Favorite Cooking Technique Book

So, branching out from Cookware…

I’m curious about Onions’ favorite books on cooking techniques. Yes, I know technique instruction frequently features prominently in cookbooks, but what I mean is books whose primary focii are the techniques themselves or cooking tips, or the broad underlying knowledge beneath the techniques. Is it Pepin’s Ma Technique? Gisselin’s Professional Cooking, Bittman’s How to Cook Everything?

My personal favorite has to be Chef James Peterson’s What’s a Cook to Do? What I love about this book is that it offers hundreds of succinct nuggets any one of which can be read and reflected upon in just a few minutes. Very straightforward and approachable, too. I think Chef Peterson may be one of the planet’s most underappreciated culinary talents. His Sauces and Fish & Shellfish are materpieces.


I do have the above books except for
Gisselin’s Professional Cooking
and quite enjoy all of them.

My favourite is Larousse Gastronomique
because it goes by Country.

I like Jacques Pepin’s book for technique for things that I’m making for the first time (eg. artichokes). I pull it off the shelf then so more of a reference book. I like it because it has photos so hard to screw things up.

I recently aquired Harold McGees’ On Food and Cooking and want to work my way through that. My gf told me that there is an Free MIT online course to supplement the book which might be fun to do.

The Thrift store had Carla Paul’s and Eric Treuillé’s 200 skills that every cook must have that I picked up for my boys.
All the skills that I had to figure out on my own compactly written in a book.
It is simple easy to read and has photographs expert tips etc.
I like it because it gives me a guideline of what my boys need to learn that is just common sense to me.

Another good thrift find was Becky Selengut’s How to Taste. I’m very much looking forward to reading that one.

I also own the Science of Good Food which I have not cracked open yet.

Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. It taught me how to be a creative cook.


For Mother’s Day, my boys gifted me Sara Moulton’s Home Cooking 101 How to make everything taste better.
It is an interesting read and I’m looking forward to cooking through the recipes that they bookmarked for me.


La Varenne Pratique by Anna Willan.

Anna Willan’s books come in 4 volumes do you have a favourite?

Announcing my age, but I have relied on the Joy of Cooking ever since I was a child-cook. Almost anything you want to prepare or cook is there - maybe not the recipe but preparation, timing, tips on techniques, etc.


All but mine. Is a single volume.

Thanks Tim,
I see that now when I Google the book.
On Amazon, it is in a Kindle format that has 4 volumes.

The Kindle format may not capture adequately the amazing photography.

Boston School Cooking School Cook Book- Fannie Farmer (1900.) I forget what year my copy was printed, but it’s old. Hard to translate some of it; but sound technique.

As a kid I always admired Pepin for his mise en place and effortless techniques. Maybe not a book, but encyclopedic knowledge no less.

I’ll have to buy that Peterson book, kaleokahu. Sounds like what I’ve been missing.

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Yep, I love James Peterson’s Fish & Shellfish. 1997. I will never get rid of it. Comprehensive, fantastic global recipes, better by far in my opinion than “Fish without a doubt.”

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Another ringing endorsement from respected poster. I’m in. Maybe it’s time I move on from Fannie Farmer. Pepin will be an influence forever.