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The Best Five Cookbooks to Elevate Your Cooking

The Best Five Cookbooks to Elevate Your Cooking

Cookbooks are more than a collection of recipes or décor for your coffee table; they offer a glimpse into the kitchens and culture of their authors, and serve as a guide for cooks of all levels. For someone ready to elevate their cooking, the Internet offers a wealth of information, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here are five cookbooks that are easy to follow and will take you from a beginner to a master chef in no time.

The Professional Chef by The Culinary Institute of America

Different from the other cookbooks on this list, this book comes directly from the best culinary school in the U.S., located in Hyde Park, New York. The Culinary Institute of America, founded in 1946, is renowned for its comprehensive culinary education. As such, this cookbook covers everything you need to know to start your journey of becoming a professional chef, though it’s also great for those home cooks eager to learn. It covers equipment, sauces, dressings, desserts, meats, and techniques such as knife cutting, fabricating fish and poultry, and more. It offers tons of recipes from different cuisines with step-by-step instruction. This cookbook also offers a glossary section of cooking terms to help on your quest to elevate your cooking.

Notable recipes that we love from this cookbook include Potato and Cheddar Filled Pierogi with Caramelized Onions, Beurre Noisette, and Sage, Jícama Salad, and Grilled Vegetable Sandwich with Manchego Cheese, and Key Lime Tart.

Mastering Pasta by Marc Vetri with David Joachim

As noted in the book, Chef Marc Vetri spent years researching pasta before writing this cookbook. There’s no need to be intimidated, though, as Chef Vetri will take you step-by-step through all things pasta, including sections on different types of flour and a three-page tutorial on making fresh pasta. The techniques and recipes in this cookbook will undoubtedly elevate your cooking and delight at your next dinner party, impress that special someone in your life, or simply satisfy your cravings.

Notable recipes that we love from this cookbook include Fettuccine with Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions, Asparagus and Egg Yolk Rotolo, Ricotta Ravioli, and Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage.

The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

This cookbook offers everything you need to get started with bread making, including equipment, different flours, a section on fermentation and proofing temperatures, and even a guide on the baker’s math formula system. A James Beard award-winning cookbook that will make you feel like a top chef, this book will not only improve your culinary skills, but will also help turn you into a master baker.

Notable recipes that we love from this cookbook include Bagels, Rich Man’s Brioche, French Bread, and Pain de Campagne (Country French Bread).

See Also

Mastering The Art of French Cooking Volume 1 and 2 by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

If you ever look up lists of the best cookbooks, chances are you will see Mastering The Art of French Cooking volume 1 and 2 on that list. Julia Child was the first TV chef, and for good reason. This cookbook truly is the guide to mastering French cooking, which is why it has stood the test of time. The book has chapters that include soups, sauces, eggs, meats, vegetables, and so much more. Julia Child has been such an inspiration to so many chefs and home cooks. Her influence sparked a blog that became a book and later a movie. Arguably one of the most important cookbooks ever created, Mastering The Art of French Cooking is not only for the pros but also for the home cooks willing to learn and push themselves.

Notable recipes that we love from this cookbook include Coq Au Vin, Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew), Pate A Crepe (Crepe Batter), and Clafouti (Cherry Flan).

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

Unlike the other cookbooks on this list, this one is not recipe driven. Instead, it is for those who are ready to step beyond traditional recipes and explore flavor profiles to create unique dishes. This book teaches about ingredient flavor profiles, seasonality and compatible pairings. For example, the section on Apples from The Flavor Bible lists the season as autumn and flavor pairings such as beef, cheese, curry powder, and fennel. For those looking to elevate their cooking skills, this cookbook offers a guide to creating dishes of your own and should undoubtedly be in your bag the next time you go to the farmers market. 

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