Some of the most exciting dinners in San Francisco are happening at Frances and the newly opened Octavia, thanks to Chef Melissa Perello. At both restaurants, she serves California fare and changes the menu daily according to what’s fresh at the local markets. She’s a fuss-free chef who chef’s love, and though she’s more likely to call herself a cook, Perello does have a Michelin star. Perello is also an entrepreneur — she repaid her Frances investors within two years of their initial investment. With all this, we’re curious to know what books Perello would recommend to young, hungry chefs. Read on.

Bar Tartine: Techniques & Recipes by Cortney Burns and Nicolaus Balla
They use so many interesting techniques in here — it’s a great resource for mixing it up.

Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi
I just love Yotam Ottolenghi, this is a great staple for anyone who likes to cook.

Zuni Cafe Cookbook by Judy Rodgers
Zuni is a San Francisco institution, and this cookbook is incredibly written and well-rounded.

Tartine by Chad Robertson
Their bread is amazing. No one does it better.

Roger Vergé’s Vegetable in the French Style by Roger Vergé
Such a great book to have for some foundational recipes and skills.

Mastering Simplicity: A Life in the Kitchen by Christian Delouvrier and Jennifer Leuzzi
This cookbook is a classic, another old school favorite that everyone should have.

More to read…

Image Map
Photograph courtesy of Melissa Perello, Tartine by Chad Robertson