The Chefs’ Bookshelf
Cookbook Recommendations from Blue Moon’s Favorite Chefs
Do you have an aspiring chef among your family or friends? You might consider picking up one of the cookbook recommendations below for young chef. My cousin Sean (12 years old and Thanksgiving’s best sous chef in family history) will likely be seeing one of these under his Christmas tree this year!
Executive Chef, Vault Brewing Co., Yardley PA
Culinary Artistry (Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page), Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Harve This), and the publication Art Culinaire
Chef Tony uses cookbooks mainly for inspiration, rather than for recipes. He sends aspiring cooks home with a stack of books to study from. He recommends three publications as must-reads.
Culinary Artistry by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page explores the creativity of culinary composition as it relates to imagination, food, and taste. It is essentially a pairing book, combined with many chef commentaries and working recipes. Culinary Artistry is on Tony’s must-read list for new cooks. “If you haven’t heard of this book, go out and pick it up.”
Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor by Herve This, is all about the actual science of cooking- for instance, why starting a stock with cold water produces a clearer stock. Molecular Gastronomy is not so much geared towards modern cuisine as it is towards the science of every-day cooking. Tony appreciates it as “it helps me learn what’s happening, and understand the science behind the techniques that I’m using.” He’s always digging into this book for background knowledge.
Art Culinaire is a quarterly hardcover publication that uses recipes and photography to speak to the quality and beauty of professional food preparation. Tony looks to Art Culinaire for inspiration for future dishes. “When writing a menu and creating new dishes, I will breeze through Art Culinaire for inspiration and ideas. It’s all very beautiful and upscale cuisine.”
Tony has a modern style with a rootsy influence. He likes to recreate the classics, but with a modern twist, and his cookbook recommendations show that.