The cookbooks that made you the cook you are in Cookbooks & References Posted October 19, 2009 Oh My....the Time Life Books! I also was gifted a set a LONG time ago....and somehow it found it's way out of the collection....I was thinking about those the other day.My top three cookbooks are...1. My grandmother 1957 copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook - gingham covered and ful of notes in the margins, recipes written on the back of envelopes tucked between the pages - it's a treasure.2. Jacques Pépin's Cooking Techniques - I was out of work and unable to finance culinary school - so I worked front to back with this one and taught myself. (I read the Tom Colicchio had done this as well and thought "if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me"3. Culinary Artistry - this book opened my eys to combinations of flavor and methods that I had not concidered before - this book and it's more recent release The Flavor Bible are ones I give to all my foodie friends for gifts.