The construction of C-C bonds with complete control of the stereochemical course of a reaction is of utmost importance for organic synthesis. The aldol reaction-the simple addition of an enolate donor to a carbonyl acceptor-is one of the most powerful reactions available to the synthetic chemist. In general, control of the relative and absolute configuration of the newly formed stereogenic centers has been achieved through the use of chiral starting materials or chiral auxiliaries. In recent years the search for catalytic methods that efficiently and effectively transfer chirality information has become a major effort in synthetic organic chemistry. Two different approaches have been taken toward the catalytic asymmetric aldol reaction: biocatalysis and catalysis with small molecules. Both approaches have specific advantages and limitations, and as a result are complementary to each other. The important efforts toward both approaches are reviewed in this article.