Cardinal's Handbook of Recipe Development


159 pages
Contains Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-920451-00-4





Reviewed by Arlene M. Gryfe

Arlene Gryfe is a Toronto-based professional nutritionist and home


Cardinal’s Handbook of Recipe Development fills a need that has long existed in Canada. To date, there has been no single source where a food professional could obtain guidelines for recipe development, planning, testing, adaptation, and presentation to a client.

Evelyn Hullah, the Senior Home Economist of Cardinal Kitchens and Vice-President of Cardinal Biologicals, Ltd., has conducted extensive recipe development projects as a consultant to major food companies. She specializes in food styling, recipe testing, cookbook production, and consumer food presentation.

Preparing food with marketing and sales factors in mind is considerably different from concocting a stylish dinner at home for guests. It is necessary to have a fail-proof combination of the client’s ingredients, a combination that will tolerate users’ idiosyncrasies, inaccurate home ovens, altitude changes, variations in pan size, etc. A scientific approach is necessary to ensure both accuracy and reproducibility.

There is an extensive metric recipe development section, with a style guide. In view of the increasing numbers of students currently being trained to use the metric system, it is necessary to adapt and/or develop recipes to accommodate these future consumers.

Many illustrative charts and tables make the information easily accessible. Also included are printers’ symbols for proofreading, since accuracy, important in all books, is absolutely essential in recipes.

A major flaw in the book is the placement of the appendices. Two sections have their own appendix, placed not as one would assume at the back of the book, but at the end of each section. When one reads a reference to “Appendix 2,” one must flip through page by page to find it, or refer to the Table of Contents. Also, the left and right margins of the pages are of varying widths, making some inner edges of pages difficult to read. Wider margins, along with right-side justification, would make the book easier to read.

However, these few faults are outweighed by the abundance of useful information in the Resource section and the Substitution & Equivalents section. This book will prove to be a useful addition to the library of any person who works professionally with food.


Hullah, Evelyn, “Cardinal's Handbook of Recipe Development,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024,