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The Best Reference Cookbook?


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Martha Stewart Living Cookbook

 

How to cook everything

 

Joy of cooking

 

The Essential New York Times Cookbook

 

Cook's Illustrated/ ATK

 

 

 

Please Keep adding to the List Above.

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When my brother got married I got him and his wife the David Rosengarten Dean and Deluca cookbook. I think it's really excellent, well tested recipes and covers a wide variety of topics 

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"The Wise Encyclopedia of Cookery. An encyclopedic handbook for the homemaker covering foods and beverages - their purchase, preparation and service." Hardcover book with 1329 pages, published by Wm. H. Wise & Co.

It's dated, but there's nothing else like it.

 

All of Jacques Pepin's books!

 

Modernist Cuisine 😁

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There's books that teach principles like Beards theory and practice or Colicchios Think Like a Chef. I love both. 

 

Then the big compendiums like Joy of C or Bittman. I love neither. 

 

And the gigantic CIA text which does both pretty well. 

 

ETA...I forgot Pepin's stuff and the old NYT cookbook and both of Bourdain's cookbooks

 

Of all of them, I think I learn the most from Think Like a Chef.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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2 hours ago, gfweb said:

Of all of them, I think I learn the most from Think Like a Chef.

 

Agreed.  Or at least it's the book that makes me think the most constructively about food and cooking.

 

But I think it falls short as a reference. For that, The Food Lab (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is the most helpful book I've read lately. I'm not 100% on the Kenji bandwagon, but he's usually right, and is good at explaining why.

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Prue Leith's Cookery Bible is solid for British cooking, largely French influenced. How do I make pate, what's a terrine, cooking times for chicken or venison or anything in between, puddings.

This thread reminded me to look at Gary Rhodes' New British Classics. It had a moment in the sun a few months ago-I think Jay Rayner mentioned it on a list of the best cookbooks ever and it came up here on egullet, and probably elsewhere. When I searched on eBay at the time it was being offered for three figures. Just looked now, £3.49 in good condition. Bought!

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Here is Jay Rayner's list.

 

It's not exactly what the OP is asking for, but it's a good list. I don't think Madhur Jaffrey's book should be considered a definitive guide to Indian cooking, not that he says it is.

 

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Julia's The Way to Cook (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is a nice tome.

 

But is there really a "best" anything? What if I want to cook Spanish or Catalan or Basque food?  I might turn to Colman Andrews. French? Maybe Robuchon, maybe Bocuse?  And on and on.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Some good stuff already mentioned. Modernist Cuisine and MC @ Home. The Pepin technique books are fantastic. I like Cookwise/Bakewise as well. The Food Lab is good, as is the CIA's "The Professional Chef."

 

Some books I'd add are: 

 

The Institut Paul Bocuse Gastronomique book - Technique-driven, lots of pictures, covers a bunch of classical groundwork. Accessible and high-brow all at once.

James Peterson's Sauces: Classical and Contemporary - A classic in the field of saucemaking. Recipes are scaled more for restaurants, but there's nothing else out there that covers sauces in such breadth and depth.

The CIA's Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen - A textbook, also very restaurant/pro-chef focused. But it covers a lot of ground quite well.

 

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The best reference cookbook is not a cookbook:

 

Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking.

 

To my mind, the only indispensable reference. Almost every answer lies within.

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1 minute ago, FlashJack said:

How do you save Google if the house is on fire?

Well it travels without holdng it and your bookmarks live in cyberspace. . Fire Dept "Ready Set Go" does not have cookbooks on your get outta there list ) I know you are joshing :)

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10 minutes ago, FlashJack said:

How do you save Google if the house is on fire?

 

Maybe more importantly, how the fuck do you save Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Pizza, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and the cat?

 

My iPhone is not a problem!

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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25 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

Maybe more importantly, how the fuck do you save Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Pizza, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and the cat?

 

My iPhone is not a problem!

 

I'm glad to see that Rosie is right up there on your list of priorities!

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8 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I'm glad to see that Rosie is right up there on your list of priorities!

she is a cat - has plenty of lives to go

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I have to say i'm really digging French Lessons by Aussie Chef Justin North. Picked it up for less than 5 used and it reallly covers all the basics of modern French cuisine in an easy to understand manner and would def recommend it for anyone wanting to put together composed plates. 

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19 hours ago, weinoo said:

Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Pizza, Modernist Cuisine at Home, and the cat?

Store them on a hand cart near the door, cat included.

Edited by FlashJack
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adding ' Best ' to your cookbook titles

 

has been proven to be extremely lucrative .

 

ATK has made its fortune this way

 

over and over and over again.

 

look for books that suggest variations , with explanations ,

 

as suggested previously , Shirley Corriher's books do this :

 

https://www.amazon.com/CookWise-Successful-Cooking-Secrets-Revealed/dp/0688102298/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1IL9BYWCECG7C&keywords=cookwise&qid=1648209640&sprefix=cookwis%2Caps%2C406&sr=8-2

 

https://www.amazon.com/BakeWise-Successful-Baking-Magnificent-Recipes/dp/1416560785/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1IL9BYWCECG7C&keywords=cookwise&qid=1648209776&sprefix=cookwis%2Caps%2C406&sr=8-6

 

 

 

 

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On 3/20/2022 at 12:03 AM, AAQuesada said:

When my brother got married I got him and his wife the David Rosengarten Dean and Deluca cookbook. I think it's really excellent, well tested recipes and covers a wide variety of topics 

I remember when Food Network first came out.     Man, do I miss shows like his where it is actual food and wine and cooking.   

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