I'm a professional pastry cook for a restaurant in Manhattan. My favorite cookbooks are The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg, Dessert University by Roland Messnier, The Fannie Farmer Baking Book, Tartine by Elisabeth Pruiett, Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques...and The Apprentice: My Life In The Kitchen by Jacques Pepin is my favorite food autobiography (with recipes in each chapter). I'd love to talk with other women food professionals. I am the only woman in my kitchen at work and although I love all the guys I don't have many women to discuss the daily life in a restaurant kitchen with. I recommend wearing Crocs (shoes) for long shifts on your feet. They're really comfortable.