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November 06, 2007



You can tell that list is constructed by committee.

What about Escoffier, Keller, Elizabeth David? For more contemporary books there's the fantastic Cook's Book. I'd also add the books from St John's in London and Dan Lepard's baking books.


A few thoughts:

-- A lot of very general books that overlap considerably. No one needs the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, How to Cook Everything, The Joy of Cooking, The Silver Palate Cookbook, and The Way to Cook.

-- I own the Pepin book but I rely on Le Cordon Bleu's Complete Cooking Techniques, which has color illustrations and more of them.

-- I prefer Diana Kennedy's From My Mexican Kitchen to the Bayless book.

-- Nothing on garde manger or charcuterie.

-- Nothing on cheese.

-- No Greek, Middle Eastern or African.


To further the details, I prefer the Joy of Cooking pre-revision. My edition is from the 1960’s.


No offense to committee, but if you add the Joy of Cooking, then you'd better add Betty Crocker's original cookbook (it has been reissued)! A careful perusal will suprise some people at the nonchallant "lifting" that has been done from that text. There's very little originality in exchanging say, rapid rise yeast for block-style yeast, but to call that an original and put your name to it, well...

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