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10 Amazing Cookbooks Every Chef Must Read

Cooking is an art, and chefs are artists. A cookbook goes a long way to help chefs refine their artwork! Cookbooks offer refreshing insights, insight into different cultures, their cuisines and cooking techniques. A few hours of reading can give you access to some fantastic professional advice, recipes, and stories. 

Here are some must-read cookbooks for chefs!

Reading cookbooks is crucial for your development as a chef. Know which ones to read!
A cookbook may prove highly inspiring to a chef and give them a break from their routine. Reading up on culinary techniques, history, and current trends is crucial for your development as a chef. 

5 Must Read International Cookbooks

1. ‘Best for Food Science: On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee

This cookbook deep dives into the science of cooking. It answers what’s and why’s of fundamental components like temperature and ingredients. Its author, Harold McGee, is considered an authoritative food chemist in modern history. It has been described as a “must for every cook who possesses an inquiring mind”.

2. ‘Made In Italy’ by Giorgio Locatelli

This book is for you if you love making and eating Italian food! This cookbook offers an exquisite and authentic journey into pleasing aromas of Italian food by a top Italian chef. Locatelli combines his recipes, evocative stories, and funny anecdotes with historical details about Italian food.

It is an Italian food bible from an acknowledged master of modern Italian cooking.

3. ‘Gourmet Rhapsody’ by Muriel Barbery

This cookbook by a New York Times bestselling author is a beautiful tribute to one of the best food critics in the world. Set in Paris, it tells the story of Pierre Arthens and his many, many culinary indulgences. Tracing the life of a food critic, this book will make you look at your food differently and critically. 

4. ‘Culinary Artistry’ by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen A. Page

If you don’t already think cooking is an art, you must read this book. It examines the creative process of cooking, emphasizing the intersection of food, imagination, and taste. The cookbook also explores the art of presentation and aesthetics in the whole process excellently. 

5. ‘Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking’ by Maxime Bilet and Nathan Myhrvold

This cookbook has been described as the encyclopedia and guide to the science of contemporary cooking. It is a well-researched book with step-by-step instructions to improve your cooking. The book was named “the most important cookbook of the first ten years of the 21st century” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2010 and was introduced into the group’s hall of fame.

Modernist Cuisine is the encyclopedia and guide to the science of contemporary cooking. Know which other cookbooks a chef should read.
‘Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking’ has five volumes covering history and fundamentals, techniques and equipment, animals and plants, ingredients and preparation, recipes and a kitchen manual containing brief information on useful topics.

5 Must Read Indian Cookbooks

1. ‘India: The Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant

This book, the first comprehensive guide to Indian cooking, with over 1000 recipes, is a result of over twenty years. The author collected and curated recipes from all over India, covering every aspect of India’s rich and colourful culinary heritage.

2. ‘Tiffin’ by Sonal Ved

Authored by a famous Indian food writer, this award-winning book celebrates defining tastes of different regions of India. The book covers 500 recipes organized geographically from different areas in India. With at least one recipe from each Indian state, the cookbook is sure to diversify your menu of Indian cuisine.

3. ‘Rasika: Flavors of India’ by Ashok Bajaj, Vikram Sunderam, and David Hagedorn

If you are a fan of inventions in cooking, this is the book for you! This book explores inventive recipes like squash samosas, avocado chaat with banana, eggplant, sweet potato lasagna, masala chai crème brûlée, and recreating classics like ​​chicken tikka masala, grilled mango shrimp, and goat biryani. Although the recipes in Rasika can be time-consuming and complex, they reward you very well for your efforts!

4. ‘Fresh India’ by Meera Sodha

If your menu has vegan options or you are exploring plant-based diets, you must read this book. This cookbook focuses solely on vegetarian food options, which are easy and delightful. It offers variations on daal, curries, pickles, chutneys, fruit lassis, and ginger tea. It won the 2017 Observer Food Monthly’s Best New Cookbook Award.

5. ‘Indian Cookery by Sameen Rushdie

Indian Cookery was published in the UK in the year 1980. It draws together traditional recipes from multiple Indian cuisines. The book covers marvellous food recipes in great detail and tells us where to find fresh ingredients and how to store, prepare and use them. Interestingly, the foreword for this book was written by Sameen Rushdie’s brother and popular novelist, Salman Rushdie.

Cookbook 'Fresh India' covers Indian vegan recipes. Know which other cookbooks a chef must read.
Author of ‘Fresh India”, Meera Sodha, has written three bestselling cookbooks. They have a weekly column for The Guardian called ‘The New Vegan.’

We hope this blog helps you add more books to your reading list and upgrade your knowledge and skills. Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our newsletter for regular restaurant-related updates.

Abeera Dubey
Abeera Dubey
Abeera is a freelance content writer at Petpooja.

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