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15 Books for Chefs to Read to Expand Their Skills

Any chef de cuisine can only benefit from reading these.  

You know every recipe in the books already? Your own book maybe, but how about all of these books here? We know that professional chefs are artisans extraordinaire at what they do and would never, ever need someone to suggest otherwise, but a little reading never hurt anyone, in fact, it mostly makes them stronger.

Reading these books written specifically for chefs will allow you to take a peek in the mind of other accomplished professionals within the business and gain an understanding of their process which you can later tweak and adapt to your own. What’s there not to like about that?

Take the time to expand your flavor repertoire and culinary creativity by reading the best books available for chefs.

#1 Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs by Judy Morgan DVM

Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs by Judy Morgan DVM Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Based in southern New Jersey, Dr. Morgan currently operates two veterinary hospitals that offer an integrative approach combining holistic medicine with traditional Western techniques. Holistic practices such as chiropractic, acupuncture, food therapy, and herbal therapy, are utilized alongside conventional medicine to provide a full range of veterinary treatment.

Outside of the office Dr. Morgan spends much of her time working with Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and English Toy Spaniel rescue groups by assisting in finding, transporting, and fostering neglected animals. She is Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Monkey’s House dog hospice and senior sanctuary. She also enjoys public speaking and giving presentations at local, national and international continuing education venues.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#2 Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen

Dirt Candy: A Cookbook by Amanda Cohen Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Part comic part cookbook, Dirt Candy is at once entertaining and incredibly informative, sharing both practical experience gleaned from years in the kitchen as well as delicious recipes.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#3 The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating By Fergus Henderson

The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating By Fergus HendersonGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This one is a classic as the author (also a celebrated chef) emphasizes on eating the entire plant or animal (leave nothing out) and offers some innovative recipes to make his point. This book is a great read for not only budding or experienced chefs but also food connoisseurs.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#4 Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly By Anthony Bourdain

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly By Anthony BourdainGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

This book is a confessional of sorts about what happens in the kitchens of restaurants and offers a look into the lives of cooks and restauranteurs. It takes an honest look at the restaurant business and is Anthony Bourdain’s memoir of the same. It has a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of approach and is a great read for people who want to get an inside (no holds barred) look at what happens inside restaurant kitchens.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#5 The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

If you want to cook vegetarian cuisine than this is the book to choose, irrespective of whether you are a home cook or professional chef. Read this book to cook amazing flavorful meals, the kind that are completely vegetarian; this book acts as a meaningful and comprehensive cooking reference as well.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#6 Eating Well to Win by Richard Ingraham

Eating Well to Win by Richard IngrahamGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Chef Richard Ingraham has been personal chef for NBA star Dwyane Wade for more than a decade. The Miami native is also a Chopped contender and the founder of the private chef network, ChefRLI, which caters to professional athletes.

Now this chef to star athletes is ready to share the secrets of cooking for a peak performance lifestyle. Chef Richard’s book is designed for those who want to change their diet to achieve peak performance, whether that be at the gym or the office. This is an insider’s guide to how it really happens.

Step-by-step in 90 recipes, he will show the CrossFit enthusiast, the working mom and the weekend golfer how to eat for optimum performance because he knows all of the secrets, and it’s not all kale smoothies and grilled chicken. In addition to his recipes, Chef Richard will share what he’s learned about eating well to live well throughout his career from his parents and grandparents, who were his first culinary instructors, to his celebrity clients.

Readers will get advice on how changing what you put in your body will change what you put out into the universe and make you feel better physically and emotionally. It’s not just about making sure you get the right mix of veggies and carbs. This is about feeding your spirit as well. Chef Richard is serving up recipes for inspired living.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#7 The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Remmi Smith

The Healthy Teen Cookbook by Remmi SmithGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Who knew healthy cooking could be so awesome and delicious?! A Chopped kid chef and entrepreneur is on a mission to bring healthy food options and easy-to-cook scrumptious recipes to a busy and heavily-scheduled generation of teens.

Remmi Smith is a 16-year-old chef, who hosts two cooking shows and serves as a national Student Ambassador for a leading food services company providing education solutions to nearly 500 school districts. She has appeared on Chopped, The Harry Connick Show and the Food Network.

Chef Remmi Smith’s creation is not your typical teen cookbook: it’s written for kids by a kid, and is filled with tried-and-true recipes with budding cooks in mind, using limited ingredients and steps. Through the colorful, easy-to-read book, Chef Remmi sets out to inspire her peers to adopt healthy eating habits by introducing them to the glorious pastime of cooking.

The Healthy Teen Cookbook takes you on a culinary journey across the seven continents, highlighting a country and its top food items in each one. Each section features a map, a full menu (from appetizer to dessert), fun facts, helpful tips and fantastic recipes―making it a geography lesson, a cookbook and a social studies class all in one.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#8 Cooking, Making, and Baking by Cynthia O’Hara

Cooking, Making, and Baking by Cynthia O'HaraGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

From the creative mind of the Harried Housewife blog comes a beautifully packaged one-stop-shop book bursting with DIY recipes and ideas for the entire year! Cooking, Baking, and Making includes 60 DIY recipes with bonus designs and 40 DIY ideas that tie your home together for all 365 days.

For spring, serve Herbed Cucumber Tea Sandwiches and a make a Spring Centerpiece as you watch the flowers bloom. In the hot summer, delight your guests with Fresh Berries and Cannoli Cream and make your own decorative coasters. In autumn, admire the turning leaves as you bake Dilled Beer and Cheddar Bread and make Autumn Harvest Potpourri.

And in winter, enjoy Creamy Eggnog Cupcakes and make Festive Votives while snuggling by the fire. Cynthia O’Hara presents incredibly user-friendly projects and dishes that make replicating her flavors and designs as natural as the changing of the seasons. The Harried Housewife has written articles and developed a wide variety of recipes that reflect a simpler time and are ideal for budget-conscious families. The Harried Housewife’s Recipe Box column is syndicated nationally in regional newspapers.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#9 Geek Sweets by Jennifer Burgesse

Geek Sweets by Jennifer BurgesseGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

A baking cookbook for the truly geeky, filled with recipes for cookies, cupcakes and cakepops in increasing difficulties, as well as party ideas with a fantasy / adventure theme. Big, beautiful photographs, recipes, printable templates and step-by-step how-to’s for every adventurer – from the squire just starting their journey, to a well-worn dragon slayer looking for a challenge. Quest through a tome of countless fandoms, including Minecraft, Dungeons & Dragons, The Legend of Zelda, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and many more!

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#10 On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The number one book every young chef should put on their shelf is On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee. This isn’t a book of recipes but rather a explanation of the science behind cooking. How does milk become sour cream? What is the Maillard Reaction? How does fermentation work? This book explains it all.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#11 The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain

The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

I would recommend this book because he talks about foods we don’t normally eat, like Inuits eating seal etc. You really imagine and picture the food through Bourdain’s unique writing style.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#12 The Flavor Matrix by James Briscione and Brooke Parkhurst

The Flavor Matrix by James Briscione and Brooke ParkhurstGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

The Flavor Matrix gives you a scientific understanding of why ingredients pair well with one another. It’s especially great because it gives you the knowledge to step outside of the pairings you’re used to seeing and experiment with new flavors. With separate ingredient matrices, it’ll turn your creativity and expand your horizons.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#13 Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation by Christopher Styler

Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation by Christopher StylerGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

My favorite part of the cooking process besides eating the food, is plating it! I use “The Art of Food Presentation,” to help me visualize my plates before I create them. It also gives me lots of ideas and helps spark my creativity.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#14 Julia Child: The Way to Cook by Julia Child

Julia Child: The Way to Cook by Julia ChildGet this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Julia Child, is someone who I look up to because she was so passionate about food and took her time to learn the way to cook French food. I use her story and her journey as motivation to keep going, learn new things, and try recipes I wouldn’t otherwise cook.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

#15 The America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen

The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen Get this book or read more reviews of it by using the links below

Chef Tirzah Love states:

As a self taught chef it’s important for me to learn techniques and skills that chefs learn in schools, that’s why the America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook was the first cook book I ever purchased. It has taught me so many things and helped me practice techniques I wouldn’t have otherwise known about.

Before buying a book make sure to compare price and outlet, we have included links below to several large book outlets for different regions in the world:

Contributors to this article
Jackie Murphy from White Gate PR

DariceChang

Siddhi Panchal from Cooking with Siddhi

Brenda Knight from Mango Publishing

Stuart Donald from N/A

Tariq Nasir from Chef Tariq

Traci Houston from The Gestational Diabetic

Chef Tirzah Love from Tirzah Catering

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