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Do you guys hoard culinary books?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Since my first check in May of  this year  from  my job in a five star hotel in SoCal, I have been using a huge part of my salary for buying books.  I buy just about  anything as long as they are about sauces, molecular gastronomy and mixology, southeast asian cuisine, French  techniques, Japanese cooking, tapas, Asian sweets, European pastry, and artisan  breads.  So far I have  two hundred of them.

 

I got promoted after three months of working because I was more knowledgeable than our saucier.  Thanks to  the  books  about sauces I religiously read.  My questions:  Do  you think what I have is hoarding?  Do you  guys buy culinary books  that can help you in your job?  Do you think I'm just wasting my money?  

 

Thanks!   

 

   

post #2 of 26

hey transchef i am in the same boat as you. any spare money i have i invest in cook books. helps me so much with learning about new techniques new flavours, and presentation. its not hoarding its investing.

post #3 of 26

I don't think it's hoarding to collect books, especially if you're using/reading them. They're valuable tools of the trade, imo. I have many hundreds of food-related books, some cookbooks and texts as well as books on food history. I also collect antique cookbooks which are fascinating to read.

 

Great to meet fellow readers!

"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

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"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

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post #4 of 26
Knowledge is power. If you actively read and refer to the books, I don't think it should be considered hoarding. You've already gotten a promotion based off of the knowledge that the books have given you so I would say you are doing something right! Keep reading and collecting.
post #5 of 26

knowledge is power

post #6 of 26

Hoarding, in the sense you are using it, is a pathology, defined as amassing things for their own sake, often to the detriment of other priorities.  

That's not what you are doing.

 

Every professional, no matter what the field, recognizes that continuing education is a requirement for continued success. Cookbooks and books on culinary arts are one of the ways we keep learning and developing.

 

 I also collect antique cookbooks

 

Sherbel, if you should come across a copy of John Farley's The London Art of Cookery that doesn't requre a second mortgage I'd appreciate you letting me know. TIA

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #7 of 26
post #8 of 26

Thanks Matt. I've gone and ordered it.

 

What about Elizabeth Smith's The Compleat Housewife? Got a lead on that one?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 26

Hmmmm. Must be a reprint, of course. No image makes me leery, but you never know....

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1907254005/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

Reply

"The satisfactions of making a good plate of food are surprisingly varied, and only one, and the least important of them, involves eating what you've made" - Bill Buford, Heat

Reply
post #10 of 26

Yeah, at that price I sincerely doubt it's an original. Especially in very good condition. Not for a book that's almost 300 years old.

 

Lack of an image could mean a lot of things. Been my experience with Amazon's used-book partners that, if anything, they understate the condition rather than the opposite. That is, they say "very good," but when you get the book it's more like "excellent." And most of the time they list anything that causes lower ratings; things like pencil notations, or missing dust jacket, or a library's "property of" stamp.

 

Transchef: My apologies. We seem to have hijacked your thread. So let's return, now, to the originally scheduled show.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 26

I get culinary books like hotcakes.

you can never have enough books of knowledge

post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses, guys.  After buying and reading Thomas Keller's four  books, I've  realized that  even  a work of innovation can still be innovated and that to innovate one hast to start somewhere.  An innovative chef saying that everything he does comes from his head is bullshitting.  There must be an  influence  from someone or somewhere.

 

 

Mother:   Why haven't you bought any Julia Child?

Me:        I think she was overrated.

Mother:  Tell me who Ma Gastronomie is.

Me:        Ma? C'mon!  

post #13 of 26

If it's got lots of pretty pictures then yeah, I'll want it.   At some point in life I stopped reading recipes and started looking to these books for inspiration.

post #14 of 26

I am absolutely obsessed with cook books (and knives...) i have around 400... But the 2 I keep coming back to are The cooks companion by Stephanie Alexander & Margaret Fulton's Encyclopaedia of food & cookery.. Neither have any photo's but are so informative that i don't seem to mind... Lol!!

post #15 of 26

Love buying great cook books, but keep in mind that quality > quantity.

post #16 of 26

Want some I'll sell you some.

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...

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post #17 of 26
Completetly off subject.... Burns suck!!!! Big time!!!
post #18 of 26

i keep my professional cooking book from school, and a few of my recipe note books that i wrote while inspired at school... other than that i really haven't bought to many cook books

post #19 of 26

Modernist Cuisine ! very expensive but an awesome learning experience. It's worth saving up if you really would like to do some understanding along with your cooking. These books are what we should have learned in Culinary school...

I have thousands of dollars worth of cookbooks.. (great tax deduction)

But they stir your brain, teach you, inspire you... worth every penny as far as I'm concerned

 

 

post #20 of 26

Hey Dude,

True...knowledge is power!!!!

With power comes emancipation....don't ever stop buying the books. Don't get bored reading and experimenting from them, if just for the pleasure and knowledge!

Albeit, a conundrum now....everytime you learn something new.....you drive out some other knowledge from your mind; how then, do you know what you have lost?

The books will always be there to remind you.....I am now looking at recipe copies and drafts from 1800-1900 rural England! Constantly seminal!

With a little time off work, I am looking to be replicating some crazy stuff....

 

 

ps your enthusiam is infectious....peace.gif

 

Happy reading....and cooking!

post #21 of 26

I found myself collecting & keeping cookbooks I had from culinary school (Escoffier/ CIA Pro Chef '08 edition). Even my finance & accounting book. 

When Borders was going out of business this year  started stocking up  on \professional cookbooks & various cuisine books. I believe I have 30 books total. not many. I need to get a bookcase lol.

I haven't read through all of my cookbooks yet -----> That will take sometime since I am still on James Peterson revised SAUCES edition (2008) & Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg The Flavor Bible. rolleyes.gif

 

 


Edited by Foodlover1423 - 12/8/11 at 7:34am
post #22 of 26

I, too, collect cookbooks and find they have been a great resource for helping me find ideas and learn new techniques in pastry.  However, to be cost effective, I also recommend subscribing to some great food blogs.  I have found quite a few top ones that include great plating examples and detailed descriptions of cutting-edge techniques.  Since these are free, it can help balance out your expenditures in this area.

post #23 of 26

i found books in charity shops in UK as I have lived virtually most of my life in UK since 1983. .

when I arrived in uk I brought with me about 3 books as I had to travel light. the Escofier le guide culinaire always with me even now that I am back in France the repertoire de la cuisine in french, and my student cook book. :-)

 

after it grew with the Roux's book la nouvelle cuisine. and etc........

before coming back I had to get rid of some of the books that I got after so many years. well my car had about more books than furnitures.

added with one as old as 1898 Ithink I had to leave it at my parents, and another Escoffier dating 1901. and Mrs Beeton 1920's about 2 of them I think.

but all full of great knowledges. on the sauce the best the guide culinaire and the repertoire for a small book with efficient formulas, as well as very practical to carry. escoffier is great for so many stuff included when you meet one Roux brother senior and he is kind enough to show you its sof making sauces a la bourgoise. you remember it all your life. and you start keeping those technics and practice and improve it in deep sense of it.

 

so many ways of making imaculate tocks for the start of exquisite full of flavours sauces and soups etc.............

 

a Clear view like a consomme.

 

all books are the best resources to open eyes and curiosities in all languages.

now after leaving in a dry place the older books. I brought with me down south west france 10 large books added with repertoire in english this one from my first wife. do not know what happen to my french one. added with a book in Herboristerie in french. as herbalism is a good way to study interactions of certain plantes used in cookery especially in stock making and sauces for a better understanding in the value and the importance of eating can be in digestions and its effect in good ways..........

etc.............

 

D

 

post #24 of 26

Walking around I always have a food/kitchen book in my bag. Currently I have Gary Alan Fine's Kitchens: The Culture of Restaurant Work which is an incredible sociological perspective on working in the kitchen that also has very good points (that can be deduced through intelligent reading) on kitchen management and the like. When I travel and the book I always have on my bed is none other than Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking.

post #25 of 26

Yesterday day i was walking in the cooking section at book mans and i was just scanning the shelves and my eyes stopped right in the book, Becoming a Chef.

I grabbed it and just walked to the cashier and bought it with no thought of flipping through it first,

i saw the words becoming a Chef and i wanted it.

post #26 of 26

This really nothing has to do with this post but if your ever in Portland or.  go and checkout Powell's bookstore in downtown Portland.  They have roughly close to ten isles of nothing but cookbooks...I spent a good four hours in there the first time I went.

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