Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Bickery

World's best cookbooks

Recommended Posts

Hey Everyone! I'm kinda new to all this, so excuse any violation of mores.
Searching google for anything on Mr. Steingarten on the web led me to
this forum. It appears te me that most of you are food professionals or
nearly that, while i'm just a 21-yr old student who likes to cook.

I own both Jeffries books, and i've started putting together a list of
all the books he sort of recommends in his writing. Thus came an idea
for this forum, wouldn't it be fun to concoct a list of say 50
cookbooks from the world over? I everybody, and hopefully mr
Steingarten along with them, would contribute his or hers favourote
books, this could be very interesting.

Due to my limited library on the subject (most cookbooks i've read are
mom's) i shall begin by contributing my current favourite.

I shall put it in last place, because i'm sure a lot of you will have
thing to say on the subject.

so:

50. La cucina essentiale - Stefano Cavallini


I hope a lot of suggestions will follow!

Yours Truly,

Rik

(Host's Note: Thanks to eG member marmish, who has compiled a list of everything mentioned as of the end of July 2009: it can be found here. -CH)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to understand the science of cooking (which is better than it sounds - once you understand how it works you can play around and be creative), then try Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking


Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome, Bickery. Yes, we have some pros here but we also have folks that are just interested in cooking. 21 year-old food nuts will fit right in. :biggrin:

Hmm... There are so many discussions here on books that you could do a lot of research just here and then make up your own mind on what fits for you. It also depends on where your interests are.

I am into Cajun cooking and my all time favorite for real success in the kitchen is Emeril Lagasse's Louisiana Real and Rustic.

The other area of interest to me is Mexican, not Tex-Mex. My favorites are anything by Rick Bayless, Diana Kennedy or Zarela Martinez. I have probably cooked more recipes from Zarela than the others but they are all great references. Zarela's Food From My Heart is the most approachable and I have many favorites from that book that I cook again and again.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I never hesitate to recommend my current long-time favorite, The Cooking of South-West France by Paula Wolfert.

To top things off, Paula is an active eGullet member. :biggrin:

My second favorite would be Cooking from New England by Jasper White.


"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

~ Fernand Point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another good book on the science of cooking is Russ Parson's How to Read a French Fry. Although it isn't nearly as hardcore as McGee, you'll want to take a highlighter in hand.

Russ is another egullet member.

As a catch-all reference, I like Madeline Kammen's The New Making of a Cook.

  • Like 1

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cookbook that gets the most use with the consistently best results in my house is Julia Child's The Way to Cook.

Honorable mentions go to James Peterson's books.

The most amazing "cook"book that I now own, though is the new El Bulli book. It is simply beautiful. I'm not sure that I'll be doing much cooking from it, however :wink: .


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got 3 of Paula's books and just started going through them. She is "it" for Mediterranean cooking as far as I am concerned.


Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to e-Gullet! My favorite cookbooks are Barbara Kafka's "Roasting" and a cookbook called "The Bread Bible". The cookbook that I also find myself always turning back to is "How to Cook Everything"

Finally "Intercourses, an Aphrodisiac Cookbook" is a fun one to have around.


I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love The Best Recipe which is a constant go-to for me when I want some recipe reference. The Professional Chef is also a good one because the photographs offer excellent "lessons" on common techniques such as bread-making, trussing a chicken, and sauce preparation among dozens of others. Just for fun, and mostly because I just got it for Christmas so I've been pouring over it, I'm kind of hot on Michel Bras' Essential Cuisine. I doubt I'll make anything out of it, but I love paging through it for inspiration and for plating design ideas. Aubrac, France is my next food mecca, I can feel it.

By the way, the cover photo of Essential Cuisine isn't some random assembling of various vegetables, that's his tasting of early summer vegetables which includes such rarities as pascal celery, onions from Lezignan, black rasdishes, black salsify, crosne, conopode, and red orache. Good luck putting that dish together!

R. Jason Coulston

  • Like 1

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple come to mind. Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classical Italian Cuisine is probably used the most frequently in my house. I also like Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ooh oooh oooh! *waves hand excitedly*

Larousse Gastronomique


Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My all time favs:

In Madeline's Kitchen, by Madeline Kamen

Secret Ingredients by Michael Roberts

Southwest Tastes by Ellen Brown (a compilation)

Cusine Du Terroir by Celine Vence

Mastering the Art of French Pastry by Bruce Henry and Paul Bugal

Soup, Beautiful Soup by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi

The Commisary Cookbook by Steve Poses

How to Play with your Food by Penn and Teller

anything by Dianna Kennedy

These books do not leave my house!

Some of these are available at Kitchen Arts& Letters

http://kitchenartsandletters.com

  • Like 1

Jim Tarantino

Marinades, Rubs, Brines, Cures, & Glazes

Ten Speed Press

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like every book I've seen listed so far. I'd like to add James Beards American Cookery.

I turn to that one constantly for ideas.

Rodney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an avid diner and have learned to cook as a cheap means to eating well.

My favorite cookbooks are all regional and have taught me new techniques and flavors:

Catalan Cuisine: Europe's Last Great Culinary Secret by Colman Andrews

Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek-Gonzalez

Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

The Elegant Taste of Thailand: Cha Am Cuisine by Pinyo Srisawat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Need help with carnivore issues?"The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. "Barbeque Bible" by Steven Raichlen. Any New York Times Cookbook you can beg,borrow, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

my references

James Beard

The Way to Cook Julia Child

Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art Shizuo Tsuji

Simple to Spectacular Jean-Georges Vongerichten & Mark Bittman

River Roads the best collection of Creole cooking basics around

Return to Cooking Eric Ripert & Mark Ruhlman (I found this at Dickson Street Bookstore in Fayetteville, AR for $20 and it is now my newest favorite)

The Cake Bible Rose Levy Beranbaum

Zuni Cafe Cookbook Judy Rogers

and so many more.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

actually i'm a big fan of the Naked Chef.

his recipes are simple and very unpretentious.


Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
actually i'm a big fan of the Naked Chef.

his recipes are simple and very unpretentious.

The thing I like about his recipes is that they're simple, but he squeezes a lot of flavor out of what he's using. There's a certain depth of flavor you'd usually only find with dishes that require greater techniqe, or time. He definitely has a certain food style, which I respect despite the fact many people abhor him.

R. Jason Coulston


R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If i could have but one cookbook it would be: The Escoffier Cook Book.


A island in a lake, on a island in a lake, is where my house would be if I won the lottery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sacre bleu!

No one has mentioned Jacques Pepin's "Complete Techniques."

For shame. :sad:


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I just got 3 of Paula's books and just started going through them. She is "it" for Mediterranean cooking as far as I am concerned.

This is true.


"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One cookbook that I've gotten a lot of use of is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Greens also by Deborah Madison and Fields of Greens are great when I feel like making something a little more ambitious. Lord Krishna's Cuisine by Yamuna Devi is another one I can always find something I want to eat in. I've learned a lot about cooking from The Professional Chef, but hardly ever use any of the recipes in it. One the other hand, the CIA's Book of Soups is one that I've gotten a fair bit of use out of.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

simply fench--joel robouchon

ma gastronomie--fernand point

green eggs and ham-- dr. seuss

cheers


h. alexander talbot

chef and author

Levittown, PA

ideasinfood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like it, Sam-I-Am! :biggrin:

(No, I've never read the cookbook. How do you make the eggs green? Cilantro sauce?)


Michael aka "Pan

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Mutleyracers
      Hi all. I hope you are well. I am just into baking bread due to lockdown and need help. Ideally I would like modernist bread but the wife is not quite agreeing to that yet. So I would like some where to start for now until she comes around to the idea. After she has tasted all my amazing breads I make. 
       
      I would like this to be in metric rather than imperial.
       
      Thank you 
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
    • By K8CanCook
      Update!! --- the sale is still going on at Amazon as of Sunday (11/24) at 11:15am EST
      ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
       
      Did anyone note the sale price on Modernist Cuisine today (maybe yesterday)? Amazon and Target dropped the set of tomes to $379!!!
       
      This price looks like it will change after today...so get it ASAP!!!

      https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0982761007?pf_rd_p=183f5289-9dc0-416f-942e-e8f213ef368b&pf_rd_r=SRFCHFB5EFTGAA8AZHJX
      -or-
      https://www.target.com/p/modernist-cuisine-by-nathan-myhrvold-chris-young-maxime-bilet-hardcover/-/A-77279948
    • By Bollo
      I need a book on the application of rotavapor machine. I've searched something on web but i can't find something strictly professional for the kitchen please help me. To improve the research. 
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...