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

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by choppedcortex, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. choppedcortex

    choppedcortex

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    Line Cook
    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.  

    Thanks.
     
  2. choppedcortex

    choppedcortex

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    Would greatly appreciate any recommendations.  Thanks.
     
  3. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    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. 
     
  4. chicagoterry

    chicagoterry

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    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. 
     
  5. choppedcortex

    choppedcortex

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    Thank you, I will be looking into James Peterson's stuff now.
     
  6. stevenvhayden

    stevenvhayden

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  7. choppedcortex

    choppedcortex

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    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.