So in your reading, look for commonalities among the recipes and focus on proper techniques and the basic chemistry involved. Don't get distracted by worrying about what a dish is called or whether or not you nave all the ingredients. Develop good kitchen practices and and of course, keep your knives clean and sharp.
I half agree...
Focus on fundamentals, yes. A good b culinary textbook will help you immensely. For example the Professional Cooking will literally give you all you need for fundamental. It's what we use to study for our red seal.
Mise en place is the most important building block for you. That doesn't just mean ingredients, but understanding what it is you are meant to do and yes, that means knowing if you have all your ingredients on hand, and how they are to be used.
Nothing sucks more than starting a cooking project and finding out that you don't have everything you need.
And as for sauces... The proper way (IMHO) is to learn about soups, stocks, mother sauces.
Then learn your fundamental cooking techniques. Sauce making should wait until later. Sorry, but if you can make a great sauce but can't properly stew, braise, deep fry, etc.... You're not going to go very far. Sauce making builds on the fundamentals you learn from the basics.
In fact, I'd forget all the books you have there except for Professional Cooking, the Flavor Bible.
Ratio is a GREAT book, but again, you need to know your fundamentals in order to know how to use it.Edited by welldonechef - 1/2/16 at 7:59am