Want to hone in my skills, any recommended books for prep / cooking techniques?

Joined Jul 14, 2015
I've been in the restaurant industry for a little over a year and a half, starting off as a dish washer than moving up.

I'm getting to the point where I'm moving into prep cook / cooking positions now and I want to improve upon my skills in my own time.

I was wondering if any of you could recommend me good solid books on technique that get straight to the point with no fluff.  



Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
James Peterson, numerous books. Cooking is a very good one, but he gets deeper into other topics in other books. All worthwhile. 

Jacques Pepin, New Complete Techniques. Was also a video series that accomanied, very good. 

Wayne Gisslen, again many books. I'm personally partial to The Chef's Art. 

The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook,  a bit simplistic compared to the others, but a good starting point for a beginner. 
Joined Apr 4, 2012
All of James Peterson's books are terrific. The one I have of his that is entirely technique driven is Essentials of Cooking but I think the one just called "Cooking" might be a revision of mine, which is an older book (and available for pennies used.) It  I also like Anne Willan's La Varenne Practique and Madeleine Kamman's The New Making of a Cook. 
Joined Aug 25, 2015
James Peterson's book on sauces is a great book. I am about a 3rd of the way through it now. for just starting out I would suggest "the flavor bible" as it explains how we taste and how we bring dishes together; very helpful info for someone looking to step up. "Herbs and spices" by Jill Norman is a reference book I love; it was very helpful to me in my first year as I knew nothing about herbs and spices. I own several cookbooks on meats but Pat Lafrieda's book called "MEAT" is a easy read with a lot of great information about cuts of meats and his experience as one of the east coasts big name butchers.

Than if you feel interested in the science of cooking; Harold Mcgee's " On food and cooking; the science and lore of the kitchen" is the best. I have also heard that Morimoto has a great book on fish and japanese cooking but have not read it. Regrettable I don't have any baking recommendations as my only books on those subjects are from my culinary school.
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Joined Jul 14, 2015
It seems James Peterson also has books on baking as well.  I pretty much acquired all of his base books including the one on sauces. This is going to help a lot, I just got a line cook job, thanks again.
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