The Professional Chef: Cookbook Review

Product: The Professional Chef
Price:  $45
Cheapest Place to buy: Amazon.com
Rating: 10/10

The Professional Chef is not just any cookbook. This book is the official textbook for Culinary Institute of America students. From cover to cover, it goes into to detail about anything and everything you need to know about cooking in a professional kitchen. Not only is it indispensable for chefs, but home cooks can greatly benefit from its contents.

Each part contains a breakdown of what it is covering. For example, Sautéing has a introduction page to what all is entailed with sautéing, the types of sautéing, and what different types of pans that can be used. Then it gives detailed steps and tips on how to go about said skill. The Professional Chef includes very good pictures where they are needed to help explain the various techniques and then every section is followed by a collection of recipes pertaining to the material covered. There will be a bunch of recipes that utilize the sautéing technique so that you may put your new knowledge to the test.

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Why do I like The Professional Chef

I have read a lot of books on cooking. This is the only one that holds an utmost authority on the proper techniques on cooking. Everything I aim to do on the Aspiring Chef is covered in this book.

The Professional Chef guides you from the very basics to the finishing touches. It begins with an introduction to the profession, what it means to be a professional chef and what it all entails. This section also touches on the various titles of chef, listing the kitchen brigade system used in some form or another in every kitchen. The book keeps up with the current and ever-changing industry. I read these chapters as a young aspiring chef and it gave me great inspiration to forever better myself and continue learning.

The Professional Chef goes on to teach about menu development, breaking down food costs and yields for calculating your recipes. I can attest that I have referred to this section among others when designing my first menu for a new restaurant.

It briefly covers food and kitchen safety. When stepping into a head chef position, you will need safety certifications. Even though I say this section is brief, I only say that by comparing to the class you will need to complete for certifications. This section covers everything you will need to know to run a safe and healthy kitchen.

The Professional Chef covers identifying equipment, meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, and dry goods. It then goes into the foundations of cooking, beginning with stocks, soups, and sauces. You will learn how to fabricate anything that runs, swims, or flies. You’ll learn the very best ways to prepare vegetables, pastas, potatoes, eggs, etc.

I have never come across a book that covers so much in its entirety and I have never gone back to reference a book as much as The Professional Chef. It even covers a section on baking and pastry. Honestly, you don’t need any other book after owning this one.

Is there a downside?

It is very heavy. This book is the size of a Buick. It has 1212 pages but it knows how to use them. I’d say that some sections don’t go into enough detail but these sections actually have entire books published by the Culinary Institute of America. Baking & Pastry and Garde Manger both have their own giant size books. But, the sections in The Professional Chef are actually enough to have enough knowledge about both of these aspects of cooking. The only need for the separate books is to go more in depth into each topic. I also own those two books and they are just as worth it to own as this book. For any beginner, I advise to start with this book and exhausting what there is to learn here first. Once you feel like you need more techniques and lessons to learn, then buy the other two.

Enough said? Read on.

If you are ready to learn all there is to learn about cooking in a professional environment, and you want to take your cooking to the top-level, this is definitely the book for you.

If you are an avid home cook, and you want to step up your game or just have a one stop reference for just about anything you can think you may need, this is definitely the book for you too.

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2 thoughts on “The Professional Chef: Cookbook Review”

  1. Hey Brett,

    As a fellow chef, this sounds like a definite must read. The fact that it goes into detail as far as cooking techniques goes is a huge perk.

    This sounds like the perfect book for home cooks to learn to cook like a pro; and great for veterans to touch up on their skills.

    I like the fact that it breaks down food recipes and cost; this is something that not many learn until they get thrown into the fire.

    That alone is enough reason to check it out.
    Thanks for sharing,

    Diana

    1. I’m glad you found this review useful. I’ve been a professional chef for over a decade and I still go back to this book. 

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