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What Is The Most Essential Book? - Page 5

post #121 of 196

Brandonkill I could not agree more, I would definitely go for Jamies 30 minute meals (or actually any of Jamies books) I loev his recipes because he keeps the ingredients so simple. When I was a student we never had enough money to make it worth buying, for example, a very specific spice that you need just a 'pinch' of etc, so Jamies recipes are great that they tend to use cheap ingredients and things that you tend to have around the house anyway.

 

My one complain with the 31 minute meals book is that if you dont have an electric whisker it makes a lot longer than 30 mintues! 

 

This is one of my favourite of Jamies recipes, and also one of the most simple, I make it on nights I cant be bothered to do anything fancy, but people are always really imrpessed by it!


Edited by beginnerchef - 2/6/12 at 2:12am
post #122 of 196

 

My background is Spaniard, and as such, my cooking is heavily influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, and more than a few hints of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking. There are more than a few books that I could recommend; however, if I had to choose only one book, I would choose "The New Spanish Table" by Anya Von Bremzen. As sometimes happens, an outsider view reveals details and texture that we fail to notice when is part of our world. Von Bremzen captures both the essence and the richness of the wonderful flavors of Spain.

post #123 of 196

I vote for America's Test Kitchen.  I enjoy food science as much as actually cooking, and their books have so many scientific explanations. But their recipes range from basic to adventurous cookery.

post #124 of 196

The Food Lover's Companion.  Great reference book, talks about food, flavors, techniques...

post #125 of 196

The flavor bible, hands down!

post #126 of 196

I am older so I have to say that since I started I have always used   The Guide Culinaire or Escoffier Cookbook for classical and  Rombachs  Joy of Cooking for American style. Both have been around for over 50 years.

 

Most cookbooks are based on these

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #127 of 196

I'm just a home cook but out of the 100 + cookbooks in my library, the one I keep in my kitchen and refer to most often is The Joy of Cooking. It may not be cutting edge but for answering a wide range of basic how-to-do-it questions it is unbeatable.

 

I do like The Flavor Bible, too.

 

And McGee's On Food and Cooking.

post #128 of 196

Hmmm well after reading through lots of the responses I have to say it really depends on what your favorite kind of cooking would be. Most people I know would say that the Joy of Cooking is a good book for the basics, anybody with a pulse can pick it up and make an easy, successful recipe. I personally like The Cooks Cookbook Illustrated but my mother would always choose JoC over Cooks haha. I also have a few friends that are grill/BBQ people and always have the BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen out, which has awesome marinades and rubs for BBQ. Although the list could be endless, theres so many culinary books in existence chef.gif

post #129 of 196

I just wanted to make a comment in here giving thanks for the informative discussion.  I'm working on putting together some cooking essentials and "Joy of Cooking" and Peterson's "Essentials of Cooking" will be on the list for this month.  Chad Ward's "An Edge in the Kitchen" will be arriving tomorrow and I'm sure it will teach me a lot about knife techniques and related topics.
 

post #130 of 196

I grew up with the Fannie Farmer cookbook and use it often. My great-grandmother was a school cook, and my father still has her copy. That's the book I consider most essential. My second essential for home cooks is "Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America."

post #131 of 196

Are there any cookbooks out there that stress and explain classical cooking techniques without the use of any expensive electrical help such as food processors, stand mixers, etc? I love my old egg beater and despise food processors.   (Blender/small nut or coffee type grinders, etc. are okay.) Tks! smile.gif

post #132 of 196

I just started perusing The Ne Basics Cookbook by Rosso & Lukins. I love the style of the book and the extra tidbits in between all of the recipes.chef.gif

post #133 of 196

I love Bugialli’s Classic Italian Cuisine

post #134 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefdarrylf View Post

The Food Lover's Companion.  Great reference book, talks about food, flavors, techniques...


Without a doubt, this is my "go to" book that I keep on my end table. It's a comprehensive dictionary / encyclopedia of food terms and ingredients, which covers origin / history, recommended uses, cross references, and just about anything else you want to know.

 

The appendix contains loads of valuable information including weights and measures, a pasta glossary, seasoning suggestions, etc.

 

My other favorite book(s) are "Good Eats" (Vol. 1, 2, and 3) by Alton Brown. In addition to tons of recipes, he provides history and science behind the dishes as well as the individual ingredients. I've read all 3 volumes cover to cover, and I'm starting over because there is just too much information to absorb.

 

The books are also put together in a "fun to read" format. Each chapter (which corresponds with each TV episode) contains a section called, "Knowledge Concentrate", which bullet points essential information.

 

I hope that helps : )

 

Tommy

post #135 of 196
what about the moderniste cuisine?
post #136 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolasmauran View Post

what about the moderniste cuisine?

IMHO - it's not really a cook book.   Kinda like "On Food and Cooking" isn't really a cook book either.   It's a great book and I own both but do I use them as a cookbook? Nope.

 

The most essential book is really one of those ever changing things.  As you get better at cooking it will change also it really depends on where you start.   

 

I used to think that any well tested book of recipes was the bomb, now i'm more into the understanding of what happens when you do things and experimentation.

 

I've also been professionally cooking for 35+ years, and if you asked me what-is-the-most-essential-book every five years of that time I bet you it would be different every time!

 

I also think that the time of the cook-book is almost over.  Yes I will still buy them but most of my recipe searches are on the internet, grab everything you can - compare - pick and chose and then experiment.

 

Many 'classical' techniques have now been dis-proven and/or updated online while the book world still marches to the same beat.

 

Many topics have also only been covered online as they are way to specialized to make a commercial success out of a book.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #137 of 196

I didnt read all 5 pages, so if someone already said it just ignore my post, lol.

 

I say for the home cook the best cook book is The Joy of Cooking.

 

When I started out in the industry I knew nothing, by the end of my first summer I was put in a position where I was in charge of the kitchen.

That book saved my life, and started me in the love for food.

post #138 of 196

If your looking for a cookbook that has more then recipes and is for the home cook as well as the professional, I would go with

 

The Professional Chef [Hardcover]

The Culinary Institute of America (Author)

 

This was my text book in culinary school along with a bunch of others, this is the only book i still reference to this day. I recommend this book to any serious home cook or professional culinarian alike. It is an A to Z guide to the culinary world.

post #139 of 196

When I came to the US as a Bride in 64 I could not use my german cookbook. My MIL gave me a Betty Crocker cookbook and I still use it. Its a very nice basic cookbook with explanations of all

you need to know about cooking. The new editions do not include many of the older ways of cooking and cuts of meat have changed.

Most recipes call for natural ingredients and no electric power machines. Truely handmade.

post #140 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Ray View Post

If your looking for a cookbook that has more then recipes and is for the home cook as well as the professional, I would go with

 

The Professional Chef [Hardcover]

The Culinary Institute of America (Author)

 

This was my text book in culinary school along with a bunch of others, this is the only book i still reference to this day. I recommend this book to any serious home cook or professional culinarian alike. It is an A to Z guide to the culinary world.

Interesting. As a home cook, I'm getting rid of my copy. Sits idly on my shelf for years at a time.

post #141 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef Ray View Post

If your looking for a cookbook that has more then recipes and is for the home cook as well as the professional, I would go with
 

The Professional Chef [Hardcover]



The Culinary Institute of America
(Author)

This was my text book in culinary school along with a bunch of others, this is the only book i still reference to this day. I recommend this book to any serious home cook or professional culinarian alike. It is an A to Z guide to the culinary world.

This is a very good book that has some very good information and it is my text book in school. But once you've learned the skills it has to teach you the book doesn't have very many recipes. If you already know the basics this book will be a waste of a lot of money. Besides school I never check the book for anything, I'll go to my copy of The French Laundry or Escoffier before pro chef.
post #142 of 196

Funny how's there two totally opposed opinions on the book by the Culinary Inst. of America.  I would like to have a look at the book and see if that would be helpful to a so-so at-home cook.

post #143 of 196

A "go to" book is hardly even a reality anymore in this day of apps and "google" or Bing!"

Mostly, I would advise people to keep it Fresh and Lokal!

Hard to go wrong there...

The basics, as far as sauces or how to make a risottos sort of thing?

Print it out! Giggles!!!

Your inner Spirit will make it all work....your food will shine.

Love is the ingredient that makes everything taste better.

post #144 of 196

joy is good  also try the gourmet cookbook vol 1 and 2.

post #145 of 196

The Professional Chef is a good book. It's full of straight forward recipes based on good technique. It is designed to be augmented with  classtime discussion however.

 

But it often scales poorly to home cooks and is not as easily searched as many other books geared to the home cook. And the recipes are very terse where a home cook might expect or need more explanation of technique as its not something they might do frequently.

 

I think it's worth going through once for a home cook, but not for most to own. It's a good example of what libraries are for.

post #146 of 196

Hello,

 

I've been reading for the past few days different posts written on this forum, amazon and goodreads in order to find out what culinary book is appropriate for me. I noted down plenty of book titles. However, I don't know which book to choose. Being a European I am afraid that some of the titles might be more suitable for the American public. I am starting from scratch. I want to learn why a certain ingredient goes with another, how to cut and why it is necessary in that way. In conclusion, to learn the basics of cooking.

 

This is the list (no intended order):

 

The Professional Chef - Culinary Institute of America

On food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen - Harold McGee

New Complete Techniques - Jacques Pepin

Culinary Fundamentals - American Culinary Federation

Essentials of Cooking (2003) - James Peterson

Escoffier - Le Guide Culinaire (2011) - Auguste Escoffier

Cookwise (1997) - Shirley Corriher

Joy of Cooking (2006) -  Irma Rombauer (though I read that the past editions are better)

The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion (2009) - Sharon Herbst

Larousse Gastronomique (2009) 

 

I am opened to more titles. I add that in my country most of these books start from approximately 90$ to 120$ for the Professional Chef.

post #147 of 196
I started my culinary road via my Mom's "Betty Crocker" cookbook, but advanced to the Fannie Farmer cookbook in the late 60s. (still have that great little paperback! LOL) As I have traveled this road, to more advanced skills/techniques, I still think Fannie Farmer is a great initial source, but have to agree that I've learned some valuable lessons through Cook's Illustrated and their test kitchen. (my pastry skills are from a culinary program) Had the chance to peruse the Joy of Cooking book at a later date, and thought it was a good book for a beginner/home cook. So really hard to eliminate down to just one "essential" book. But then, I love reading any cookbook...read them like a novel! But that's just me..... biggrin.gif
post #148 of 196

With all due respect Joy of cooking is a great book for the everyday cook with very basic and long winded recipes. If you are looking for a professional level cook book the On Cooking and the Professional Chef do the trick. I agree also with the Classical cooking the modern way is an excellent book as well.

post #149 of 196

It's the 1997 edition of Joy of Cooking that upset a lot of people. A lot of old favorites were taken out and the book was put together by a bunch of "guest" chefs, rather than retaining the tone and text Irma Rombauer was famous for.  There are also lower-fat versions of some of the old recipes. The edition previous to that--from the 1970s--was the bestselling edition of the book ever, and was much loved. The change in 1997 was fairly dramatic.

 

The 2006 edition has restored a lot of the original text and old, standby recipes, and expanded the Know Your Ingredients and Cooking Techniques sections. I have three editions of the book--1997, 2006 and a 1967 printing and the one I use the most is the 2006. It covers foods and food trends that were not available to cooks in the earlier versions.  Having looked at them quite a bit, I, personally, think it's nonsense that the older editions are better than the 2006 edition for today's cooks.

 

Joy is a great, basic cookbook for home cooks but I think it is very "American" in its recipe collection, even though the 2006 edition has recipes for things like pho and fajitas in addition to American classics. 

post #150 of 196

I agree that the "Larousse Gastronomique" is an exceptional book ! But for me the most essential one is "Cuisine de reference".

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