If you’re starting a food blog, photos and design and writing and publicity don’t mean SQUAT if your recipes don’t hold up. Have you heard the phrase “those who can’t do, teach”? It’s true much too often. The moral of the story: if you’re going to tell people how to cook, make sure you know your stuff!

I grew up in a family that worked with food (my grandma made wedding cakes and my mom is a professional caterer who also founded a food justice organization) so I was lucky to learn a lot of the basics as I grew up. But I’m still learning! If you want to be a better cook (and, like me, can’t afford culinary school) you need to take your education seriously.

The resources here aren’t the type of cookbooks you might be used to. They’re more like textbooks (some actually ARE culinary school textbooks) – covering techniques, baking chemistry, culinary terms, and other pieces that make up a good culinary foundation. Some of the books are loooooong and super dry,  but THEY.WILL.MAKE.YOU.BETTER. To be a good cook, just like anything else, takes hard work and lots of studying. But it is SO worth it – I think about what I’ve learned from these resources all the time and I can taste the positive effects they’ve had on my cooking.




Baking and Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft

Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen

How Baking Works: Exploring the Fundamentals of Baking Science

How To Cook Everything: Simple Recipes for Great Food

Italian Slow and Savory

Michel Roux Sauces: Revised and Updated Edition

The Professional Chef

The Professional Pastry Chef: Fundamentals of Baking and Pastry, 4th Edition



Top Chef University

Culinary Fundamentals