Updated September 20, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

The 10 Best Culinary Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Culinary Textbooks
On Cooking
The Professional Chef
On Food and Cooking

This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in May of 2016. Although these textbooks are not written for casual home cooks, anyone curious about the culinary arts will find them informative. But for those who are planning on a career in the field, one or more of these will be essential reading in order to prepare you for the financial, logistical, and creative realities of being a professional in the industry. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best culinary textbook on Amazon.

10. On Cooking

9. Math for the Professional Kitchen

8. Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

7. Professional Cooking

6. Larousse Gastronomique

5. Introduction to Culinary Arts

4. The Flavor Bible

3. The Professional Chef

2. Escoffier: Le Guide Culinaire

1. On Food and Cooking

Editor's Notes

March 05, 2019:

Nothing can teach you how to cook aside from actually getting in the kitchen and doing it, but the right literature goes a long, long way in providing the background to successful work and play in the culinary arts. Before any other titles available, McGee's "On Food and Cooking" and Escoffier's Seminal "Le Guide Culinaire" are looked up to as essentially the inarguable and holy truth when it comes to making food. If you are on your way to a decent culinary school, there is an exactly 100% chance that these two volumes have been suggested, and are, in fact, most likely required for you to possess. Next up is nearly anything by the Culinary Institute of America, or the CIA (not to be confused with the Food and Beverage Institute, or FBI), who are responsible for producing many Michelin star recipients, as well as celebrity chefs, over the decades they've been in business. The Flavor Bible is one that may not be mandated at cooking college, but you'll nonetheless see perched above the desk of many chefs de cuisine. This title, in particular, can help budding creators to understand the vast links between various, unique flavors, enabling them to craft their own, one-of-a-kind edible experiences. Books such as Fundamental Techniques, Gisslen's Professional Cooking, and Introduction to Culinary Arts help to lay the framework for beginners, and if you're scheduled for a boot-camp-style crash course to help jump-start a new career, there's a good chance you'll run into one of them. Larousse Gastronomique has been praised by such leading chefs as Julia Child herself, while Math for the Professional Kitchen is a solid resource for getting the business and measurement sides of things under your belt.


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on September 20, 2019 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.