September 30, 2009
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Classical Cooking The Modern Way
by Eugen Pauli
Publisher: Van Nos
This cookbook is actually primarily a textbook. Originally written and published in Germany and France under the titles Lehrbuch der Küche and Technologie Culinaire, this book was published in English by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company in 1979 and immediately became a required textbook for culinary students.
It covers all aspects of setting up and running a modern commercial kitchen as envisioned by Escoffier. From physical plant layout to food safety and sanitation, from food labeling, butchering and other product issues to large scale recipes, this book should be on the bookshelf of every executive chef and should be at least skimmed by any waiter worth his or her salt.
The current edition of this venerable book is different from the original edition (which I own). According to one reviewer at Amazon, the book has been abridged somewhat by the new publisher, with the intent of publishing a second volume in the future. I glanced through some of the pages of the new edition through Amazon’s look inside feature, and it’s obvious that the book has been completely re-written. My recommendation therefore is only for the edition that I own and the one that is pictured above. That’s not to denigrate the new edition – I just don’t have access to the whole of it for direct comparison. The image comes from the eBay listing listed below.
I would recommend picking up this book as eBay only has a handful of the original editions (the new one is the Third Edition).
The recipes aren’t particularly useful to the home cook, although there are times that they might find recipes for 10 or more handy. The plating and platter arrangements are quite dated. This book is most useful for the reams of information about the practice of cooking – the foundation stuff that every aspiring chef, even the home cook, should know.
This is a go-to reference work that you should own.