Books for Cooks

Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by Cspirou, Dec 16, 2017.

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  1. Velomane

    Velomane Rando

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    Thanks yotacowboy, I appreciate your post. That ATK book somehow eluded my attention. I'll definitely give it a look.
     
  2. Syzygy

    Syzygy Friend

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    I posted earlier in the thread, The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. It only covers bread, but there's enough to learn just with that to keep you busy. It has a giant fore-section about the phases and techniques for making bread, and he's the college-level bread teacher at a culinary school. It also refers to some other books, one of which I have and can recommend, The Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger for a bunch of recipes as well as technique.

    I'll get to pastry some day. Went through a cheesecake phase awhile back; I'd make a different cheesecake (or 2) every week. I was trying to find which recipe I liked best. It ended up being Tyler Florence's Ultimate Cheesecake.

    But actually I think pie is next for me. It's really hard to find a decent fruit pie these days. Typical American desserts are always too sugary sweet for me (and I was born here).
     
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  3. Velomane

    Velomane Rando

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    Thanks for info. Much to digest, too much to digest! I'm not American, but who does not enjoy apple pie? One goal this year is to make one to die for.

    That Hensperger book is new to me. I'll have to look it up.
     
  4. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Facebook Friend

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    As someone who lives in Chicago and has visited the Aviary on multiple occasions, I've not been too impressed by their cocktails. Too much attempt to wow with a gimmick without a fundamentally impressive cocktail as the final product.

    Now if the Violet Hour puts out a book, then we are talking!
     
  5. fp627

    fp627 Friend

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    I may have mentioned it in another thread already, but one of my favorite cookbooks:

    On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

    Breaks down the basics of food science very well and helps you understand the hows and whys of cooking. Strikes a good balance too - doesn't get super duper in dept to say the detailed molecular/chemistry level.

    https://www.amazon.com/Food-Cooking-Science-Lore-Kitchen/dp/0684800012/
     
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  6. skem

    skem Friend

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    Looking over the ~40 books surviving in my collection....

    For bread and pizza doughs, I have found none better than Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Ken Forkish.

    Cooks Illustrated is good motivation for newish chefs, but their recipe people are basically enthusiastic amateurs. I’ve abandoned most of their recipes in favor of others, though their chocolate brownie and cornbread recipes are still used.

    McGee is educational. It’s not a recipe book. It’s 98% accurate and 60% complete, but a really solid start to food science. This is where you learn things like: temperature, not moisture, is the sole determinant of the juiciness of cooked meat.

    For vegetarian, I strongly recommend Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Schulman.

    The out-of-print A Surti Touch for Indian cuisine.

    Seasons of the Heart is legit Oaxacan recipes in English.

    And no list is complete without Alice Waters’ original Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. If you want simple, elegant, solid but not-fast recipes, this is the place to go.

    Biggest douchebag cookbook: Nathan Myhrvold‘s Modernist Cuisine. If you buy this, joke’s on you!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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