The best culinary reference book

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by robbie rensel, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    I feel like every chef has their go to books for recipe guides and cooking reminders.  Here is my list, what is yours?

    The #1 book of all time- Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page

    "Awesome for reminding you of seasons and winning flavor and food combination, best book for building menus."

    Then for all technical culinary and baking and pastry questions, I use the repertoire of The Culinary Institute of America textbooks.
     
  2. minas6907

    minas6907

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    I would very much agree with you, I also have culinary artistry, very nice when I need some inspiration for new flavor combos. Otherwise, I refer to 'The Professional Chef,' 'Professional Cooking,' and 'On Cooking.' I've found that when I'm trying to look something up, if one book doesnt have it, the other will, and if they all have what I'm looking for, I compare recipes/procedures. I do like CIA's books, especially Baking and Pastry, but I stopped buying very much from them after I purchased Garde Manger and found that 3/4 of the contents was already in The Professional Chef.
     
  3. tfj

    tfj

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    There are certainly plenty of books to refer to - in fact too many.

    It rather depends upon whether one needs inspiration or basic knowledge.

    Some time ago, a group of chef lecturers got hold of a very old English cookery book from Queen Victorian times and attempted to re create some of the recipes.  They actually achieved some fantastic and interesting results.  So, th point here being that old book can be even more inspiring than so called new ones.
     
  4. smork

    smork

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    pro chef and pro cooking are super good books.   
     
  5. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    TFJ,

    I agree, many business books I read take the original concepts from very old books.  What is the name of the book you are referring to?  It sounds very interesting and like many chefs I am addicted to cookbooks, I would love to give it a look.
     
  6. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    I will post an update to my original post and say that I use The Modernist Cuisine more and more for looking up scientific and technical things.  Like why food does this, also On Food and Cooking by Harold Mcgee is a great one too.
     
  7. pirate-chef

    pirate-chef

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    joy of cooking, modernist cuisine, on food and cooking . 
     
  8. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    Ah, Joy of Cooking, that is not one that I use much, but will have to pick up. What do you like to use it for? General recipes?
     
  9. solsen1985

    solsen1985

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    On Food and Cooking <----blows my mind every re-read lol
     
     
  10. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Proffessional Cooking and Baking both by Wayne Gisslen, Food for Fifty by Mary Molt, and the Book of Yields by Schimdt I think.
     
  11. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    I agree, it is so important to know the science behind the cooking.  This way you know how to fix something if you either make a mistake or it does not come out how you want it to.
     
  12. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    Hmmm....I have not heard of these I am going to have to pick them up!  Thanks so much for the tip!
     
  13. pirate-chef

    pirate-chef

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    I like joy a lot for basic recipes. I really like that they all actually work and make sense, also there has been some good guide to theory in it as well 
     
  14. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    Very good, thanks for the tips, I will have to pick it up!
     
  15. countrykook

    countrykook

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    Joy of Cooking - without a doubt - I have 4 editions - 1945 (my mothers - almost gone to ruin) and 3 more editions - found one for 3.99 in Lethbridge, Ab last month at Value village - my daughter had a baby - I told her - here is your kitchen bible for life - never lose it.....
     
  16. mike8913

    mike8913

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    Larouse's Gastronomique is a standard bearer. It's basically an encyclopedia of food and technique.

    I usually reference that and then look for demonstrations in cookbooks.

    When I need to go back to square one and look for inspiration I read the section about braising and stocks in the TFL book.
     
  17. pedrof

    pedrof

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    The Flavor Bible. Includes seasonality, best cooking methods for ingredients, and best ingredients to pair with. It also includes dishes from chefs all around the world. Similar to culinary artistry.
     
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  18. robbie rensel

    robbie rensel

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    Larouse is awesome because of how old school it is.  If you want to go back to the old French basics that is the book.  In culinary school if I could not find some weird term in the chef's companion I would always turn to Larouse.