The best cookbooks for every kind of chef


Karina Schink

These four cookbooks will help the beginner, intermediate, or advanced chef cook up some delicious treats. Credit: Karina Schink/The Foothill Dragon Press

At Barnes & Noble there are rows upon rows of cookbooks. They come in an array of themes: gluten-free, The South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, chocolate lovers, or meat lovers. So where do you start?

Here are a couple cookbooks to help you start your collection:

Cooking with Trader Joes: Gluten Free
This book, by Deana Gunn and Wona Minati, is fantastic for anyone who is just starting out as a gluten-free eater, someone who has a gluten allergy, or anyone who just wants to try and eat a little bit healthier. All of the recipes have pictures, nutrition facts, and look delicious, but the best thing about this cookbook is that you can find every single ingredient at Trader Joes. The convenience this book provides is particularly wonderful for those who are trying to be gluten-free for the first time and don’t really know where to start.

500 Chocolate Delights
For the not-so-healthy side of living, “500 Chocolate Delights” by Lauren Floodgate is great. It includes a list of equipment and a description of each device for any recipe that may require it; it includes pictures and unique recipes like orange and chocolate muffins. The instructions aren’t very wordy and are easy to follow. “500 Chocolate Delights” includes recipes for muffins, cakes, cookies, and holiday treats. It may not be the healthiest book, but everyone needs a little bit of chocolate every once in awhile.

The Best of Gourmet Series
Once your culinary skills begin to improve and you find that you want to move on from easy recipes, but aren’t quite ready for Julia Child, invest in “The Best Gourmet Series.” Including editions from 1986 to 2006, and Holiday Editions, “The Best Gourmet Series” is filled with exquisite recipes for every occasion. Its recipe pages are not as fun and colorful as Minati and Gunn’s book, but it is for more serious cooks. If you want a challenge, and amazing food, try The Best.

Cook This, Not That!
“Cook This, Not That!” by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding is a cookbook for everyone out there who wants to eat healthier, but just can’t seem to give up the McDonald’s burgers. Zinczenko and Goulding show examples of fast food restaurant meals, including their calorie values, and how to make them healthier at home. Including recipes like Quizno’s Classic Cobb Regular Chopped Salad and their Turkey BLT make-it-at-home version, 220 calories less. Their book is easy to understand, with a simple how-to paragraph for every recipe.


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