Friday, October 21, 2011

Four Books

Time to return to The Ten Day Challange. Today's topic: Four Books

At first I started thinking about which four novels I'd list. A tough challenge for sure having to narrow that list to only four. Then I started thinking about another set of books that have held my attention for quite some time. A little bit of a spin on the challenge I suppose.

The following four books from my library would unlikely be designated as light reading by anyone. They do however, represent approximately 4,200 combined pages of some of the most detailed  information you'll find anywhere on the subject of French/American cooking. I truly love these books and refer back to them often when I'm working in the kitchen.

1. "Larousse Gastronomique"
This is not your typical cookbook at all. In fact, there isn't a single recipe that I recall seeing in between its two covers. Instead, this is an encyclopedia for all things food. Not exactly what you'd consider a "page turner", but as a reference tool, it's unparalleled.

2. "The New Professional Chef"
Produced by the Cullinary Institute of America, This in depth book should be owned by anyone that's serious about the culinary arts. The recipes are geared for restaurant sized portions, but in most cases with the proper calculations, can be scaled down for home use.

3. "The Professional Pastry Chef"
Written by Bo Friberg, this book is nothing short of amazing. I was fortunate enough, as was my wife, to have trained with Bo while at the Culinary Institute of America and let me tell you, working side by side with this guy was incredible. This is one of those cook books that you don't just simply pick up and decide, "Hmmm, I think I'll make this recipe today." without first having a firm grasp on the world of baking and pastry. For those willing to invest the time, this book is an invaluable resource.

4. "The Way to Cook"
Written by none other than Julia Child. This book is the smallest of the bunch, but at approximately 500  pages, it is still quite beefy. (pun intended). If you want an all purpose cookbook that will have you whipping up dishes like a pro, buy this book. It has excellent tips and very clear recipes to follow.


Charlene said...

I think you out rank me as a cook. I can put together a tasty meal, but have little patience with preparing the fancier dishes. I often wish I did, but -- alas -- the attention span just won't cooperate.

Jeff B said...

Charlene- I love that baking has a analytical and technical side to it as well as the obvious artistic side. It's very time consuming to be sure, and I don't seem to have nearly enough of that free time these days to go all out.

Ron said...

Thanks so much for sharing this list of books, Jeff!

As you know, my brother is also a chef (specializing in French cuisine), so you just gave me a great idea for a Christmas present this year!

Have a super day, buddy!

Jeff B said...

Ron- Glad to have stirred some inspiration. Thanks for dropping in.

CrystalChick said...

You must be an excellent cook! What wonderful reference books, thanks for sharing.
I guess a 'beenie weenie' recipe/photo wouldn't appear in any of them. ;)

Happy cooking!

Jeff B said...

Mary- Ha! it'd probably be right next to the green eggs and ham recipe.

Mel said...

HA--I'm a fan of Julia Child. NOT that I do a great deal of cooking (though she can make it sound easy......). I try to stay out of the kitchen. And given the contents of some of the stuff she makes....LOL.....darn good thing!

Jeff B said...

Mel- That's funny.

Roan said...

Now I knew you cooked, but didn't know the extent to which you could cook. I'm very impressed. A man of many talents. Hubby cooks more than I do these days. Thanks for the good words re NaNoWriMo. I'm trying to stay focused.