What We Have Read
All books here are books that we have personally read. They range from cookbooks, to books about cooking, or books on food, or food cultures, or anything remotely food related. The links to the books are affiliate links to Amazon that allow us to keep reading and learning in hopes of bringing that back to you–and for that reason, we have been very honest about our reviews.
On Food and Cooking was one of my first cooking related books and for me is a classic. Harold McGee is often considered one of the pioneers of the kitchen and food science movement, and thus, the field of molecular gastronomy.
This book breaks down, in detail, the science behind almost every ingredient possible: from meats to cheeses to vegetables. The only problem is that it is a difficult book to just sit down and read–it took me quite sometime to get all the way through it. But it is a book that I constantly find myself going back to for reverence, looking things up, or to seek inspiration.
Our rating: it is like Kobe Beef – full of deliciousness, reliable, and something you will not only often fall back to, but can continue to explore and learn new from things every time. (A+)
Modernist Cuisine has been one of the my most influential books. It is a long read and expensive, but the amount of information, experimentation, content, instructions, and pictures that have been put into these volumes will not only inspired you, but will be resource that you come back to for the rest of your career.
A specific example is when they choose to focus on meats, not only do they provide the scientific reasoning behind meat and cooking, along with almost every type of technique and preparation possible, but then they also include cookings timings and recommended final outcome for meats broken down by tender cuts, tough cuts, etc.
Yes, there are a lot of advance preparations that might not be applicable for the home chef, and for that reason they do have an at home version. I have read both and recommend the original.
Our rating: it is like a good chef’s knife, essential. (A+)
French cuisine is really a cuisine of technique, and this book is a must for anyone that has an interest in this field. The only problem would be that this book is starting to get dated as new techniques and technology is being embraced in the kitchen, but if you want to learn the fundamentals, arguably not just of French cuisine, but of different cuisines of the world, this is the book for you.
Our rating: it is like a properly made French Baguette–crisps and crackles with delight and is just the beginning of what you can do. (A)
The End of Food is a book about the global food economy and supply chain that is fascinating and scary to read. Highlighting many problems, some new and others apparent, this book is very important for someone entering or part of this industry. It is important to understand the full context of your industry and this book sets a stage, albeit a bit depressing considering the likely collapse we soon to see.
Our rating: it is like a mandoline, scary but essential (A)
Our rating: it is like a Harry Potter Chocolate Frog, potentially as close to the magic as you will ever get, which is a bit depressing (A)
Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi, a famous London duo, is a book that explores the cuisine of this complicated and diverse city, along with their own culinary influences and inspirations. This is a compilation of recipes, but from the introduction and the pages throughout, there are tidbits of history, stories, and insights that add to the experience allowing this book to be more than just a pretty thing.
Our rating: it is like spices, something that has culinary use, but a lot of culture and history as well (A)
Our rating: it’s like a microplane zester, something you didn’t think you needed, but then it turns out to be both useful and lots of fun (A)
Our rating: it is like broccoli, you gotta eat it although you might not like it (A-)
Our rating: it is like eating a salad for lunch–a great idea, but sometimes just not enough. (A-)
Our rating: it is like a pancake maker, nice to have but might not be used too often (B+)
Our rating: it is like a potato, full of substance, but not much just on it’s own. (B)
Our rating: it is like a large pizza, an exciting start, but sluggish towards the end leaving you wishing you got something else. (B)
Our rating: it is like a free sample at the mall, leaves you longing for more (B-)
The 4-Hour Chef is part of Tim Ferris’s books on lifestyle redesign, the problem with this book, along with his others is that while the ideas sound amazing, most aren’t always applicable outside of where Tim puts them. In an over-simplification, must is lost and almost feels like a scam.
Our rating: like a poorly made creme brulee, it might look nice, but isn’t. (B-)