It is aimed at a professional pracitioner, though, so all the recipes are for ten portions. You will hav ...more
The thing about this book is it is an excellent source for factual and scientific information about the business of cooking, the chemistry of cooking, and the business of keeping a kitchen running in a sanitary way. The problem is that its not a cookbook for amateurs. Everything is in metric, most of it in grams. Without a proper kitchen scale or an aggressive interest in converting it, you're going to find this a confusing or discouraging source. ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
One of my favorite library books since I can't justify buying this book yet. An essential resource and so informative. I learned so much just flipping through this book and picking random sections to read. My pan sauces have certainly improved since I first checked this out! ...more
Glancing at some of the other GR reviews, I was hit with a “Are we reading the same book?” reaction, until I realized that my copy is the 1974 4th edition (470 pages) and that by 2006, the 9th edition is up to 1232 pages – so, in a sense, no, not exactly the same book. I found it better in its discussion of the techniques (and the science behind them) of cookery and food safety more than the actual recipes. Part of my problem with the recipes is that the book was written in the mid-20th Century ...more
Denise MacFarland
This text, along with a cookbook written by Vincent Price (with a few contributions by Boris Karloff) were delightful finds at a local antique mall. Professional Chef is a fundamentals text for culinary arts programs, so unless you’re cooking for a really large group, you’ll want to reduce volumes for the recipes you want to execute. The real “gift” content in this book is the wealth of tips, techniques and scientific explanations that underscore why some recipes work and others don’t.
Oct 11, 2007 added it
If you were truly serious about becoming a great cook and could only have one book in your kitchen, this would be it. It really is geared toward professional chefs, however, so many of its recipes call for impractical ingredients like demi-glace. In a home kitchen this can be a real ball-ache.
Corey Butler
Jan 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
This is the official textbook of the Culinary Institute of America. It overviews the basic techniques used by professional chefs, as well as common equipment and ingredients. The coverage is adequate, but not as good as I expected. Much of the material is superficial, and there are large white spaces on most pages where additional pictures or information could have been presented. The pictures themselves are mostly good, with the exception of the photos of diced vegetables, which are useless bec ...more
Nov 06, 2014 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I've always wanted to know the proper techniques, how I'm supposed to do things. A quick glance, a quick one, it seems I may have found my answer. Today I used it to make a vegetable stock and simple miropoix, done and done. Better still, very few vegetables left in fridge to go bad. My point, most books give you an exact recipe-though this one has though too, it also provides guidelines so you can go at will; with what you have. Helpful ...more
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must have in your kitchen, even if you just fiddle around from time to time. After I read here and there (its a huge book) I finally found out how to make really great scrambled to make a base beschamel sauce for anything! I learned how to cut up a fryer and now I keep my knives sharpened.
Mar 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good resource for classic, mostly scaleable recipies for the home cook or use to improve upon your understanding of technique before attempting other recipies. One of my favorite go-to books (particularly for pastry cream). See also the CIA chocolate book for blow your mind accessibility to world class confectionary.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: close-read
Love it. Well organized, taught me a lot. I'm not a professional chef, and the batches are huuuge. 12 dozen cookies, lol. But I loved the baking explanations, and after I converted and reduced the batches, cookies turned out great. Some if the ingredients were hard to find in my downtown grocery store, but any serious cook expects these hastles. 10 out of 8, great job! ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book I really recommended to all people that want to be a professional chef. The basic foundation is very strong.

most of dishes that i made from this book could make people to say "very delicious, more and more! superb"

must have!!
Afiq Asyran
Nov 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fundamental knowledge to cook like a chef, this book I used from time to time for my kitchen's check and balance. From pastry, bread baking, sauteing chicken, vegetables, making a salad, preparing chicken stock and many more. ...more
Dec 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So you think you can cook? If you can't with this guides help, you may not be able to read either. This newest version of the classic 'how-to-cook-everything' is one of the first must have books for chef, cook, or food lover of any and all skills.

Adam Vigh
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend this book highly enough. Don't let the thickness intimidate you, you'll you have such a good time reading it you hardly notice. Wether you an apprentice chef, seasoned vet or just someone who love to cook you'll get something out of the professional chef. ...more
Nov 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely wonderful textbook all about food and its preparation. It has basic recipes for the foundation of just about every dish. No chance I'll read it all any time soon, but as a cook's reference and training manual it can't be beat. ...more
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent kitchen bible for anyone serious about cooking. I got this from the library to see if it was worthwhile- it is on the pricey side- but I am quite sure I want my own copy now. (I may see about getting a used copy or an older edition.)
Oct 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is basically the Textbook used by the CIA. It is oriented toward the professional and the recipes reflect this.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good book every chef should have one.
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook-book
Basic book for culinary student
Carolina Rivera
Bob Lewis
Jan 19, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking to become, as the title suggests, a professional chef, or even if you're trying to become a true master of the home kitchen, this is an invaluable reference to add to your library. But before you buy, you should know what it is and what it isn't.

Let's start with what it isn't. It isn't an organized step-by-step course that will take the reader from beginner to advanced. In fact, it's not organized by skill level at all, but rather by topic. As a reference, that's for the best.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
This book is true to the title. I'd recommend it highly for people going into cooking but for a person who just wants to learn how to cook this has a bit too much unnecessary content. The chapter on running a business or the pictures of all the different types of veggies jump out as examples. I know they are trying to be complete, but if a professional chef needs a picture to recognize a turnip... ...more
Jan 09, 2021 added it
Shelves: cookbooks
freakin 1200 pages! this book is huge! i only made it about 500 pages in and ran thru all my library renewals so i'll have to return it and request it again.

a very informative book. a bit dry and technical for my taste, and sometimes completely over my head using all its fancy french terms that i'm not familiar with.

definitely not the most user friendly book for the average NOT professional, but containing a wealth of knowledge nonetheless.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won't even pretend to have read this whole thing, but I tend to stare at it for hours like an 80s kid with a Sears Xmas catalog. Probably my favorite cookbook, also my heaviest (7 lbs 13.8 oz according to my flour scale). ...more
A textbook for professional chefs, some of the recipes are for quantities that would not be used in every day cooking but a good reference for techniques in the kitchen.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
How can i read this?!
Jan 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
keep close
Nam Loc
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love it
Kyn Palma
May 21, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the best ever for the culinary students
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