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cookbooks with pictures


Honkman
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When I compare my German cookbooks with my American ones one thing which I don't like with most of the American cookbook is that they are lacking pictures of the dishes. I am not talking about "food porn" (where the pictures only cover lousy recipes) but I think a good cookbook only becomes an excellent cookbook if the visual part is also in place. And you will find hardly any excellent German cookbook without stunning pictures. There are of course exceptions (e.g. The Cook's Book etc.) but what kind of cookbooks do you have with great recipes and great pictures ?

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The obvious jumping off point would be the Kellerousse Gastronomique duo of The French Laundry Cookbook and Bouchon by Thomas Keller and Michael Ruhlman.

Another great picture cookbook is one called Larousse Best Desserts Ever that I bought in the early 1980s.

Ann Willan's Look & Cook series has great color illustrations, as does the Time-Life Good Cook series.

Shizuo Tsuji's Japanese Cooking - A Simple Art has sixteen pages of beautiful illustrations, of which eight are finished dishes.

Also, it depends what you want from a cookbook. If all you want is to suck out the zeitgeist like when watching the Food Network, then you want color pictures. If you want to learn how to make dishes, Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques (B&W) is for you.

Edited by bob tenaglio (log)
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Two books that come to my mind which contain excellent recipes with instructions and techniques, and beautiful photos that enhances but doesn't overwhelm the text are Baking with Julia and Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home.

SB :cool:

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Also, it depends what you want from a cookbook. If all you want is to suck out the zeitgeist like when watching the Food Network, then you want color pictures. If you want to learn how to make dishes, Jacques Pepin's Complete Techniques (B&W) is for you.

Thanks for the reply. I am always surprised that I get in the US the same reactions on my question with cookbooks and pictures. I asked this question also on another MB and got more or less the same answer that I am mainly interested in Zeitgeist or somebody asked me why I wouldn't care for the recipes. Color pictures have nothing to do with Zeitgeist (or the Food Network) or are a sign that the whole book has no value. It seems more that the quality of cookbooks in the US was for a long time quite low and so most people think that bringing the quality level to an acceptable level would diminish the quality of the recipes which is completely wrong.

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When I compare my German cookbooks with my American ones one thing which I don't like with most of the American cookbook is that they are lacking pictures of the dishes. I am not talking about "food porn" (where the pictures only cover lousy recipes) but I think a good cookbook only becomes an excellent cookbook if the visual part is also in place. And you will find hardly any excellent German cookbook without stunning pictures. There are of course exceptions (e.g. The Cook's Book etc.) but what kind of cookbooks do you have with great recipes and great pictures ?

A whole group of Italian cookbooks by Guilliano Bugialli have lovely photos of almost every dish in the book and the recipes seem to be pretty authentic as well.

What are some of the good German cookbooks you have? I'd be interested to hear of some of your favorite titles. I'm guessing these will be in German, but that is ok for me.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I've reviewed several food and cookbooks from Chronicle Books and they all seem to feature very high quality photography.

Thanks,

Bill

William I. Lengeman III

Freelance Journalist, Food Writer & Book Reviewer

http://wileng3.blogspot.com/

Tea Guy Speaks

http://wileng.blogspot.com/

When I compare my German cookbooks with my American ones one thing which I don't like with most of the American cookbook is that they are lacking pictures of the dishes. I am not talking about "food porn" (where the pictures only cover lousy recipes) but I think a good cookbook only becomes an excellent cookbook if the visual part is also in place. And you will find hardly any excellent German cookbook without stunning pictures. There are of course exceptions (e.g. The Cook's Book etc.) but what kind of cookbooks do you have with great recipes and great pictures ?

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I agree with Tsuji, Nobu and Tetsuya (the latter two for artistry even more so). And the works from the chap in Yountville.

Yan Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook has fantastically informative photographs of chinese cutting techniques and cooking styles (ie how to use a wok 101 and how to use a chinese cleaver 101). They are fantastic, and I must say, infinitely superior to those in Tropp's Modern Art of Chinese Cooking. The recipes are fantastic also and accompanied be slightly dated but nevertheless useful pictures about how the finished dishes should look.

If you are in the mood for armchair travelling, then the Momo Cookbook is a whistlestop tour of North Africa, with nice food photography thrown in.

I have to say tho, that if a cookbook is good (and by that I am not referring just to the recipes but also the author's "voice" if you like) then I am in no way missing the pictures...I dont need an illiustrated Elizabeth David, Richard Olney, Marcella Hazan or Claudia Roden. Even Nigella's How to Eat doesnt have photos, and that doesnt detract from the utility of such books in any way, IMHO.

Beautiful food photography (over styled to some tastes, tho it may be) seem to be a staple of Australian cookery books more so than anywhere else. Tetsuya has already been mentioned, I recently purchased French by Damien Pignolet (wonderful book btw) and I own Bill's Sydney Food, Spice by Christine Manfield and Recipes & Stories by Kylie Kwong (I like this one). But the real stars in terms of photography and eye candy are surely the Australian Women's Weekly/Donna Hay. I dont own any, as they dont seem to be my cup of tea. But as I said earlier, IMHO, it depends on what you want from your food photos.

Raj

Edited to add...forgot about Marcella Hazan...how could I?

Edited by Raj Banerjee (log)
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The Wei-Chuan series are loaded with photos, as are the Quick & Easy series published by JOIE, Inc./Japan Publications.

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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