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Leiths Techniques Bible Hardcover – 18 Aug 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 18 Aug 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 800 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; 1st Edition edition (18 Aug. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747560463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747560463
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 19.9 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 434,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Founded in 1975, Leiths School of Food and Wine has trained many professional and amateur cooks and is now recognised as a centre of culinary excellence mixing classical tradition with fresh innovation. This is the ultimate reference guide to culinary techniques. Rivalling the indomitable Le Cordon Bleu, it offers advice on every facet of the chef's world: menu planning and quantity calculation, using specific ingredients such as chocolate, caramel and custard, how to prepare and carve meat and what knife to use, pastry making and much, much more. In clear, concise prose it imparts the years of knowledge and expertise of the two authors, both Leiths educated, who in Leiths tradition are keen to encourage a genuine enthusiasm for the subject. Including recipes and advice on why things can go wrong and how to correct them, this would be a gem of a gift for a serious cook keen to learn more on the subject. - Lucy Watson

Book Description

From the classic Leiths series, a comprehensive guide to cooking techniques --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a chef, I found this to be one of the most useful books I own - for technique it is always the first one I reach for. It gives you a very thorough grounding in the fundamentals - e.g. stocks, sauces, bread, pasta, baking - which you can then build upon. It is an excellent alternative to cookery courses. Compared to £20K for a cookery course, this book starts to look like extremely good value!

It covers subjects such as making bread, pasta and sauces in more depth than any other book I have seen, and it tells you what to watch out for, as well as what has gone wrong when the recipe does not turn out as expected. The book contains hundreds of valuable recipes but they are (very sensibly) for each fundamental technique (bread recipes, stock recipes etc.) rather than recipes for 'main courses' like most books.

The book is certainly not only for professionals - it is of just as much value to home chefs as it demystifies so many subjects and gives you so many fundamental 'building block' recipes.

Despite being vegetarian, I have found that most of the book is still relevant and seems to provide well for vegetarian alternatives - I was pleased to find a recipe for 'brown vegetable stock' for making gravies etc!

One aside though - if you only ever buy one cookery book, make it Leith's 'Cookery Bible' - it contains a lot of the information in the 'techniques bible' but also nearly every recipe you will ever need.

Many thanks to Leith's!
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Format: Hardcover
The best cooking book I ever read. Filled with explanations and techniques. take your time to read every chapter over and over and you'll be surprised the new things you learn every time you read it. Almost all the basics are here, don't look any further
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By A Customer on 10 Aug. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Included in the Waitrose Food Illustrated List of 10 Most Useful Cookbooks Ever, Leiths Techniques Bible is just that. Here all the expertise of Leiths legendary cookery school is condensed into a no-nonsense manual. With hundreds of recipes it is the perfect book for both the beginning cook and the experienced chef. The beauty of the volume is that it arms you with the basics you need to be able to use other recipe books well. The layout is incredibly clear and the panels on 'What has gone wrong when...' make it really user friendly.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the book as a hobby home cook looking for a comprehensive "course" of the essential cooking techniques. I was looking for the techniques (for example, how to cut certain meats) as opposed to simply recipes. The book itself is probably best described as a textbook or reference book. It is very big at 800 pages, and its size and paperback cover do make it slightly kitchen unfriendly.

I will say that the book is very comprehensive (I am sure most of the techniques used by chefs are listed here). The problem lies with how this information is arranged. Disappointingly, despite the book's title the bulk of the book is made up of recipes, with the actual "techniques" dotted around in between. The techniques themselves are either described by text alone or with small "outline" drawings (about the size of a postage stamp). I believe with a skill as practical as cooking, these basic drawings probably aren't going to be enough to demonstrate the more technical skills (something more dynamic like photographs is needed for these).

The layout as well can be a bit strange as it is arranged alphabetically. This means for example, that you are taken from a section on Meat to a section on Meringue (fillet of Beef with Eton Mess anyone?!). Whilst I appreciate this was probably done for speed of reference, I would have liked the book to have been arranged by themes or dishes (e.g. starters, mains, desserts) .

I would definitely recommend this book for intermediate-professional chefs or advanced-amateur chefs looking for a quick reference or a refresher on techniques. I think the book is probably going to be bit difficult to use (and too vague on the technical side) for novice chefs. It is a book to be dipped into, rather than a "course" in technique.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is just what its title suggests and is an invaluable reference book.

The first part covers nutrition, safety, quantities, menu planning, equipment, knife skills etc. Part Two has 57 sections in alphabetical order from 'Aspic' through 'Chocolate', 'Herbs', 'Meat', 'Pastry' and 'Sauces' to 'Vegetables'. Each section starts with basic scientific and nutritional information before preparation, cooking and storage are discussed. Many varied cooking techniques for each food type follow. For example in the Sauces section, 63 savoury mother and daughter sauces are mentioned. Each cooking technique is accompanied by a useful and down-to-earth 'What has gone wrong when...'section. Although there are many recipes in the book, this is not a recipe book. It is firmly focussed on the techniques to get the best results and the recipes are just exemplars for food types or techniques. The final short part includes a glossary, conversion tables, bibliography and an index of recipes.

The book has only black and white line drawings but this does not detract.

I bought this book as I wanted to lift my self-taught, reasonably competent cooking skills to the next level. I have enjoyed reading the Techniques Bible as a book and have also been dipping into it when I have been preparing specific foods, to try to pick up hints and tips. If you plan to own only one cookery book, this is probably not the one for you but if you have endless recipe books and have space for a really good techniques book I thoroughly recommend it. I can see myself using this as my main reference book for many years.
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