Foreword by Rick Tramonto
There’s probably no valuable little food book quite like Repertoire. We say “little,” because the book is deliberately small to be able to fit into a chef’s apron pocket. This seems a far better positioning than topping any booklist.
The Chef’s Repertoire is not a food dictionary or a cookbook, rather it is an 1100-entry cuisine inventory, divided into 12 sections, of traditional dishes which make up today’s modern American cuisine. However, if you are not already quite handy with food, this book will have little appeal. It’s for those who know their methods, those who know “how it’s supposed to look” and exactly “how it’s supposed to taste,” but want to be doubly sure no ingredient is overlooked
Alinat, a native of Provence, France was trained, as you would expect, in the classically French cuisine mode. This, by the way, a mode most top-notch chefs of the world believe is fundamentally necessary to succeed anywhere in the world as a well-rounded chef. He clarifies for us not only French dishes but those from other cultures, not named for their dominant ingredients as is the trend today. Alinat’s been at it for twenty-five years.
In writing this book, he not only clarifies French and American cooking, he also includes the many fusions afloat in North America these days. In his foreword, Rick Tramonto comments Alinat has created “a new, modern chef’s bible … a quick-reference inventory that every American working in the hospitality industry should own.”
Let’s look at some examples:
Peking Duck, the expensive, order-ahead, famed Chinese treat: “Blanch whole duck in boiling water. Hang to dry for 6 hours. While hanging, brush with mix of honey, dry sherry, white vinegar, cornstarch and hoisin sauce. Transfer to over and bake at 350-degrees F. until duck reaches 165-degrees F.” That’s it. Done in 40 words.
Celery Victor was a brand new one on me: “American origin (San Francisco). Poach celery hearts in veal or chicken stock and chill. Salt and pepper to taste. (If desired, top with anchovies.) Serve with a white wine vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil vinaigrette.”
Cuban Sandwich, Roast pork, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles on Cuban bread. Press until golden.
If you are a foodie, The Chef’s Repertoire is a great book to own. It is also a highly suitable gift for any chef in your life.