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Old 11-21-2005, 12:08 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Reference book

I love to cook. I often use recipes from the food network. I have learned a little bit from watching cooking shows and years of experimenting, but I have no formal training whatsoever.

I would like to find a good cooking reference book. There are great holes in my knowledge from basic to advanced. I'd like a book that goes through basic vocabularly definitions to describing the different styles of cooking and even a little history.

I don't need a book with recipes, just information about everything related to cooking.




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Old 11-21-2005, 07:30 AM   #2
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What you might want to check out are some books on food science. Two very good ones are:

What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained by Robert L. Wolke


I'm Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown

Both are excellent books that explain some terms, but also go into why you do things in cooking. The Alton brown book has a small handful of recipes, but they are just there to demonstrate some of his points. It is definitely not a cookbook (I think there might be 10 recipes or so).

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Old 11-21-2005, 07:56 AM   #3
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If you have the money, you might want to pick up a Culinary Textbook. The New Professional Chef, the textbook for the Culinary Institute of America, or Professional Cooking, by Wayne Gisslen (the textbook I have and used in college), are both full of the why's and how's in cooking. They also have techniques on using knives, prepping veggies, etc. Both books are going to cost a pretty penny. I paid $60 for my textbook. You should be able to find either one at any good bookstore, like a Barnes & Noble, or other large bookstore. If you have a college with a Culinary program in your area, drop by the bookstore and see what they use for a textbook.

There are also some good cookbooks out there that give the "how's and why's" behind whatever you're cooking. Also, a lot of my cooking knowledge is experience. As you cook things, you tend to learn what's happening, and after awhile, you can basically think of what you need to do for any particular dish.
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Old 11-21-2005, 11:01 AM   #4
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I agree with Allen in recommending "The New Professional Chef." It's big and $$ but is a terrific all-around textbook and reference source.
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:12 PM   #5
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I'm in the precise middle of a year of culinary training, having come from a lifetime of selfteaching and watching, like you.

I have Professional Cooking, and the New Professional Chef, but right now I'm liking On Cooking (Labensky et al).

Plenty of copies of just about any good text available for much better prices on eBay, I have WAY too much fun collecting cookbooks and food related references on that site!
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