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I've been in the restaurant industry for a little over a year and a half, starting off as a dish washer than moving up.

I'm getting to the point where I'm moving into prep cook / cooking positions now and I want to improve upon my skills in my own time.

I was wondering if any of you could recommend me good solid books on technique that get straight to the point with no fluff.  

Thanks.
 

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James Peterson, numerous books. Cooking is a very good one, but he gets deeper into other topics in other books. All worthwhile. 

Jacques Pepin, New Complete Techniques. Was also a video series that accomanied, very good. 

Wayne Gisslen, again many books. I'm personally partial to The Chef's Art. 

The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook,  a bit simplistic compared to the others, but a good starting point for a beginner. 
 

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All of James Peterson's books are terrific. The one I have of his that is entirely technique driven is Essentials of Cooking but I think the one just called "Cooking" might be a revision of mine, which is an older book (and available for pennies used.) It  I also like Anne Willan's La Varenne Practique and Madeleine Kamman's The New Making of a Cook. 
 

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James Peterson's book on sauces is a great book. I am about a 3rd of the way through it now. for just starting out I would suggest "the flavor bible" as it explains how we taste and how we bring dishes together; very helpful info for someone looking to step up. "Herbs and spices" by Jill Norman is a reference book I love; it was very helpful to me in my first year as I knew nothing about herbs and spices. I own several cookbooks on meats but Pat Lafrieda's book called "MEAT" is a easy read with a lot of great information about cuts of meats and his experience as one of the east coasts big name butchers.

Than if you feel interested in the science of cooking; Harold Mcgee's " On food and cooking; the science and lore of the kitchen" is the best. I have also heard that Morimoto has a great book on fish and japanese cooking but have not read it. Regrettable I don't have any baking recommendations as my only books on those subjects are from my culinary school.
 
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