ACF Recommended Books

Whether you are preparing for certification, studying for class or reading for enjoyment, the following books will further your culinary knowledge.

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American Culinary Federation’s Guide to Culinary Competitions: Cooking to Win!

Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC

The American Culinary Federation’s Guide to Culinary Competitions: Cooking To Win! is the only book that offers all the insights, hints and expert techniques to help achieve winning results at hot, cold, specialty and sponsor competitions. Endorsed by the ACF and written by longtime member and manager of ACF Culinary Team USA, Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC. ACF’s Guide to Culinary Competitions provides an exclusive glimpse into the world of culinary competitions beyond the rules and regulations.

National Apprenticeship Training Program for Cooks—Set

ATP Publishers in Partnerships with the American Culinary Federation

The culinary techniques outlined in this book have been validated by the culinary industry and sanctioned by the U.S. Department of Labor and the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation (ACFEF) National Apprenticeship Committee. The ACFEF apprenticeship program requires apprentices to complete 445 hours of classroom instruction and at least 4000 working hours in a professional kitchen while being mentored by leading chefs in the industry. Proficiency is demonstrated in 10 stations: Steward Station, Breakfast Station, Vegetable Station, Starch & Pasta Station, Fabrication Station, Boiler/Char-Grill Station, Soup & Sauce Station, Pantry & Cold Food Station, Cooking Techniques Station, Baking & Pastry Station and Supervisory Development Station. Set of 10 stations. Softcover. 616 pages and 640 illustrations.


An American Chef’s Dream

Tom Ciapi, CEC, CCE, CCA

This inspirational and encouraging book traces the milestones in Chef Ciapi’s life. From early childhood memories of his Sicilian Grandfather’s food to his progression in the culinary world, this book describes the rewards of life attainable through hard knocks and hard work.

The Chicago Chefs

Discover how the members of the Chicago Chefs organization helped the City of Chicago became a culinary destination for people from all over the world. Throughout this book you will learn how the Chicago Chefs evolved over the years, and how their talent and skill became a highly respected and admired profession both in and out of the kitchen. They have not only made a difference in Chicago culinary culture, but also significantly enhanced Chicago culture in general.

The French Chef Handbook/La Cuisine de Référence

Michel Maincent-Morel

The acclaimed La Cuisine de Référence is now available in its international English version: The French Chef Handbook. Own the keys of French culinary technique! This book is a study trip to France without the plane ticket. This bestseller, which has already supported over 800,000 professional chefs, can now be adopted by English speakers. Get ready to access the next cooking level with the complete content of 500 techniques, 1,000 recipes worksheets, more than 3,000 photos and a wide panel of 118 videos accessible by QR codes or URL to facilitate understanding. The French Chef Handbook/La Cuisine de Référence is a must have!

Peeking Behind the Wallpaper

Arno Schmidt, CEC

Autobiography of a chef who began apprenticeship in 1946 in war-torn Austria and, after an odyssey through kitchens in many countries, became Executive Chef of The Waldorf-Astoria. The book is about glorious hotel dining and memorable banquets, including menus and kitchen work sheets, and stories about interesting personalities, kitchen disasters and close calls. There is also advice about cooking and long forgotten classical dishes such as terrapin and Crab Meat Remick.

“A Woman’s Place Is in the Kitchen”: The Evolution of Women Chefs

Ann Cooper

This celebration of women and food delves into the professional and private lives of more than 130 women chefs from across the country. It provides an up-close-and-personal perspective of what a career in the food industry involves for today’s women and men. It weaves together historical aspects of the professional, its modern challenges and choices, and the career opportunities that this growing industry holds for the future.


About Wine

J. Patrick Henderson; Dellie Rex

About Wine is a unique resource designed for those who require practical information on how to manage wine and wine sales for restaurants and the hospitality business. Unlike other texts on this subject, this text seeks first to give the reader background information on the origins of wine and how it is produced, and then builds upon this knowledge with information on the wine producing regions of the United States and the world.

Charcuterie: Sausages, Pates & Accompaniments

Fritz H. Sonnenschmidt, CMC, AAC, HOF

Charcuterie teaches readers how to prepare sausages, pates and other cooked processed foods. This is an indispensable guide for culinarians and a great reference book for Garde Manger procedures. Color photos with step-by-step procedures give the reader a strong visual aid.

Chef’s Guide to Charcuterie

Jacques Brevery, Ph.D., CEC, CFM, CFBE, AAC

Jacques Brevery, Ph.D., CEC, CFM, CFBE, AAC, presents a complete collection of recipes and information from his career, some of which he learned from his mentors over the years. The book is designed as a reference for beginning chefs, providing them with accurate recipes for classic preparations and new ideas that will allow them to expand and improve their portfolio of recipes. The book also presents helpful charts and tables, as well as useful conversion and substitution guides.

As the interest in this ancient skill is being revived today, charcuterie requires more than just a daily performance of routine tasks. Chefs must understand why and how these traditional charcuterie processes work. This volume serves as a solid foundation for learning and perfecting the skills of charcuterie.

The Chef’s Répertoire

American Technical Publishers

Chef Gui Alinat

A collection of classic dishes found on American menus with their pronunciations, origins, ingredients, and techniques. Each dish is defined using chef’s vocabulary. An excellent pocket reference for every culinary professional.

Culinary Arts Principles and Applications (3rd Edition)

American Technical Publishers

Michael J. McGreal, CEC, CCE

This exciting new textbook presents fundamental culinary theories along with classical cooking methods and techniques to help students build a repertoire of professional skills. Each textbook includes an interactive CD-ROM. Special features of the textbook include:

  • Culinary Procedures presenting key preparation techniques in step-by-step format.
  • Recipes providing applications of classical cooking methods. Nutrition information is provided for each recipe and variations are offered where appropriate.
  • Action Labs offering application-based activities that reinforce key content.
  • Chef’s Tips describing effective practices for use in the professional kitchen.
  • Nutrition Notes suggesting healthy ways of preparing food.
  • Historical Notes providing insight on relevant culinary topics.

Culinary Math Principles and Applications

American Technical Publishers

Chef Michael J. McGreal, Linda J. Padilla

Culinary Math Principles and Applications showcases how and why foodservice workers use math every day in the professional kitchen. This text/workbook presents math skills in an easy-to-follow and well-illustrated style that engages learners. The book is divided into short sections for maximum instructional flexibility. The CD-ROM in the back of the book provides a variety of interactive learning tools that reinforce the math skills used in culinary arts.

Culinary Nutrition Principles and Applications

American Technical Publishers

Linda Trakselis, MS; Eric Stein, MS, RD, CCE

Culinary Nutrition Principles and Applications combines the science of nutrition with the art of food preparation to provide learners with the knowledge base to plan and prepare healthy menu items. The first six chapters of this engaging textbook explain the functions and food sources of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, water, vitamins, and minerals and their role in the digestion and absorption process. The remaining nine chapters describe how to apply nutrition principles and healthy cooking techniques to create flavorful, nutrient-dense menu items that appeal to guests.

The Culinary Professional (3rd Edition)

John Draz, CEC, CCE; Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, MBA, HAAC

The Culinary Professional provides the comprehensive instruction students need to be successful in a culinary arts career. It covers culinary techniques in addition to the identification of foods and equipment used in a professional kitchen and the knowledge and skills needed to manage a foodservice operation. Career readiness activities and multiple features, including ethics, prepare students for the workplace.

Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery

H. L. Cracknell; R. J. Kaufmann (Translators)

Presented for the first time to the English-speaking public, here is the entire translation of Auguste Escoffier’s masterpiece Le Guide Culinaire. Its basic principles are as valid today as when it was first published in 1903. It offers those who practice the art of cookery—whether they be professional chefs or managers, housewives, gourmets or students of haute cuisine—invaluable guidelines culled from more than fifty years’ experience.

Foodservice Organizations: A Managerial and Systems Approach (9th Edition)

Mary B. Gregoire; Marian C. Spears

Presents a comprehensive portrait of how to manage commercial and on-site foodservice operations effectively and efficiently in the 21st century. Using the foodservice systems model as a guide, it shows managers how to transform the human, material, facility, and operational inputs of the system into outputs of meals, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and financial accountability. This edition continues its legacy of sound theory and real-world focus, and offers new insights on food safety, the Food Code 2005, foodservice layout and design, process improvement and leadership techniques that will lead to managerial success.

How to Bake Bread

Michael Kalanty

Michael Kalanty, CEPC, CCE, is an artisan breadbaker and writer. For over twenty years, he has taught professional baking to hundreds of successful students and authored curriculums for culinary schools around the world. How to Bake Bread includes bread basics for the aspiring professional baker, proven bread formulas and techniques from classroom bakeshops plus baker’s tips, tricks and insights.

The Professional Chef

Culinary Institute of America, Mary Deirdre Donovan (Editor)

Produced by the Culinary Institute of America as a textbook for chefs-to-be, The Professional Chef is a book for all who love to cook, as well as students of the craft. It’s a cooking school between covers, a teaching and reference work of extraordinary breadth.

On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals (5th Edition)

Sarah R. Labensky; Alan M. Hause

This book is an attractively designed introduction to cooking and the culinary arts, focusing on information relevant to today’s students. This comprehensive text emphasizes an understanding of cooking fundamentals, explores contemporary dining and vegetarian cooking, discusses nutrition and special health issues, and provides information on other relevant topics such as culinary and food science.

Pastry & Dessert Techniques

American Technical Publishers

Daniel Pliska, CEC

This book presents 35 proven pastry techniques that can be used by novice cooks, culinary students, apprentices, and seasoned veterans of the professional kitchen to create both sweet and savory pastries as well as desserts. Large, step-by-step photos showcase the execution of foundational techniques being used to create 65 elegant pastries and desserts. Some of the recipes contain variations or subcomponent recipes. Online Learner Resources are included with this book.

The Perfect Protein

Andy Sharpless; Suzannah Evans

By establishing science-based quotas, protecting wild habitats, and reducing bycatch (and treating anchovies and their like as food, not feed), Sharpless believes that effective ocean stewardship can put healthy, sustainable seafood on the table forever. To that end, Oceana has tapped 20-plus chefs, including Mario Batali, Eric Ripert, and Jose Andres for recipes that give us all a role to play in this revolutionary mission: to save the fish so that we can eat more fish.

Principles of Food, Beverage, and Labor Cost Controls (9th Edition)

Paul R. Dittmer; J. Desmond Keefe

Principles of Food, Beverage, and Labor Cost Controls (8th Edition) is the essential text for understanding the ins and outs of controlling food, labor, and beverage costs. It comes accompanied by ProMgmt Student Workbook, which allows students to obtain a certificate from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Includes a diskette which contains Excel spreadsheet applications.

ServSafe Coursebook (6th Edition)

NRA National Restaurant Association

Delivering comprehensive training of key food safety concepts, this book is the ideal solution for the academic setting, multiple-day training or individuals in need of more extensive food safety training. The content in ServSafe Coursebook (5th Edition) goes beyond the principles found in ServSafe Essentials (5th Edition) and adds greater depth and breadth of food safety practices by featuring expanded sections on high-risk populations, active managerial control, and crisis management.

Sharpening Made Easy

Steve Bottorff

Sharpening is an apparently simple task, but it eludes many, even with practice. This book reveals the skills and equipment needed to establish and maintain a sharp edge on pocket, kitchen and sporting knives, as well as other household tools.

Volume Food Preparation

American Technical Publishers

Thomas J. Hickey, CEC, CCE

This book addresses the knowledge and skills required in foodservice and catering operations serving educational, healthcare, correctional, and banquet facilities. This foundational textbook focuses on the use of appropriate cooking methods and proven recipes to prepare food in volume settings for both on-site and off-site service.

Checkpoints appear throughout each chapter to help learners review the content. Production tips offer best practices for volume food preparation and delivery. Chapter review questions reinforce comprehension of chapter content. The interactive DVD provides learning tools to reinforce and enhance knowledge and skills.

Professional Development

The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising

Kari Underly

An ideal training tool that’s perfect for use in grocery stores, restaurants, foodservice companies, and culinary schools, as well as by serious home butchers, The Art of Beef Cutting provides clear, up-to-date information on the latest meat cuts and cutting techniques.

Written by Kari Underly, a leading expert in meat education, this comprehensive guide covers all the fundamentals of butchery and includes helpful full-color photos of every cut, information on international beef cuts and cooking styles, tips on merchandising and cutting for profit, and expert advice on the best beef-cutting tools.

Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals, Student Workbook and Study Guide (9th Edition)

Karen Eich Drummond; Lisa M. Brefere

Nutrition for Foodservice and Culinary Professionals is the must-have reference for the most thorough, up-to-date information on nutrition and diet. New and expanded material in this Sixth Edition addresses important topics such as the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, MyPyramid, balanced menu options and recipe ideas for morning and afternoon breaks, basic principles of food presentation, meeting special dietary needs, weight management and much more!


Hungry for Life

Pati Zarate

Hungry for Life is a cookbook like no other. The cookbook’s light, colorful, healthy take on Mexican foods is grounded in family traditions, cultural roots, and personal stories. The recipes are unexpected and delicious—using apple salsa atop a carnitas taco, mangos in salsas, caramelizing hibiscus. Founding Homegirl Chef Pati Zarate opens up a whole new side of Mexican cuisine. Hungry for Life is a cookbook about so much more than food. Cooking together, breaking bread, and sitting down for a meal—these are some of the most ancient and enduring ways of communion and connection with each other.