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Culinary Arts: A Guide to the Literature (April 2016): Nutrition & Culinary Management

By Jeffrey P. Miller and Jonathan Deutsch

Nutrition & Culinary Management

Healthy eating has become a major concern of those dining out.  Linking nutritional concepts with healthy cooking techniques and recipes, Karen Drummond and Lisa Brefere’s Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals aids culinary professionals in accommodating customers’ preference for healthier restaurant fare.  The authors emphasize basic nutritional knowledge, providing chapters on all the macro and micro nutrients and addressing healthy cooking techniques, recipe modification, and weight management.  Taking a less rigorously scientific approach is the Techniques of Healthy Cooking from the Culinary Institute of America (first published in 1993 as The Professional Chef’s Techniques of Healthy Cooking), which emphasizes using more whole ingredients and sustainable, organic, and local foods.  Focusing on how to select healthy products and how to develop healthy recipes from them, this heavily illustrated text has nearly five hundred recipes arranged in a classic culinary format (from appetizers to desserts).

Supervision of employees and management of resources are vital topics in professional culinary arts environments.  The role of the chef has broadened in recent years, and a successful chef needs be a successful supervisor and an inspirational leader.  Jerald Chesser and Noel Cullen address that in The World of Culinary Management: Leadership and Development of Human Resources, providing a step-by-step approach that starts with recruitment and continues on through training, development, supervision, management, and leadership.  The case studies in this book (which was first published under a slightly different title and is now in its fifth edition) offer real-world situations and possible scenarios and solutions.  Dennis Reynolds and Kathleen Wachter Mcclusky take a broader approach in Foodservice Management Fundamentals.  Using a unit-based approach, the authors look at menu management, product management, human resource management, and financial management, providing guidance for those running foodservice operations in venues ranging from free-standing operations to hospitality operations such as hotels, casinos, and resorts.  In frequently low-margin businesses like food service, controlling costs is of critical importance.  Jack Miller, Lea Dopson, and David Hayes’s Food and Beverage Cost Control (now in its third edition; first published as Basic Food and Beverage Cost Control) is a comprehensive resource for managers in the food industry.  This volume covers not only food and beverages but also ancillary costs centers such as labor.  The authors’ attention to underexamined cost centers (e.g., the storeroom) and the numerous tools they offer for forecasting sales and analyzing results make this an extremely useful reference for the culinary professional.

Catering is an important segment of the culinary industry.  From business meetings to weddings, custom meals and settings are an important profit center in the hospitality industry.  Catering is often bifurcated into on-premise catering and off-premise catering.  On-premise catering is the larger of the two sectors, and On-Premise Catering: Hotels, Convention & Conference Centers, and Clubs, by Patti Shock, John Stefanelli, and Cheryl Sgovio, covers this arena—and diverse venues—in depth.  The authors start with an overview of the business and move on to planning, marketing, staffing, finances, and marketing (online and in social media).  Attention is given to marketing via online methodologies and social media.  First published in 1995 under the single authorship of Bill Hansen, Off-Premise Catering Management, the third edition cowritten with Chris Thomas, is a complete guide to off-premise catering and focuses particularly on the intricate logistics of running an event away from a brick-and-mortar facility in which the food was prepared.  Including example checklists and scheduling forms, the book also covers food and beverage selection and planning, off-premise sanitation and safety, marketing, and finances.  These companion volumes—taken together—obviate the need for a general treatment of catering, though many of these are in print.

Knowledge of alcoholic beverages, their uses, and their management is a key skill for the culinarian.  Now in its fifth edition, The Bar and Beverage Book, by Costas Katsigris and Chris Thomas, is one of the most widely used textbooks on the subject.  It covers history, product management, marketing, finances, legal issues, and mixology, and includes chapters on the specifics of beer, wine, and spirits.  Two wine titles stand out in a crowded field—Exploring Wine: The Culinary Institute of America’s Complete Guide to Wines of the World, by Steven Kolpan, Brian Smith, and Michael Weiss, and About Wine, by J. Patrick Henderson and Dellie Rex.  Exploring Wine is an excellent reference for the aspiring wine professional.  This dense volume covers the winemaking process, professional wine tasting, the wine regions of the world, wine and food matching, wine storage, and wine service.  Useful appendixes provide appellations and wine label terminology; the book includes a comprehensive glossary and ample illustrations.  About Wine covers similar territory, but is even more lavishly illustrated.  It has more information than Exploring Wine does on the winemaking process, and it includes a comprehensive section on “the business of wine”—purchasing, storing, and marketing wine, and developing wine lists.  Its coverage of wine-making areas is less extensive, but its maps of the world’s wine areas are very good.