Chef Starter Kit
6 mins read

Chef Starter Kit

Get creative in the kitchen with materials, resources and programming from Plano Public Library.

Plano Public Library offers everything you need to learn a new skill, develop a new hobby, and pursue a new career. This month’s Starter Kit will offer you the chef special on heating up your cooking skills. Whether you are a beginner or just looking to try some new cuisine, we have something for you.

Upcoming Events

Join us for our unique cooking book club, where you can sample everyone’s hard work!

Cook the Book (Adult)

Choose your favorite recipe for the monthly topic, prepare the dish and participate in a robust discussion on cooking. Waiver required for in-person meetings.

This program is held both in-person and virtually on the third Tuesday of each month at 1pm. Register for the virtual through our online calendar or join us at Davis Library. Don’t forget to bring your masterpiece and your appetite if attending in-person!

Check out all of our Book Clubs on the blog.


Did you know? Plano Public Library organizes nonfiction materials using the Dewey Decimal System, which puts materials with similar subjects together. Check out the 641s in Adult Nonfiction for a huge selection of cookbooks!


100 Techniques: Master a Lifetime of Cooking Skills, from Basic to Bucket List by America’s Test Kitchen: This book isn’t meant to be a sequential cooking course, so dip into it wherever and however you like. Try one of the simple essentials that will make your everyday life easier and more enjoyable, like simmering a great tomato sauce or making a pan sauce for cutlets. Or invite some friends over to share in the success of a kitchen project you’ve always wanted to tackle, like achieving genuine Texas-style barbecue in a regular kettle grill or baking a New York deli-style cheesecake. We hope you think of 100 Techniques as your guidebook to a lifetime of cooking success. | Print |

Cook This Book: Techniques that Teach & Recipes to Repeat by Molly Baz: Baz breaks down the essentials of cooking through clear and uncomplicated recipes that deliver big flavor with little effort– and a generous side of education. She encourages improvisation, while giving you all the tools necessary to make food that tastes great every single time. | Print | eBook |

From Scratch: 10 Meals, 175 Recipes, and Dozens of Techniques you will Use Over and Over by Michael Ruhlman: An indispensable new cookbook from James Beard Award-winning food writer Michael Ruhlman, From Scratch looks at 10 favorite meals, including roast chicken, the perfect omelet, and paella-and then, through 175 recipes, explores myriad alternate pathways that the kitchen invites. | Print |

The Cook’s Atelier: Recipes, Techniques, and Stories from our French Cooking School by Marjorie Taylor: The debut cookbook from The Cook’s Atelier-the international culinary destination and cooking school in Burgundy – is a beautifully photographed resource on classic French cuisine and an atmospheric chronicle of a family’s life in a charming French village. | Print |


My Very First Cookbook: Joyful Recipes to Make Together! by Danielle Kartes: Watching mom or dad in the kitchen is usually a child’s first introduction to cooking. And when that inevitable question pops up (“Can I help?”), now you can say, “Yes!” These delightful and delicious kid-friendly recipes are the perfect introduction to cooking for little chefs just starting out. Step-by-step instructions are written directly to the child reader with clear indications for when they need a grown-up’s assistance. | Print |

Kid Chef Every Day: The Easy Cookbook for Foodie Kids by Colleen Kennedy: Kid Chef Every Day welcomes your budding home cook into the kitchen with over 65 super yummy and easy recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and more. The simple step-by-step directions for learning new techniques allows kids to take their skills from curious to accomplished. | Print |

The Big Fun Kids Cookbook by Food Network: Gives young food lovers everything they need to succeed in the kitchen. Each recipe is totally foolproof and easy to follow, with color photos and tips to help beginners get excited about cooking. The book includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert — all from the trusted chefs in Food Network’s test kitchen. | Print |

Online Materials
The Great Courses via Kanopy

Cooking Basics: What Everyone Should Know – Presented in partnership with The Culinary Institute of America and filmed at the CIA’s flagship facility in New York, this series provides the step-by-step instructions you need to become a confident, productive cook in your own home. Your instructor, Chef Sean Kahlenberg, carefully walks you through the many dozen original recipes he presents in 24 easy-to-follow lessons.

The Everyday Gourmet: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Cooking – Great-tasting meals begin with an understanding of the fundamentals of cooking. Now, in this 12-hour course taught by a professional chef-instructor from The Culinary Institute of America, you can learn the foundational culinary skills you need to turn out delicious and impressive meals. Gain an expert chef’s insight into tips, tricks, and secrets that will elevate any dish from good to great.

Food: A Cultural Culinary History – The drive to obtain food has been a major catalyst across all of history, from prehistoric times to the present. Take an enthralling journey into the human relationship to food as you travel the world discovering fascinating food lore and culture of all regions and eras—as an eye-opening lesson in history as well as a unique window on what we eat today.

Other Online Resources

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center – Search for articles on cooking and baking, including recipes.

We hope this resource list is beneficial to your personal and professional goals. View other Starter Kit blog posts to explore more ways to enrich your life. You can find all of this and more at your local Plano Public Library

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