It's fair to say most cookbooks are designed for the home cook. Not just in terms of quantities but also in terms of technique; it's very common to see recipes - even those written by giants in the catering world - edited "so you can prepare them at home".

Even a high-level book such as Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook boasts that "all [recipes] have been thoroughly tested in home kitchens".

Do recipe books for restaurant-level chefs exist? I'm not talking about catering or bulk-cooking recipes which focus on event cooking but rather books where the author assumes that you have access to professional-level equipment, unusual/exotic/technical ingredients. Books which actually document the way a restaurant chef would prepare and cook their own food every day.

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    Are you asking for a cookbook that assumes a professional kitchen, but makes things in at-home quantities? That seems ... contradictory. I think your expectation of professional cookbooks is based on some serious misconceptions.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 5:48
  • I would like to remind everybody that we don't take big-list questions. So if you are contemplating writing an answer, it shouldn't be on the lines of "X is such a book, so you see they exist". If somebody can write a nice, substantial answer describing the availability and usage of cookbooks for chefs in general, that would be acceptable.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 5:55
  • Yes there are. The cookbooks are called "reference books" and the reference is there becuse it assume you know how to cook things. There are no igredients list, no procedures. They don't document how restaurant chef would cook because those books assume proffesional chefs know how to do that. Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 7:51
  • @FuzzyChef No, bulk quantities are fine. I was thinking of things like the inclusion of emulsifiers, stabilisers, etc. in recipes which home cooks wouldn't have access to.
    – WackGet
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 12:54
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    Most of the books (in English) that I've seen on professional cooking aren't geared towards recipes -- they're about skills, techniques, maybe even tools and economics/business management. The exception to that are ones more in the french tradition ... like on sauces. There are also books on garnishes/presentation, and on flavor pairings, as I suspect they assume that professionals are going to come up with their own recipes (based on local/seasonally available ingredients) as that helps them create things at a reasonable price
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 17:15

3 Answers 3


Disclaimer: Not a professional

Look at what organizations that train professionals use. For example, the Culinary Institute of America publishes The Professional Chef. My understanding is this an instructional text for the institute.

From the introduction of the 8th edition:

The Professional Chef is suited to a variety of teaching situations... Chapter One covers the history of cooking as a profession and examines the skills and attributes of a professional chef and other members of the foodservice profession.

  • 1
    Agreed. Culinary textbooks as opposed to "cookbooks." I own the book you mention and it is very much geared to restaurant professionals. Also On Cooking (published by Pearson, not the famous McGee text but that is great too).
    – Preston
    Commented Oct 25, 2019 at 20:18

Most book about molecular cooking tend to be on the expert or restaurant level.

For example, the El Bulli books are full with exotic ingredients, techniques and equipments that are not usually found in home kitchen, at least when they came out.

Remember that the big differences between a home cook and a restaurant cook/chef are not the recipes themselves or the techniques or the equipment, but the ability to create and imagine the recipes and the ability to be able to make 20, 30 or more servings of the same recipes each night while being consistent in quality and within budget.


If you are looking for book adressed especially to chefs and not made for the mass of homecooker, there is indeed some publications, at least in France, made for professionals, such as Thuries1 thoses books contain Michelin-level recipe with a lot of skills required, and even if there is some step by step indication on how to do the recipe, a lot of explanation are skip and it's kept at a quite high level. It is more a reference book for chefs to get new ideas than a recipe book for homecooking. Theses book usually do not focus on quantity, but rather on the novelty of the idea exposed in the recipes.

In that manner, I think it does adress your request.

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