The Professional Chef, from The Culinary Institute of America, is a classic kitchen reference. You can find any basic cooking technique within its pages. As I started working, it was one of the first cookbooks I purchased.
Along with better layout, the new ninth edition of the book features more detailed techniques for novice cooks, and lots more photographs. With over 1200 pages, you’ll find just about anything you are looking for here, though the recipes can be somewhat basic .
The CIA has now released the book as an iPad application, complete with over 100 high-quality videos from CIA instructors demonstrating various techniques, 850 recipes and 700 photographs. Professional Chef also includes quizzes, a glossary, reference links, the ability to share notes with other students, etc. At $49 for the application, it is a significant investment, but for a paper book that lists for $75, it is a viable alternative, especially when you take into account the decent videos and easy search functions. The iPad interface is full-featured, but after a quick tutorial, is easy to use. If you download the “Inkling” application instead, you can buy each chapter for $2.99, and get the “soup” chapter for free.
If you just want to purchase a chapter, you can do so here. Don’t click the first link unless you want the whole bloody thing!
(I thought I was going to have a stroke when I accidently clicked on the “buy now” button, and it immediately went to download. Fear not, it just installs the application, and not the content. 450 megs worth!)