The 10 Best Culinary Textbooks

Updated December 15, 2016

10 Best Culinary Textbooks
Baking and Pastry 2nd Edition
Introduction to Culinary Arts
The Flavor Bible
We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Although these culinary textbooks are not written for home cooks, any dedicated kitchen dabbler may find them informative and interesting. But for those who are planning on a career in the gastronomic world, one or more of these editions will be essential reading in order to prepare you for the financial, logistical and creative realities of being a professional chef. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best culinary textbook on Amazon.

10. Math for the Professional Kitchen

Count on Math for the Professional Kitchen to help you run a profitable business. It offers crucial information to keep you in the game, including costing ingredients, setting menu prices, scaling recipes and converting units of measure.
  • provides a lot of practice worksheets
  • written by 3 veteran math instructors
  • no info on p&l calculations
Publisher Math for the Profession
Model n/a
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. Baking and Pastry 2nd Edition

If you have a passion for desserts, Baking and Pastry 2nd Edition makes an excellent choice. It features 625 basic and advanced recipes with complete information on ingredients and tools as well as the most recent methods and techniques used today.
  • great for all levels of ability
  • vibrant and engaging pictures
  • recipes are scaled for mass production
Publisher Baking and Pastry 2nd E
Model n/a
Weight 6.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. On Cooking

On Cooking has been providing a wealth of information to those in the culinary arts field for almost two decades. It has a proven approach to teaching both the principles and practices of fundamentals with amazing guidance to propel you into a meaningful career.
  • easy to read with interesting facts
  • includes classic french techniques
  • kindle app has glitches at times
Publisher Labensky, Sarah R.
Model n/a
Weight 7 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Larousse Gastronomique

If you're looking for a go-to reference book, Larousse Gastronomique is your answer. It is a captivating read for anyone who loves food and features more than 400 candid photos that gives you access to the kitchens of upscale restaurants.
  • biographies of 12 inspiring chefs
  • has a very comprehensive index
  • paper quality is a bit thin
Publisher Random House
Model 978-0-307-46491-0
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine is an essential book for anyone wanting to hone their skill. It has useful hints and tips from Deans and Chef instructors to get you on your way to becoming a master chef, but there aren't a lot of captions under the pictures.
  • covers knife cuts
  • clear and concise instructions
  • binding doesn't seem very durable
Publisher French Culinary Institu
Model n/a
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Introduction to Culinary Arts

The 2nd edition of Introduction to Culinary Arts provides a solid foundation from theory to application. It gives every aspiring student knowledge and skills that they can apply throughout their career, whether they choose the savory or pastry route.
  • touches on management and business
  • has info on nutrition and food science
  • great for leaning the fundamentals
Publisher Gleason, Jerry
Model n/a
Weight 4.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Professional Cooking 8th Edition

Professional Cooking 8th Edition by best-selling author and chef Wayne Grisslen offers you a complete understanding of how to cook like a professional. It covers a myriad of topics, including culinary history, food safety and dietary practice.
  • interactive kindle option available
  • well-written explanations
  • a bit too heavy to carry around
Publisher Gisslen, Wayne
Model n/a
Weight 5.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. The Professional Chef 9th Edition

Published by The Culinary Institute of America, The Professional Chef 9th Edition is a must-have for anyone serious about food. It's a great resource for professionals and domestic divas alike with simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography.
  • offers expert tips
  • has essential nutritional information
  • has both modern and classic techniques
Publisher Wiley
Model n/a
Weight 7.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. The Flavor Bible

If you don't always like to follow recipes, The Flavor Bible is the book for you. The authors have gathered imperative creativity and wisdom from dozens of the world’s best chefs to boost your confidence in creating your own masterpieces from scratch.
  • learn how to experiment with temperature
  • covers a variety of worldly flavors
  • teaches how to excite the senses
Publisher Page, Karen
Model 3992104
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Culinary Arts Principles and Applications

Culinary Arts Principles and Applications is a complete guide to becoming a successful chef in the industry. This invaluable resource is great for beginners as it is packed with core content, skills and cooking techniques in a very learner-friendly format.
  • includes an informative dvd
  • great for visual learners
  • included recipes reinforce techniques
Publisher Amer Technical P
Model n/a
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

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Last updated on December 15, 2016 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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