The Theory of Catering
Professor David Foskett and Victor Ceserani
Hodder Arnold, £22.99
Motivational Management Made Easy: for Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Charles Trevor-Roper
Management Books, £14.99
Hospitality publications aren't always glamorous cookbooks by the latest "in" chef. They can also be textbooks, used by lecturers and consultants heading up college courses or industry seminars. And this week we have two books recently out in paperback that fall into this category.
The Theory of Catering has long been acknowledged as one of the core texts for hospitality and catering students. A companion book to the much-loved Practical Cookery and Advanced Practical Cookery, it has, like these, been thoroughly revised for its new 11th edition. It's also been hauled into the 21st century with the addition of a CD containing 16 film clips highlighting key aspects of the industry as well as digital artwork (charts, graphs, etc) that students can use in essays.
The meat of the book "does what it says on the tin" and looks at the catering industry as a whole. It talks about kitchen equipment, qualifications, trends, nutrition, health and safety practice and legislation, science in the kitchen, food purchasing and storage - anything and everything to do with catering. And the information is clearly set out, making quick referencing easy.
There are useful sections, for instance, on produce - vegetables, fish, molluscs, herbs and spices - with indications of optimum sizes and weights, taste and ingredient matches where appropriate. Importantly, seasonal tables are included wherever necessary. It's also good to see information on grape varieties and food and wine matches - important knowledge to acquire in today's restaurant world.
The Theory of Catering also touches on some management issues, but if you want to go into more detail on managing, then Motivational Management Made Easy might be useful. The book is to the point, if a little dry. But cut through the jargon and there are a lot of relevant techniques to pick up on. Major plus points include chapter summaries at the end of each section which run alongside practical exercises to try out.