Do you guys hoard culinary books?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by transchef, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. transchef

    transchef

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    Since my first check in May of  this year  from  my job in a five star hotel in SoCal, I have been using a huge part of my salary for buying books.  I buy just about  anything as long as they are about sauces, molecular gastronomy and mixology, southeast asian cuisine, French  techniques, Japanese cooking, tapas, Asian sweets, European pastry, and artisan  breads.  So far I have  two hundred of them.

    I got promoted after three months of working because I was more knowledgeable than our saucier.  Thanks to  the  books  about sauces I religiously read.  My questions:  Do  you think what I have is hoarding?  Do you  guys buy culinary books  that can help you in your job?  Do you think I'm just wasting my money?  

    Thanks!   
     
  2. chefrunt83

    chefrunt83

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    hey transchef i am in the same boat as you. any spare money i have i invest in cook books. helps me so much with learning about new techniques new flavours, and presentation. its not hoarding its investing.
     
  3. sherbel

    sherbel

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    I don't think it's hoarding to collect books, especially if you're using/reading them. They're valuable tools of the trade, imo. I have many hundreds of food-related books, some cookbooks and texts as well as books on food history. I also collect antique cookbooks which are fascinating to read.

    Great to meet fellow readers!
     
  4. chef matt

    chef matt

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    Knowledge is power. If you actively read and refer to the books, I don't think it should be considered hoarding. You've already gotten a promotion based off of the knowledge that the books have given you so I would say you are doing something right! Keep reading and collecting.
     
  5. skizz44

    skizz44

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    knowledge is power
     
  6. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Hoarding, in the sense you are using it, is a pathology, defined as amassing things for their own sake, often to the detriment of other priorities.  

    That's not what you are doing.

    Every professional, no matter what the field, recognizes that continuing education is a requirement for continued success. Cookbooks and books on culinary arts are one of the ways we keep learning and developing.

     I also collect antique cookbooks

    Sherbel, if you should come across a copy of John Farley's The London Art of Cookery that doesn't requre a second mortgage I'd appreciate you letting me know. TIA
     
  7. chef matt

    chef matt

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  8. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Thanks Matt. I've gone and ordered it.

    What about Elizabeth Smith's The Compleat Housewife? Got a lead on that one?
     
  9. sherbel

    sherbel

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  10. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Yeah, at that price I sincerely doubt it's an original. Especially in very good condition. Not for a book that's almost 300 years old.

    Lack of an image could mean a lot of things. Been my experience with Amazon's used-book partners that, if anything, they understate the condition rather than the opposite. That is, they say "very good," but when you get the book it's more like "excellent." And most of the time they list anything that causes lower ratings; things like pencil notations, or missing dust jacket, or a library's "property of" stamp.

    Transchef: My apologies. We seem to have hijacked your thread. So let's return, now, to the originally scheduled show.
     
  11. dylan nichols

    dylan nichols

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    I get culinary books like hotcakes.

    you can never have enough books of knowledge
     
  12. transchef

    transchef

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    Thanks for the responses, guys.  After buying and reading Thomas Keller's four  books, I've  realized that  even  a work of innovation can still be innovated and that to innovate one hast to start somewhere.  An innovative chef saying that everything he does comes from his head is bullshitting.  There must be an  influence  from someone or somewhere.

    Mother:   Why haven't you bought any Julia Child?

    Me:        I think she was overrated.

    Mother:  Tell me who Ma Gastronomie is.

    Me:        Ma? C'mon!  
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  13. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    If it's got lots of pretty pictures then yeah, I'll want it.   At some point in life I stopped reading recipes and started looking to these books for inspiration.
     
  14. mimmogram

    mimmogram

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    I am absolutely obsessed with cook books (and knives...) i have around 400... But the 2 I keep coming back to are The cooks companion by Stephanie Alexander & Margaret Fulton's Encyclopaedia of food & cookery.. Neither have any photo's but are so informative that i don't seem to mind... Lol!!
     
  15. guts

    guts

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    Love buying great cook books, but keep in mind that quality > quantity.
     
  16. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Want some I'll sell you some.
     
  17. mimmogram

    mimmogram

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    Completetly off subject.... Burns suck!!!! Big time!!!
     
  18. easychef

    easychef

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    i keep my professional cooking book from school, and a few of my recipe note books that i wrote while inspired at school... other than that i really haven't bought to many cook books
     
  19. bigtuna

    bigtuna

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    Modernist Cuisine ! very expensive but an awesome learning experience. It's worth saving up if you really would like to do some understanding along with your cooking. These books are what we should have learned in Culinary school...

    I have thousands of dollars worth of cookbooks.. (great tax deduction)

    But they stir your brain, teach you, inspire you... worth every penny as far as I'm concerned
     
  20. crazychef

    crazychef

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    Hey Dude,

    True...knowledge is power!!!!

    With power comes emancipation....don't ever stop buying the books. Don't get bored reading and experimenting from them, if just for the pleasure and knowledge!

    Albeit, a conundrum now....everytime you learn something new.....you drive out some other knowledge from your mind; how then, do you know what you have lost?

    The books will always be there to remind you.....I am now looking at recipe copies and drafts from 1800-1900 rural England! Constantly seminal!

    With a little time off work, I am looking to be replicating some crazy stuff....

    ps your enthusiam is infectious..../img/vbsmilies/smilies/peace.gif

    Happy reading....and cooking!