I AM ABOUT TO ENTER CULINARY ARTS PROGRAM AND WONDERING WHICH GOOD BOOKS WOULD HELP ME GAIN SOME BASIC KNOWLEDGE ON WHAT I MAY BE LEARNING IN SCHOOL, ANY INPUT WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
BOOKS TO READ BEFORE ENTERING SCHOOL
Read Daniel Boulud's "Letter's to a young chef". It definitely has some useful knowledge for someone entering the industry. It's also a quick, entertaining read for anyone interested in cooking.
In addition to that, I personally love my 'Larousse "Gastronomique". It's a great reference book and I'm always learning from it.
in addition to anthony bourdain's kitchen confidential. my chef gave it to me when i told him i was thinking of dropping out, and it kept me hangin in there.
This is the list I read before starting school last year:
On Food and Cooking
The Making of a Chef
Julia Child's Vol I&II
What I found at least as important as reading was knife skills. Get a good knife and start cutting now and do it every day. Confidence with your knife will lead to confidence elsewhere is the kitchen.
The Bible ------ Guide Culinaire by A Escoffier for Continental Cuisine and Fanny Farmer cookbook for American Basics
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...
I am on my second term at Le Cordon Bleu for Baking & Patisserie and I have personally been reading everything I can get my hands on.
I loved Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. Amazing book. Everything about Kitchen Confidential was aawesome. I also read The Idiot's Guide to Success as a Chef (say what you will about the title lol) by Leslie Bilderback. I loved how she just kind of put certain things out there for you and was like, yeah, if you can't handle this, then maybe the chef field isn't for you. I am currently reading Julie & Julia (which really has no bearing on being a professional chef, but it was the next in my HUGE stack of books to read. LOL).
A few others I have in a stack to read are...
The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
i know this post is like almost a year ago and OP is already in school .. but i think this thread could be useful for any "future peeps who might ask the same question.." so here is 2 books ... three but i cant remember the name of the other..