No home library is complete without a good reference book, and The Professional Chef is just that (and so much more). With straightforward definitions, illustrative photos, and recipes based on classic techniques, it is the closest you’ll get to attending culinary school without putting on your whites. The updates in design and photography made the eighth edition well worth the wait.

The Professional Chef, 8th Edition
By the Culinary Institute of America (Wiley, 2006; $44.10 at

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