Reading is important. It is especially important to young cooks or anyone who wants to learn the basics in the most efficient way possible.
Cookbooks are something that I’ve cherished for a long time. They’ve taught me almost as much as working has. Working in restaurants makes you fast, clean and flexible. Books make you smart, knowledgeable and they give you a base to be creative.
Good Chef’s do not just make food, they read. They spend years honing their skills, they pour over cookbook after cookbook, pushing themselves to learn the huge history and the techniques from our incredibly old profession.
So the books. There is a metric fuck ton of books. It gets confusing, it gets weird, but I’m here to help, these are books I suggest for anyone who wants to learn how to cook and get into the industry, or who just wants to up their basics game.
Just so everyone knows if you guys decide to buy the books on this blog post it does go to helping the blog, just click the picture!
We called this bad boy the bible in culinary school. It is filled with all of the science that you need to know. As you become a more knowledgeable cooker, you will slowly realize how important the science is. This book will teach you. I do have to warn you though, it is very text booky, but it is an incredible reference. Things will happen that you won’t understand and this book will show you exactly what’s going on.
What Einstein told his cook – by W.W. Norton & Co.
Think of this book as On Food and Cooking light. It’s a great book and it’s way easier to read. If you’re not a professional or plan to be a professional, skip On Food and Cooking and pick this bad boy up.
Kitchen Confidential – Anthony Bourdain
This was a big book for me. It’s a cautionary tale of Anthony Bourdain’s journey through his career. It’s big, it’s powerful and most importantly it’s honest. Anthony doesn’t pull punches and if you want a look into our lives, this is a great place to start.
The Making of a Chef – Michael Ruhlman
I went to this school. I believe it’s one of the best culinary schools in the country, if not the world. Michael Ruhlman went through the course and shares what this culinary school is like, and he nails it. This is great for anyone considering or planning to go to culinary school.
The Flavor Bible – By Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
This reference is invaluable. there are not a lot of recipes, but what it does have is an incredible amount of flavor pairings. It is essential for menu planning and it needs to be in your library if you’re doing menu planning stuff.
Ma Gastronomie – Fernand Point
Ma gastronomy is a classic. the food is very very french, But it’s not written like normal recipes there is more of fluidity to the recipes. This book is great at, make it good. When you are cooking, you need this kind of mentality. If it’s not right, you fix it. This book will teach you not only the mentality but also the hospitality that will make you so much better at your job.