This could be a “desert island” cookbook. As in: if you could take just one cookbook to a desert island, The Professional Chef: Ninth Edition just might be it. If you need to know how to do it as a professional chef, chances are you'll find it within the Culinary Institute of America's big book of…well, everything.
From mise en place for vegetables and fresh herbs to the hows and whys of Hollandaise sauce to baking to charcuterie to beverages to fabricating fish and meat to making fresh pasta, this is the kind of book that truly “has it all.”
The CIA's legendary emphasis on training chefs on basic skills and standards for quality technique is evident. And the book also includes self-test assessments, quizzes and note-sharing capabilities that can be used as teaching tools.
The juxtaposition of classic dishes like “wedge of iceberg” salad with more contemporary ones, like vegetarian chili, makes the book stronger. It would be a great place to go if one really needed to learn how to make a seafood terrine but also would be a fun book to browse for something like summer squash salsa.
The new and the old come together and it seems that no major food region — within the U.S. and around the world — has been left unexplored. You'll find Spicy Peanut Sauce, Cassoulet, Szekely Goulash, Pork Vindaloo, Congee, Grits with Corn and Hominy, Yankee Pot Roast, Sauerbraten, North Carolina Barbecue, Chiles Rellenos and many more.
In short, this book is so dense you can get totally get lost in it. At the same time, it's a perfect place to turn for a very useful quick reference. The book is also available in an iPad edition with more than 100 embedded videos. Go to http://www.inkling.com/pro-chef/ for more information on the iPad edition.