FOR CHEFS AND COOKS
When we were researching
our first book BECOMING A CHEF, we asked more than
60 of America's leading chefs about their favorite culinary
books the ones they'd most recommend to aspiring chefs. Based
on their responses, we compiled a list of 20 of the most frequently
recommended books and authors.
So, after reading
a Chef, Culinary
Night Out, The
New American Chef, and What to Drink with What You Eat, you'll have a great sense of where
to begin to expand your culinary knowledge and appreciation:
Le Guide Culinaire
"When we were
young chefs, we were almost forced by our chef to read Escoffier.
To me, it's the basics. We should not forget these things.
The danger is...that young chefs [will] follow the trends
without knowing the classics. And then when the trend changes,
they are stuck. You need this basic training, and then you
can do anything you wish. "
entering the profession), every night I would read heavy-duty
stuff like Larousse. I would just read and read and read and
try to understand what it meant. When you don't know about
food, you look at something like Larousse and think
that it's pretty bizarre that people thought about food like
Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking
It is a classic.
S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker's Joy of Cooking
Joy of Cooking
is great because it gives you what you need to knowthen
you can turn it upside down and make it your own.
of Mediterranean Food, French
Provincial Cooking, Italian
Beard's American Cookery
"Oh, I love
James, just to read. One of my favorite books of his has one
chapter about Thanksgiving, and another about Christmas. He
tells about his childhood and why his mother liked crab and
not lobster, and her plum pudding recipe. I mean, I could
read that over and over and over and over. "
Panisse Menu Cookbook
Anything by Paula
Wolfert -- especially World of Food
Menu Cookbook or Simple
Claiborne's The New York Times Cookbook
"That was my bible
when I was growing up."
of Practical Gastronomy
"The best book
Anything by Paul
Bocuse especially Regional French Cooking
Making of a Cook and In Madeleine's Kitchen: A
Personal Interpretation of the Modern French Cuisine
"It has really
no recipes in it, but has a lot of sayings and quotes. He's
very fanatical about butter and about life, and about throwing
people out of his restaurants when they lit up cigarettes.
This was in the '50s that he did all this stuff. He was the
man who trained Bocuse, the Troisgros brothers, Alain Chapel
they all came from Point. Almost all the great chefs of
France came from Point. He's very inspiring and old-fashioned
and funny. It's a wonderful book. It's probably out of print,
so if you see it, grab it." Jasper White
Food of the World (1968-70) and American Cooking
McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the
The Natural Cuisine of G. Blanc and Ma Cuisine des
French: Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joλl Robuchon
Patricia Wells and Joλl Robuchon
Auberge of the Flowering Hearth
by Roy Andries de Groot
"I think everyone
should have to read Auberge of the Flowering Hearth
the moment that they say they're interested in a culinary
career, because it identifies the concept and the potential
of a mystical, spiritual experience happening in relation
to the dining experience."
Prospective students at The Culinary Institute of America are advised to read a dozen books, which you can find by clicking here.
Our interests and
passions extend beyond the realm of food and wine and we're
happy to recommend some of the best books we've read on a
variety of subjects:
We congratulate our friend Stephanie Winston on her new must-read book Organized for Success: Top Executives and CEOs Reveal the Organizing Principles That Helped Them Reach the Top, which is being published by Crown Business this month. It promises to be yet another bestseller for this New York Times bestselling author!
What if the power
of a single wish could change your life? It can
if you know how to use it to harness energy within and all
around you that you never knew existed! This is the
promise of our friend Laura Day's book The
Circle. Among Laura's other fans are a wide
range of professionals in many fields, including Deepak Chopra,
Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt, and Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson,
who all admire her ability to teach intuition (also detailed
in her bestselling book
Practical Intuition). Laura is an
extraordinary woman, and these are two extraordinary books.
While we're on the
topic of extraordinary people and books, anyone interested
in learning how to increase their energy and channel it into
peak performance couldn't do better than to pick up the book
of our friend Tony Schwartz, co-authored with renowned
sports psychologist Jim Loehr: The
Power of Full Engagement. (You might have
already seen it on the New York Times bestseller list,
or even on "Oprah.") It's a must-have book
for those looking to get the most out of their lives.
In another friend's
book Court TV anchor Rikki Klieman's Fairy
Tales Can Come True
you can even read about us! But you'll
want to buy it for the inspiration provided by this wonderful
memoir of a smart, savvy woman once named one of the top five
women trial lawyers in America, according to Time magazine,
and now married to Los Angeles' Chief of Police Bill Bratton.
(And Bill's own New York Times Notable Book of the
tells how America's top cop reversed the crime
epidemic when he served as New York's Police Commissioner.)
Read about Rikki's recent keynote address at Northwestern
University and what Karen had to say about Rikki in The
If you're a woman
looking for inspiration from dozens of America's most successful
women, pick up a copy of Secrets
of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny.
It's packed with information and inspiration to help you along
your way, and even includes advice from Karen (as well as
the aforementioned Rikki Klieman).
In the job market,
in any field? Have no fear: Work
It! by Allison Hemming can provide you
with insider advice to help you identify opportunities, market
yourself, and negotiate your compensation. It even includes
a "baker's dozen" of Karen's best networking tips
in the sidebar "Develop Your Network" on pages 51-53.
While you're waiting FOR Michael
Gelb's book More Balls Than Hands (in which
Karen is quoted), you can improve your mind by reading his
two previous bestsellers: How
to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
Speaking of geniuses,
it's well-known that we're huge admirers of the work of Professor
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (currently of the Claremont
Graduate School in California, and formely of the University
of Chicago), author of the best-selling book Flow.
In fact, his analysis of the creative process, based on his
research on the creative lives of exceptional people, in his
landmark book Creativity
inspired our trilogy Becoming a Chef, Culinary Artistry
and Dining Out.
And yes, we have
a few culinary books among our favorites, too.
In fact, we provided
the following back-cover endorsement for Marcel Desaulniers'
decadent cookbook Celebrate
with Chocolate: "Marcel Desaulniers
has done it again! Celebrate with Chocolate is the latest
addition to his collection of extraordinary, not-to-be-missed
cookbooks for chocolate lovers everywhere. Is he a madman
or a genius with chocolate? Probably both, but we don't
care! 'Over the top' is the only way we want our chocolate.
With recipes like Bob's Big-Ass Chocolate Brown Sugar and
Bourbon Birthday Cake and Woozy Chocolate Brioche French Toast
with Oozy Chocolate Maple Syrup, Marcel's characteristic sense
of whimsy, detailed instructions, and decadent chocolate flavor
shine through. This book is destined to become every
chef's secret weapon when a spectacular Death by Chocolate
finish is called for!"
We also blurbed
the Ozcan Ozan's mouth-watering Sultan's
Kitchen: A Turkish Cookbook: "Sultan's
Kitchen is one of our favorite restaurants in Boston.
This wonderful book is not only a delight for fans of Turkish
food, but for anyone with a curiosity about how passionate
chefs are able to coax exquisite flavors out of simple and
Looking for an
out-of-print book, or want to browse through the best collection
of culinary books in New York City? Don't miss KITCHEN
ARTS AND LETTERS, 1435 Lexington Ave. (near 94th St.).
Owner Nach Waxman and his able staff can be reached at (212)
876-5550 or at KALstaff@rcn.com.
Click here for A Recent History of Books for Chefs and Cooks.