Okay, so in all honesty, reading isn’t my top priority, but I do love to read. I’m sure like many of you, reading is not always something that fits into our schedules, for me it’s usually a choice between putting laundry away or reading, unloading the dishwasher or reading, organizing and paying bills or reading. Exciting right, I do remember there was a time when I had the luxury of sitting down to read for a couple hours, now it just doesn’t happen. I tell myself I’m going to lay in bed and read at night, ten minutes later I’m asleep, that’s where I’m at, I hope someone else can relate.
But, on the rare occasion I get the opportunity to read, it’s typically a cookbook (I know that sounds silly, reading a cookbook, but I enjoy it!) or some book relating to the culinary field. So, if you also find the rare occasion to read and you also happen to enjoy food related books, these six books are totally worth your time. I know six books sounds odd, why not five or ten. The truth is I could tell you fifty books to read, but that’s a bit excessive for this list, so I slimmed the choices down to six timeless books full of wonderful information, sure to delight your senses!
Now where to start, I truly love all these books, so number one is no better than number six and vice versa. Let’s begin…
- Food Lovers Companion, Sharon Tyler Herbst & Ron Herbst Number one on my list, the Food Lovers Companion, my Mom gave it to me on my 11th birthday (If that tells you how long I have loved to cook), I keep it on the shelf in my kitchen and whenever I have a quick question I just look it up, a little old school but I love it . Okay it’s not a traditional book but I really love this book because it’s layed out like a dictionary, but with food. Every food term, cooking term and ingredient you could imagine. I’m Serious! I am a Culinary Arts students and there are words in this book I have never heard of! It’s a great informational book to have on hand.
- Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain. The second book on my list is Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain. I’m sure everyone is familiar with Anthony Bourdain and his many TV shows and books. This isn’t a book I would have bought myself, my Dad gave me it and to my surprise I really enjoyed it. I have worked in the restaurant industry for 5 plus years and this book really uncovers the secrets of the restaurant, Anthony is very honest and upfront as you can tell from his shows. In this books he holds nothing back, he tells it exactly as it is, the good and the bad. It was a fascinating book, I highly recommend reading this is you currently work in the industry, plan on working in the industry or just want to learn the secrets of a restaurant. A great read!
- Food Network Kitchens Cookbook. Third on my list is the Food network kitchens cookbook, I grabbed this at a garage sale for $1.00, i have definitely got my money out of it ha ha. This is clearly a cookbook and not a typical read, but personally I would rather read a cookbook than any other book. There are really some awesome recipes in this book I have made at least 30 things from this. It’s a mix of recipes from your favorite food network stars and recipes from employees there, a nice mix. It also has tips and techniques
from chef’s themselves. A great book to have on hand, also makes a great gift.
- Relish, Daphne Oz. Fourth on my list is Relish, by Daphne Oz, who you may know from ABC’s the Chew. I recently received a scholarship for a month internship to France and my Aunt and Uncle gave me this book as sort of a memento. Not only is Daphne Oz beautiful and talented, she has some amazing recipes and some great writing skills! There are so many fresh and new recipes in this book, anywhere from lite appetizers to hearty soups to family meal ideas. I really like how she doesn’t just include recipes, she talks about everything you deal with daily. Shes gives meditation and stress relief tips, DIY beauty ideas, life stories and much more. This is more than a cookbook! Another great read and another great gift idea!
- Becoming a Chef, Andrew Dorenburg & Karen Page Number five on the list, Becoming a Chef, by Andrew Dorenburg and Karen Page. My Dad picked this book up for me while he was visiting CIA, the Culinary Institute of America, about a year before I planned to attend culinary school. Reading this really inspired me to start school and it got me very excited. My copy of the book is now very worn, form highlighting to bookmarking and much more. I learned a lot of new information from reading this. This is a long read, but it is worth it if you are into food, and again learning about the food and restaurant industry. There are many random recipes mixed in that many chefs use themselves in their restaurants. There are stories from owning restaurants to working in them, many fascinating pictures and great tips and tricks. A must read for anyone planning on going to Culinary school or anyone just passionate about cooking!
- Professional Cooking, Wayne Gisslen. Last on my list Professional Cooking, by Wayne Gisslen, this is actually more of a textbook, I used during my 3 years of school. I know people don’t typically enjoy reading textbooks (really trust me, I made it through high school and college by minimally reading my textbooks) but this is a very informative, basic entry level textbook. It is really full of amazing information, every technique, stock, sauce, cooking method, and ingredient you could every imagine. I’ll let you in on a little secret, read this book and you’ve already made it through your first semester of culinary school, easy right. Super informational, and I personally love all the pictures as I am someone who learns from watching or seeing pictures! Highly recommend adding this book to your collection. And hey, you’ll be able to impress all your friends!