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COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 6th, 2019, 8:59 am
by G. Greenbaum
In no special order, I'm constantly referring to these:
1. Chez Panisse Cooking - Waters and Bertolli
2. Simple - Ottolenghi
3. Plenty - Ottolenghi
4. Sunday Suppers at Lucques - Goin
5. Authentic Mexican - Bayless

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 6th, 2019, 12:57 pm
by J. Rock
I don't use cook books, but I do own "Borago: Coming from the South" by Rodolfo Guzman and I think it's an exceptional cook book and then some, although it would be very difficult for me to make most of the dishes in the the book.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 6th, 2019, 1:53 pm
by Siun o'Connell
Beard on Bread
an old Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook

Otherwise, no recipes.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 6th, 2019, 2:33 pm
by David K o l i n
Don’t generally use cookbooks, but historically:

1. Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Child etal

2. The Classic Italian Cook Book - Hazan

3. La Technique - Pepin

4. French Provincial Cooking - Davi

5. The Wonderful Food of Provence - Escudier and Fuller

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 6th, 2019, 2:55 pm
by scamhi
Sunday Suppers at Lucques- I have loved everything I have made from this book
Zuni Cafe Cookbook
The River Cottage Meat Book
The Food Lab- Kenji Alt Lopez
Marcella Cucina

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 7th, 2019, 4:57 pm
by Alex N
I don't use them either but if I were to pick, it would be something like

Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto
something by Heston Blumenthal
An Indian food one
A Thai food one

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 7th, 2019, 9:08 pm
by Brian G r a f s t r o m
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - by Marcella Hazan
Bouchon - by Thomas Keller
Joy of Cooking - by Rombauer, Becker and Becker
The New Best Recipe - by Cook's Illustrated editors
Le Bernardin- by Eric Ripert & Maguy Le Coze

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 3:26 am
by Dennis Atick
Like many of the other comments, I don't use these books regularly, but this is the list of books that have had the biggest impact on me tweaking my homecooking over time:

French Laundry - Thomas Keller
Momofuku- David Chang
Franklin Barbecue- Aaron Franklin
Les Halles - Bourdain
Every Grain of Rice - Fuschia Dunlop ** must have for appreciation of Sichaun cooking

More Recent cookbooks I've enjoyed
On Vegetables - Jeremy Fox
Smoke and Pickles - Ed Lee
Shaya - Alon Shaya
Manresa - Haha just kidding, Kinch's recipes make the French Laundry stuff seem like a kids' cookbook

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 5:48 am
by Kevin Porter
I have lots of overlap with Suzanne (I'll have to check those on her list that I don't know) -
Zuni Cafe
Food Lab
Marcella Cucina
China Moon - Barbara Tropp
Frog Commissary - Steve Poses, Anne Clarke et al (a Philadelphia classic that started me cooking)

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 6:34 am
by Brian King
Tough question... I'd say:
Fire in My Belly - Kevin Gillespie (fun mix of classic southern with modern dishes. We use the tomato sauce recipe all summer long - we usually can 50 jars of sauce

Le Bernardin - Rippert - went on a pesco vegetarian diet at one point and probably used this book 100 times in 6 months

Toro Bravo - Liz Crain, etc - great Spanish cookbook - my go-to Paella recipe

Cooking in the Moment - Andrea Reusing - great local chef (Chapel Hill, NC) and based on my beloved Carrboro Farmers market

Smoke it Like a Pro - Eric Mitchell - I use this all the time with my Big Green Egg!

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 8:53 am
by Mike Cohen
Brian King wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 6:34 am
Smoke it Like a Pro - Eric Mitchell
Is this really a cookbook? [rofl.gif]

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 8:55 am
by G. Greenbaum
It's tough to narrow down to 5 and I appreciate the offerings so far. I clearly need to look into The Food Lab. I too gain inspiration from these books rather than strictly following the recipes.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 9:04 am
by alan weinberg
Keller’s Ad Hoc hasn’t been mentioned.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 9:22 am
by Dennis Atick
G. Greenbaum wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:55 am
It's tough to narrow down to 5 and I appreciate the offerings so far. I clearly need to look into The Food Lab. I too gain inspiration from these books rather than strictly following the recipes.
Kenji has so much material online you *almost don't need the book.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 9:41 am
by Mike Cohen
Dennis Atick wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 9:22 am
G. Greenbaum wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:55 am
It's tough to narrow down to 5 and I appreciate the offerings so far. I clearly need to look into The Food Lab. I too gain inspiration from these books rather than strictly following the recipes.
Kenji has so much material online you *almost don't need the book.
Serious Eats and Kenji's online stuff has been my favorite place to turn for ideas and techniques. He's amazing.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 9:52 am
by Dennis Atick
Mike Cohen wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 9:41 am
Dennis Atick wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 9:22 am
G. Greenbaum wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:55 am
It's tough to narrow down to 5 and I appreciate the offerings so far. I clearly need to look into The Food Lab. I too gain inspiration from these books rather than strictly following the recipes.
Kenji has so much material online you *almost don't need the book.
Serious Eats and Kenji's online stuff has been my favorite place to turn for ideas and techniques. He's amazing.

No doubt! I did his recent Korean Fried Chicken sandwich recipe last weekend. Total winner. Must try this if you like KFC!

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 10:50 am
by bretrooks
I really don't go to books very often these days, and there are only a few I open with any regularity:

All About Braising/All About Roasting - Molly Stevens
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking - Marcella Hazan
Cook's Illustrated Cookbook: 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years...
Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling - Meathead Goldwyn and Greg Blonder
The San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market Cookbook (a handful of particular recipes)

Since my wife and one of my daughters have started baking more recently, so the most-used ones in our house are probably:

The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts - Sherry Yard
The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 4:52 pm
by G. Keeler
We have started a bit of a cookbook collection and probably have over 100 at this point. Some of our favs that come to mind are Tender by Nigel Slater, Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli, Dinner at the Long Table by Andrew Tarlow and Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell. Recently picked up the Night + Market book by Kris Yenbamroong that I'm having fun with. Like others we tend to read them more for inspiration than to follow a specific recipe.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 8th, 2019, 5:37 pm
by G. Greenbaum
Glenn - I love NMS in Silverlake. How easy are the recipes to follow? The ingredients are easily sourced I would think.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 7:24 am
by Brian King
Mike Cohen wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 8:53 am
Brian King wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 6:34 am
Smoke it Like a Pro - Eric Mitchell
Is this really a cookbook? [rofl.gif]
The author's a big BBQ competition guy... and I'm sure at a lot of those weekends there is probably many ways of smoking that are used!

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 8:03 am
by MBerto
Anyone who says "TFL" is lying. I've got it - it looks wonderful on the shelf, but it's in no way functional.

Ad Hoc is really good though. If I want to do something that will impress guests but not also require a micro-mandoline, sous vide machine, deep fryer, cheesecloth, 72 hour advanced prep and trips to three different specialty butchers just for the sauce, that's where I go.

Only one I repeatedly go back to is Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" - I happen to have the vegetarian version, but that's much more useful; I know how to cook meat.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 4:37 pm
by Alex N
MBerto wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 8:03 am
Anyone who says "TFL" is lying. I've got it - it looks wonderful on the shelf, but it's in no way functional.
Youtube actually has some videos of people who recreate dishes from that book. Not really something I'd want to try



This guy seems to have covered the book https://www.youtube.com/user/Seanc0272/videos

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 4:41 pm
by Jason Crawford
Louisiana Kitchen. Nothing else even close. Adjust the cayenne to your level.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 4:49 pm
by dcornutt
Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Julia Child et al.
The Joy of Cooking - Rombauer etc

After these two, I don't use many books. I love the Ottolenghi books. Plenty and Simple.
Also Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking Book. Highly recommended! But, I don't use many books except in rare instances.

I use Kenji Lopez et al on Serious Eats to get most of my information now. I think this is THE BEST technique and recipe site available.


FWIW.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 6:30 pm
by Sarah Kirschbaum
I am an unapologetic cookbook junkie. I've read hundreds, and own more than 100. Most nights, we don't use a cookbook or recipe. But I wouldn't know anywhere near as much as I do about how to build bases for different cuisines, combine flavors, what technique applies best to what cuts of meat or which vegetables, the order of operations (if you will), and so many other things if I hadn't spent the time reading cookbooks that I have. Experimenting is great. Informed experimenting is better, and reading cookbooks is by far and away the best way to NOT need cookbooks in the future. That's the advice I give everyone who asks me how to become a better cook - read cookbooks! That and shop well. Some books I have read, I'm pretty sure I'll never follow a single recipe from start to finish, and yet having devoured the book has been enormously helpful. If I love a restaurant and the chef has a book, I'll buy it and read it cover to cover.

Some favorites, only those which haven't been mentioned:

Lutece Cookbook
Hot Sour Salty Sweet
Chez Panisse Vegetables
The Silver Palate
Robuchon
Bar Tartine Technique & Recipes
Le Pigeon
Il Viaggio di Vetri

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 9th, 2019, 7:44 pm
by T. Melloni
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
August 9th, 2019, 6:30 pm
... Most nights, we don't use a cookbook or recipe. But I wouldn't know anywhere near as much as I do about how to build bases for different cuisines, combine flavors, what technique applies best to what cuts of meat or which vegetables, the order of operations (if you will), and so many other things if I hadn't spent the time reading cookbooks that I have. Experimenting is great. Informed experimenting is better, and reading cookbooks is by far and away the best way to NOT need cookbooks in the future. ....
I will echo Sarah's comments in both having a collection, and method of using cookbooks.
I will add that I use cook books for not only ideas or techniques, but for inspiration.

I cook a fair amount of Thai and Vietnamese dishes and cook books have helped me learn about the many, different regional styles.
I have Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook and Eleven Madison Park by Daniel Humm and Will Guidara. While I have not prepared a complete recipe from these books, I have used components of their dishes as elements of my own. Similar to my use of Escoffier's Fine Art of Cookery.

I learned southern Italian cooking at the knee of my mother and grandmother. It is Marcella Hazan's books that taught me about other styles of Italian dishes.

Of late, I have used Kenji Alt-Lopez's The Food Lab. In a manner similar to Chris Kimball's books, it adds the science element about why certain techniques or ingredients should be used.

There remains so much to explore and learn.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 10th, 2019, 3:59 am
by Magnus Solhjell
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat is probably the best cookbook I know. It really has made me better at cooking. Watch the Netflix show and buy the book!

And by the way, you're all wrong. The silver spoon rather than Marcella Hazan for Italian food and there are many cookbooks translated from French that are far superior to Julia Child. neener

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 11th, 2019, 3:18 pm
by Christine Huang
This year, the ones I've turned to most are:
  • The Cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert
    Shaya
    Zuni Cafe Cookbook
    Mustard's Grill Napa Valley Cookbook
    Roberta's Cookbook
Baking is my passion, so I've probably used these more than any other books this year:
  • Sister Pie
    Vintage Cakes
    Bravetart
    Tartine
    Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 7:53 am
by G. Greenbaum
Hey Christine - Wow, Mustard's Grill, a blast from the past. And for any of you lucky enough to see the beautiful things coming out of Christine's kitchen, and even luckier to have enjoyed them, well you know what a great cook she is.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 8:21 am
by Josh Grossman
1. Larousse Gastronomique
2. Mastering the Art of French Cooking
3. Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
4. Coco: 10 World-Leading Masters Choose 100 Contemporary Chefs
5. Tough call--but I've modified more recipes and made them my own from Momofuku Cookbook than any other chef.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 8:41 am
by Corey N.
I'm surprised to see so much love for the Food Lab. I think Kenji is a terrible writer, but I suppose I'm in the minority.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 8:45 am
by T. Melloni
Josh Grossman wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 8:21 am
1. Larousse Gastronomique
This is a great book and one I used often when starting to explore and expand my cooking skills.
will have to find my stained and dog-eared copy and revisit it soon.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 9:56 am
by T. Altmayer
Sunday Suppers at Lucques -- So many dinner parties from this book
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking -- Hard to top this for Italian
Flour Water Salt Yeast -- favorite bread book
Sweet by Ottolenghi -- hard to chose between his books, but this one is really fun
Cook's Illustrated Cookbook -- the go to book when I need a basic recipe

I would disagree that the TFL is unusable. It is aspirational, for sure, but I've made at least a half dozen items out of there and it was always fun and usually delicious.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 13th, 2019, 5:13 pm
by Lonnie F.
Kevin Porter wrote:
August 8th, 2019, 5:48 am
I have lots of overlap with Suzanne (I'll have to check those on her list that I don't know) -
Zuni Cafe
Food Lab
Marcella Cucina
China Moon - Barbara Tropp
Frog Commissary - Steve Poses, Anne Clarke et al (a Philadelphia classic that started me cooking)
Man I miss the Commissary.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 14th, 2019, 4:04 pm
by Rick Allen
I think we have about 75 cookbooks, but these are our top 5:
Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Gourmet Cookbook - surprisingly comprehensive and useful. Kind of like Joy of Cooking with more interesting recipes.
Ad Hoc - the Bread Pudding is a go to recipe for a big group
Zuni Cafe - Chicken, lamb, and great explanations of why
Flour Water Salt Yeast - I also like Ken's Pizza book.

I just picked up an old cookbook (early 60s) by Elizabeth David, and I'm really interested to see what's in it. I've heard good things.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 15th, 2019, 3:40 pm
by G. Keeler
Corey N. wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 8:41 am
I'm surprised to see so much love for the Food Lab. I think Kenji is a terrible writer, but I suppose I'm in the minority.
I don't think people read the Food Lab for the writing, compared to other books where you might want to read about a chef or a restaurants history. It's a really good text book for cooking methods and simple recipes. I think it's a great book for someone who is just getting into cooking. Similar but better than what America's Test Kitchen does.

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 16th, 2019, 10:50 am
by MBerto
G. Keeler wrote:
August 15th, 2019, 3:40 pm
Corey N. wrote:
August 13th, 2019, 8:41 am
I'm surprised to see so much love for the Food Lab. I think Kenji is a terrible writer, but I suppose I'm in the minority.
I don't think people read the Food Lab for the writing, compared to other books where you might want to read about a chef or a restaurants history. It's a really good text book for cooking methods and simple recipes. I think it's a great book for someone who is just getting into cooking. Similar but better than what America's Test Kitchen does.
I've had mixed success with it. Problem is it's too wordy and doesn't have enough recipes to really serve as a true reference cookbook like ATK or How to Cook Everything, and spends like 4 pages on a dumbass hamburger. However some of the recipes and techniques are really good, even for somewhat "basic" things (I think it's got one of the better biscuit recipes, for example, and his folding method is slick).

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 17th, 2019, 1:55 am
by K_F_o_l_e_y
I have a lot of cookbooks, but it's funny how more often than not my favorite recipes are from websites like SeriousEats and ChefSteps.

But I did buy a new cookbook today (The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert, by Chris Taylor).

Re: COOKBOOKS: What Are Your Top 5

Posted: August 18th, 2019, 7:38 am
by Rob Isaacs
1. Simple French Food by Richard Olney. Surprised this hasn't been mentioned yet, no one writes recipes like Olney.
2. Modernist Cuisine, so much useful information on cooking and food science.
3. Momofuku, no explanation needed.
4. Manresa, worth the price for the tomato honey and garlic confit recipes alone.
5. Tartine Bread, the best bread you can make at home.