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Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by tkchef, Nov 16, 2010.
I reread The Making of a Chef. Keeps things in perspective...
I read everything. I thought Kitchen Confidential was pretty entertaining. Some of his later books aren't as good. Medium Raw was OK. Heat was interesting. I like biographies and auto biographies too. My Life in France is interesting. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin was good. Out of all the biographies I've read I can relate to his the most. He didn't want to cook because he wanted to be a pirate or was too wild to work other jobs. He just love food and he loves to eat. The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef was an interesting book too. Julie & Julia is the worst book I've ever read (ok harsh) but a cute movie. I'm sure there are many more but those are just the few that pop into my head. many of these are more for entertainment than anything. Read Kitchen Confidential for sure though. It's unreal how many people will say they saw something happen at work or to a buddy they know and it's really only something that happened in this book. Many of these books are mostly entertainment value. I just got A Day at El Bulli. I haven't read it yet but it's full of purdy pictures....drool
M.F.K.Fischer She's the original
I also enjoyed Pepins book and HEAT by Buford..and i read Ruth Reichl.. Room for lots more, start writing!
A book that never leaves my kitchen is Culinary Artistry. I also really like the many "Bible" books, Cheese, Poultry, Pasta... lots of info. and great pictures. On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee. I keep Professional Cooking, by Wayne Gisslen within arms reach, in case I've sampled to much Pernod, and forgot how to make Coq Au Riesling. I really admire Marcella Hazan, for Italian cuisine, Epicurous rated her in the top 15 chefs of 2010, just published another book and at the age of 85, I'd bow my head and say "chapeau".Charlie Trotter is always a good score. Now to really date myself my 1st. professional text book was Pellaprat. I also keep a variety of ethnic cuisines and diet type books, along with an Esquire cook book from 1935, oh and let me not forget La Repertoire; and I love Martha Stewart. In conclusion this pensee is my blood and soul.
I love to cook
Without a book. Expressed by Hermann Deutsch
Great Tastes, Everyone!
I want to include on of my most inspiring reads - The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth by de Groot.
Cooked by Jeff Henderson,it's an amazing story.
bourdain's "medium raw" is easily his best writing to date. just reread the chapter where he writes food porn. mpw's book "devil in the kitchen" was great too. making of a chef was mindless and painted a terrible picture of what life at CIA is like. but ratio, charcouterie, and the elements of cooking are great compliments to harold mcgee and herve this' books as well as some other good reference books. the pro chef should be burned (with exception to their fresh pasta recipe).
Kitchen Cofindential has been my favorite so far, highly entertaining though it does fizzle out a bit towards the end. Bourdain is a great writer with a strong voice, making even the mundane seem interesting through his creative and colorful descriptions and references.
On the other hand, I am now reading The Making Of A Chef - what a contrast. I find Ruhlman's writing to be very bland and dry...it's a boring book about an interesting topic.
On Food And Cooking is great for whenever you just want to open up to a random section and learn a bunch of stuff you either never realized or always wondered about.
I really like Bill Buford's "Heat" and especially like to refer either 'newbies' or people thinking of getting into the profession. How he relates having his glove fill with blood from a cut and that he has to just keep working definitively informs the niave that our world is not an extension their mommy's kitchen.
Heat was superb, and really made me respect Batali & White.
Kitchen Confidential is probably the best peek into kitchen life I've come across. Maybe we're not all as crazy as some of the characters Bourdain discusses, but most cooks I know are at least a little... off.
The Perfectionist is another good bio.
I found Ruhlman's 'Making of a Chef' painfully boring, but 'Soul of a Chef' was interesting, and his collaborations with Keller have yielded some of the best restaurant cookbooks I've seen.
Escoffier, Child, and Peterson (especially Sauces) are indispensable.
French Provincial Cooking by Elizabeth David. The Making of a Cook by Madeleine Kamman - although written mostly for the home cook still has a whole lot of good stuff.
Kitchen Confidential was the book that got me interested in the culinary world and would still be the best "read"
Nevertheless, Culinary Artistry is, hands down, the best culinary book I've ever gotten my hands on. Some would call it a cook book, and I agree.... in the same sense that Descartes' Discourse on the Method was a geometry book.
Heat and Kitchen Confidential.
Same reason that i like "Behind Bars" by Ty Wentzle.
reading stories saying "yup, been there."
we are our own breed, we have our own way of looking at things and doing our job. we dont do it for notoriety or fame, we love to create food for human beings. we put our stamp on a vital part of human existence.
painting a masterpiece is one thing...pumping out 200 IDENTICAL night after night is another.