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Recommended Books
Instructional Books
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These "Instructional" books are full of more than just recipes, but tutorials on various culinary topics. The Professional Chef and On Cooking are very similar and relate directly to cooking professionally, so I would only recommend one of the two. The Joy of Cooking is a more casual style, so offers a different perspective than the others. This doesn't include Baking & Pastry books.

The Professional Chef
by The Culinary Institute of America
This is one of the best all-around cooking informational book and cookbook on the market. It is produced by the chef instructors of the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and is the main textbook for the entire school's curriculum. It is the main textbook for many other culinary schools as well. This book is excellent for anyone who likes to cook, from the novice to the professional. Everything is covered in it; from the basics, such as how to tell if the produce is fresh, to the not-so-basics, such as creating the more complex sauces (with easily learnable instructions). Recommended by Ira Krizo, Christian Chef.
On Cooking
by Sarah Labensky
This is a very similar book to The Professional Chef above, and used by many other culinary schools as their textbook. Read through the reviews and sample pages to see which you prefer, but you really only need one of the two books. Recommended by Ira Krizo, Christian Chef.
Joy of Cooking
by Irma S. Rombauer
The Joy of Cooking is one of the best home-cooking books you can find, which is also easily convertible to the professional environment as well. This book has tried and true recipes seemingly for almost anything. It also has a great reference area. Recommended by Ira Krizo, Christian Chef.
Techniques of Healthy Cooking
by The Culinary Institute of America
This is a book that teaches about how to cook healthier. It has over 400 recipes (each with nutritional facts) that help you to reduce the calories of dishes while still retaining the flavor. Once again, this is another book used as a nutrition class textbook at many culinary schools. Recommended by Ira Krizo, Christian Chef.

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