Leiths Techniques Bible Hardcover – 18 Aug 2003
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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
From the classic Leiths series, a comprehensive guide to cooking techniques --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Had to return it because the blue text used in parts of the book were eligible - very disappointed
I can only presume it was a printing fault.
good book to fill in the many gaps, tried a few of the recipes, most turned out well.Published 10 months ago by MR D W COWAN
Great book, not just technique-based, really useful recipes includedPublished 11 months ago by Sorcha Kennedy
What to say: simply fabulous guidance on techniques. It would've been even better with photos rather than drawings.Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer PS
I have used it at least once a week since I bought it three years ago - incredible. Absolutely the best cookery book I own. Read morePublished 19 months ago by The Exhibition
invaluable to any inexperienced cook or inexperienced baker, worth the wait for the magisterial book.Published 23 months ago by L M Simon
I brought it for my husband as a birthday present, he loves it, its all he thought it would be, Excellent.Published on 21 April 2014 by caroline Traher