The Chefs' Bookshelf

On Monday night I asked 20 different chefs for cookbook recommendations. By Tuesday morning I had received more than 10 recommendations. I was shocked and incredibly excited. Getting answers from chefs, when you aren’t in a kitchen with them, can be difficult. So it seemed that I had stumbled upon the perfect question, with answers we all are curious to hear.

Below you will find the first three recommendations from our favorite chefs. I’ll reveal more recommendations monthly, so be sure to check back in.

I hope you find these recommendations- and the insight behind them- worthwhile.


The Chefs’ Bookshelf
Cookbook Recommendations from Blue Moon’s Favorite Chefs: Part 1



John MelfiJohn Melfi
Chef de Cuisine, Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, DC

Modernist Cuisine


Recommended Cookbook: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, Maxime Bilet)

Chef John just says that this cookbook/encyclopedia/guide to the science of contemporary cooking is “unbelievable.” Modernist Cuisine is a six-volume guide covering history and fundamentals, techniques and equipment, animals and plants, ingredients and preparation, plated dish recipes– everything the modern chef needs to know.




Sylva SenatSylva Senat
Executive Chef, The Saint James, Ardmore, PA


yes chef


Recommended Cookbook: Yes, Chef: A Memoir (Marcus Samuelson)

Chef Sylva is just starting in on this cookbook/memoir, which was recommended to him by his chef friend Travis Sparks of Seed to Plate Catering in North Carolina. The book is “intriguing” so far, with mentions and pictures of Acquavit and Mercer Kitchen, where Sylva starred as a chef in New York.




Junior BorgesJunior Borges
Executive Chef, Amali, New York City

Recommended Cookbook: Origin: The Food of Ben Shewry (Ben Shewry)

This is a “beautiful cookbook,” “full of stories and amazing recipes.” The author, Ben Shewry, is chef at the award-winning Australian restaurant Attica. Shewry is known for his foraging, and using what the earth provides without depleting its resources. Chef Junior recommends Origin as a storytelling book about Shewry’s family, how to forage, and how to appreciate nature.