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JKerr
09-12-2012, 10:20 PM
Seeing as my knife buying is on hiatus for a bit (really just because I'm struggling to justify buying more, as much as I'd love to), I figured it's been a while since I picked up a new cook book.

Added a few beauties to my humble collection, some old, some recent, some used, some new. Anyways, I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite but I tend to gravitate towards a certain few - "Izakaya, the Japanese pub cookbook" when I just want something to read, Coco or Alinea when I want some mind-boggling food porn and Fergus Henderson's Nose-to-tail II for breads and such.

I've already become attached to one of my most recent acquisitons called "Grandma Grandpa Cook", it tells the stories of 40odd grandparents in china; their youth, their families and, of course, their treasured recipes. Just a beautifully printed and written book.

So there you go. I'm sure there must be a few members here with insane collections, so please share your favorites, and feel free to post pics :D

Cheers
Josh

mr drinky
09-12-2012, 10:35 PM
As of late I have been using Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc cookbook, but I also really like the whole Phaidon lineup. I have Vefa's kitchen (Greek), 1080 Recipes, and Silver Spoon.

k.

cnochef
09-12-2012, 10:37 PM
There was a long discussion of this topic a while ago, you should use search and see the interesting answers!

Lately I've been in a peasant food mood, so I'm enjoying my copy of the Rao's Restaurant Cookbook.

I also reference Donald Link's Real Cajun and Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery regularly.

I have a modest collection of 50 or so cookbooks, I had to liquidate a major collection a few years back when I moved across Canada.

barramonday
09-12-2012, 11:50 PM
Certainly couldn't give a favorite , but of my recent buys I'm liking William curley's Couture chocolate.

I also recently got a hold of issues 5,6,7,8 of So Good magazine , fascinating glimpse into the very highest echelons of modern patisserie . The blown sugar apple dish on the cover of issue 7 is awesome.

ecchef
09-13-2012, 12:16 AM
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/612-Your-favorite-cookbook?highlight=cookbook+favorite

JKerr
09-13-2012, 12:28 AM
My bad, I guess that was a little half arsed on my behalf not searching for previous threads :O

Incidently, I was skimming through So Good yesterday at the shop, some of Jordi Roca's creations are insane.

cookinstuff
09-13-2012, 12:59 AM
Just looked through that thread and will just post here, didn't see a couple that really did it for me when I read them.
Michel Bras - Essential Cuisine - This was amazing, still is. Wow.
Anything by Stephane Reynaud - Terrines, French Feasts, new stuff all the time very French.
Susur - A Culinary Life - As a Canadian, and Torontonian this made me realize I didn't have to go anywhere to cook good food, I just had to do it myself. Kinda silly, but whatever.
and of course a few that did get mentioned.
La Technique and La Methode by Jacques Pepin
The Complete Robuchon - Joel Robuchon
On Food and Cooking - Harold McGee
Charcuterie - Ruhlman, Polcyn
Larousse Gastronomique
Nose to Tail Eating - Fergus Henderson
Sauces and Eggs - Michel Roux
Au Pied de Cochon - Martin Picard
On the Line - Eric Ripert
Kitchen Confidential and Les Halles Cookbook - Anthony Bourdain - duh

Now time to add a few to my to buy list, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid's Hot Sour Salty Sweet on Southeast Asia - If it's good and they are from Toronto, sounds good enough to me
Local Breads - heard this one too many times now to ignore, it's official.
Cooking by Hand - Paul Bertolli, just remembered this one when I read it, an old chef of mine had it on the shelf, was a good one.
Thanks for the thread, I'm a bigger cookbook addict than a knife addict so this one sparked some fire in me for some reading, time to break out Mugaritz and see if it's any good.

sachem allison
09-13-2012, 02:31 AM
One of my favorites, just for personal use and enjoyable read is called The Unplugged Kitchen by Viana La Place. The food is ridiculously simple and clean , The philosophy is very much in keeping with my view of food, so I like it for that. Simple to the point of laugh-ability in a good way of course.

cookinstuff
09-13-2012, 02:42 AM
And another on the to get list... thanks :dazed:

DwarvenChef
09-13-2012, 02:57 AM
Always a dangerous thread for me, I stopped counting after 475 cookbooks... :p

Lately I've been all over "The Japanese Grill" Tadaishi Ono & Harris Salat, some great ideas floating around in the book.

One of my favorite books is not really that great a cookbook but it is noval, Blondie's cookbook :p Dagwood is pretty funny here :p

mr drinky
09-13-2012, 09:06 AM
After that last thread I laid down some good change on some cookbooks -- some I have used and some I haven't yet.

But a question for you cookbook addicts: How do you manage the info and use all of those books? Do you just read through them leisurely and dream of food? Do you focus on one book for a while and cook a bunch of things from it and then move on? Do you go to some index when you have an ingredient from the farmer's market that you want to use? Or do you just use it for ideas and inspiration? Just wondering.

In the past I used to page through the entire cookbook, skim the recipes and star the ones I really wanted to cook, and then write on the inside of the cover the those page numbers. So whenever I wanted something new I would just pull a book, flip to the inside cover and start going down the list of page numbers until I found something I liked. It was kind of nice and sort of a randomizer of my recipes.

On the other hand, I am way too anal about clipping recipes from magazines. It started when I was living abroad and had few English-language cooking magazines and I couldn't lug around cookbooks. I would clip recipes I wanted to cook, and then file it. So if I wanted to do a different pasta dish than normal, I just pulled out the folder for something to make. If I didn't like it I would toss the recipe, if it was good enough to stick around I just refiled it back into the rotation, and if it was really good it would graduate to a 'favorites' folder. Did I not say I was anal about this? But 20 years from now that favorites folder will have some pretty damn good, family tested recipes.

Nowadays with cookbooks, I use the Eat Your Books website. I just used it a couple of days ago when I had a boat load of fresh beans that needed to be eaten. I found an interesting recipe in one of my books in about 5 minutes.

k.

sachem allison
09-13-2012, 11:59 AM
never use any of the recipes in a cookbook, use it more for ideas. Let's say I want to make a gumbo recipe, I will look up 10 or 20 recipes, See what the most common ingredients are in those recipes, that sets my flavor profile. Then I will back track the oldest recipe I can find for the dish and that gets me a little closer to the original intent of the dish. If I can find the history of the region and people that that dish came from, the better. I try to master the authentic dish first an then make modifications later.
Everyday cooking is a little more impromptu. What's fresh, what's peak, what can I afford. sometimes I just like to look at pictures.

Johnny.B.Good
09-13-2012, 12:57 PM
One of my favorites, just for personal use and enjoyable read is called The Unplugged Kitchen by Viana La Place.

Looks good; ordered it this morning.

SameGuy
09-13-2012, 01:47 PM
Italian Food by Elizabeth David

GlassEye
09-13-2012, 01:55 PM
never use any of the recipes in a cookbook, use it more for ideas. Let's say I want to make a gumbo recipe, I will look up 10 or 20 recipes, See what the most common ingredients are in those recipes, that sets my flavor profile. Then I will back track the oldest recipe I can find for the dish and that gets me a little closer to the original intent of the dish. If I can find the history of the region and people that that dish came from, the better. I try to master the authentic dish first an then make modifications later.
Everyday cooking is a little more impromptu. What's fresh, what's peak, what can I afford. sometimes I just like to look at pictures.

Quite similar to how I use cookbooks/recipes. I will read as many as I can to get a concept of the recipe and techniques, then make my own without recipe.

SpikeC
09-13-2012, 04:05 PM
+1. I use the web this way as well.

Namaxy
09-13-2012, 05:27 PM
never use any of the recipes in a cookbook, use it more for ideas. Let's say I want to make a gumbo recipe, I will look up 10 or 20 recipes, See what the most common ingredients are in those recipes, that sets my flavor profile. Then I will back track the oldest recipe I can find for the dish and that gets me a little closer to the original intent of the dish. If I can find the history of the region and people that that dish came from, the better. I try to master the authentic dish first an then make modifications later.
Everyday cooking is a little more impromptu. What's fresh, what's peak, what can I afford. sometimes I just like to look at pictures.

I'm fond of this approach as well. I have some 300 cookbooks, not to mention countless magazines which I love to thumb through and make notes to myself. My scribbles never comprise an actual recipe...more just reminders etc.

For food shopping, I try to tell people not to shop with a list, but instead shop with their eyes and nose. It's much more fun to come home from the market with inspiring ingredients, then figure out what to do.

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 07:05 PM
... Added a few beauties to my humble collection, some old, some recent, some used, some new. Anyways, I'm hard pressed to pick a favorite but I tend to gravitate towards a certain few - "Izakaya, the Japanese pub cookbook" when I just want something to read ... Cheers, Josh

Thanks for the heads up on this one. Just looked it up and see it's over 100 bucks new, but somehow found a listing for under 20 - ordered!

I also took the opportunity to get Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (25th Anniv Ed). Seemed like a good purchase; has anyone ever used it? Jeez, I've lived in Japan but never owned a J cookbook, and the ingredients will be pretty accessible here in Korea.


Lately I've been all over "The Japanese Grill" Tadaishi Ono & Harris Salat, some great ideas floating around in the book...

Ooooh, will have to look into this one next!

mhlee
09-13-2012, 07:24 PM
Thanks for the heads up on this one. Just looked it up and see it's over 100 bucks new, but somehow found a listing for under 20 - ordered!

I also took the opportunity to get Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art (25th Anniv Ed). Seemed like a good purchase; has anyone ever used it? Jeez, I've lived in Japan but never owned a J cookbook, and the ingredients will be pretty accessible here in Korea.


Best overall, comprehensive Japanese cookbook that I've come across. I've had my book for over ten years. I go to this book first when I look for any Japanese recipe.

While the seasoning may differ from what one prefers, the recipes that I've tried are, for the most part, accurate.

Also, this edition supposedly has more pictures which was one of my complaints of the original book. It's a must for anyone interested in Japanese cooking, IMHO.

FWIW, my mother is Japanese, I grew up speaking Japanese and eating Japanese food, regularly cook Japanese food, and it's still, to this day, my favorite type of food.

SameGuy
09-13-2012, 07:29 PM
Wow. 300? 475+? I think I have two dozen books and a floating handful of magazines, but I frequently scour the 'net for recipes or techniques. I believe I've learned more watching Ciril Hitz and old Pepin videos on Youtube than from most books. My Amazon Wish List always has cookbooks in it, but I rarely actually pull the trigger on them. A bunch of mine were gifts, some hand-me-downs and some are from the bargain bins at the front of B&N/Borders-Waldenbooks (RIP)/Chapters-Coles-etc.

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 07:48 PM
Best overall, comprehensive Japanese cookbook that I've come across. I've had my book for over ten years. I go to this book first when I look for any Japanese recipe.

While the seasoning may differ from what one prefers, the recipes that I've tried are, for the most part, accurate.

Also, this edition supposedly has more pictures which was one of my complaints of the original book. It's a must for anyone interested in Japanese cooking, IMHO.

FWIW, my mother is Japanese, I grew up speaking Japanese and eating Japanese food, regularly cook Japanese food, and it's still, to this day, my favorite type of food.

Sugoi! Thanks, sounds like I've made a great purchase.

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 07:52 PM
Wow. 300? 475+? I think I have two dozen books and a floating handful of magazines, but I frequently scour the 'net for recipes or techniques. I believe I've learned more watching Ciril Hitz and old Pepin videos on Youtube than from most books. My Amazon Wish List always has cookbooks in it, but I rarely actually pull the trigger on them. A bunch of mine were gifts, some hand-me-downs and some are from the bargain bins at the front of B&N/Borders-Waldenbooks (RIP)/Chapters-Coles-etc.

SameGuy - Know what you mean, and I don't have a big collection of books either. Maybe 50, but many carefully chosen. I know about lots of the ones cited as 'favs' because you could borrow them from the Toronto Public Library ('best in N.America') and I'd have them for a month or so and noted down what I needed.

Not sure if this is possible in Montreal, though. :razz:

SameGuy
09-13-2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the heads up on this one. Just looked it up and see it's over 100 bucks new, but somehow found a listing for under 20 - ordered!Uhh, yeah, how did that happen? Listings everywhere for $65 to $110... and Amazon Prime has the hardcover for $18 and change? Ordered.

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 08:03 PM
Uhh, yeah, how did that happen? Listings everywhere for $65 to $110... and Amazon Prime has the hardcover for $18 and change? Ordered.

Exactement!

SameGuy
09-13-2012, 08:15 PM
Wish-listed Japanese Cooking, too. Thanks for that​ heads-up!

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 09:07 PM
Yeah - we're on a roll!

echerub
09-13-2012, 09:19 PM
Japanese Cooking is a great book. I haven't yet read it cover to cover, but it is still the standard that in some way or another I compare other Japanese cuisine cookbooks against.

Izakaya is a cool little book. I have to admit that I've had that sitting on my shelf mostly unread for quite some time! I haven't really delved into this one.

Zwiefel
09-13-2012, 09:45 PM
I'm not sure it's my absolute favorite, but this is the best pure vegetarian Indian cookbook I've come across. Aside from the obvious stuff like Rasam and Sambar, there is substantial coverage of podis (spice mixes, usually for adding directly to otherwise plain rice, but also can be quickstarts for sambar/rasam/etc.).

http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Home-Pedatha-Vegetarian-World/dp/8190299301/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347586959&sr=8-1&keywords=cooking+with+pedatha

brainsausage
09-13-2012, 10:59 PM
After that last thread I laid down some good change on some cookbooks -- some I have used and some I haven't yet.

But a question for you cookbook addicts: How do you manage the info and use all of those books? Do you just read through them leisurely and dream of food? Do you focus on one book for a while and cook a bunch of things from it and then move on? Do you go to some index when you have an ingredient from the farmer's market that you want to use? Or do you just use it for ideas and inspiration? Just wondering.

In the past I used to page through the entire cookbook, skim the recipes and star the ones I really wanted to cook, and then write on the inside of the cover the those page numbers. So whenever I wanted something new I would just pull a book, flip to the inside cover and start going down the list of page numbers until I found something I liked. It was kind of nice and sort of a randomizer of my recipes.

On the other hand, I am way too anal about clipping recipes from magazines. It started when I was living abroad and had few English-language cooking magazines and I couldn't lug around cookbooks. I would clip recipes I wanted to cook, and then file it. So if I wanted to do a different pasta dish than normal, I just pulled out the folder for something to make. If I didn't like it I would toss the recipe, if it was good enough to stick around I just refiled it back into the rotation, and if it was really good it would graduate to a 'favorites' folder. Did I not say I was anal about this? But 20 years from now that favorites folder will have some pretty damn good, family tested recipes.

Nowadays with cookbooks, I use the Eat Your Books website. I just used it a couple of days ago when I had a boat load of fresh beans that needed to be eaten. I found an interesting recipe in one of my books in about 5 minutes.

k.

I buy books based on the amount of technique exhibited. Recipes are interesting, but I never use them.

Cutty Sharp
09-13-2012, 11:31 PM
I'm not sure it's my absolute favorite, but this is the best pure vegetarian Indian cookbook I've come across. Aside from the obvious stuff like Rasam and Sambar, there is substantial coverage of podis (spice mixes, usually for adding directly to otherwise plain rice, but also can be quickstarts for sambar/rasam/etc.).
http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Home-Pedatha-Vegetarian-World/dp/8190299301/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347586959&sr=8-1&keywords=cooking+with+pedatha

Oooh, sounds good!


Japanese Cooking is a great book. I haven't yet read it cover to cover, but it is still the standard that in some way or another I compare other Japanese cuisine cookbooks against.
Izakaya is a cool little book. I have to admit that I've had that sitting on my shelf mostly unread for quite some time! I haven't really delved into this one.

Is it really sitting on your self, or in truth have you misplaced this one as well? :groucho:

Len, Len, Len - you've probabaly lost more than most of us will ever own!

DwarvenChef
09-14-2012, 02:20 AM
I rarely use a recipe as printed in the books I have. One thing is that you never know what brand, style, or season the ingredients came from so the dish will never be the same as writen. Some books I have are nostalgic and some are pure function, Jacques Pepin's The Art Of Cooking, and a few where weak moments of hunger and something in the book bit me :p

I tend to read the books like a novel and the recipes are the flavor of the story inside. I also got interested in some of Beards writings and I pick up the first printings if I come across them for a good price. Some books are style driven, Bacon cookbooks are never passed up, I scour them for interesting info :)

Books I don't spend $$ on are the collections of recipes with not attachment to anything. I need some kind of connection to keep the book around. One book I have that is for all intent a recipe book, is about Japanese home cooking. I was getting a one on one tour of a japanese market from a lady I cooked for, she went through all the departments and got into how her family cooked in Japan. She flipped through the books I was considering and she mentioned that this one book was close to real home cooking. So I have this connection to that visit with her attached to the book. It also has the recipe in both Japanese and english :)

I also fall victim to public oppinion, I'll hear something good about a book and I have to go find it and look it over. Lucky for me I don't always buy them but I get enough of them that I worry about threads like these ones :p However the lucky part is that most of the books talked about... I already have... Not sure if that helps me or not :p

Mike9
09-15-2012, 03:38 PM
Hmm lets see - I hear America cooking, I still go to the JOC for some things, but my favorite is a Greek cookbook that was issued in 1971 I believe - great recipes and I practically lived in Greek Town (Detroit) in the 70's so it's like a taste of home.

mr drinky
09-15-2012, 11:52 PM
I buy books based on the amount of technique exhibited. Recipes are interesting, but I never use them.

I am probably 50/50 on using recipes. Most times I adapt some portion of them based upon previous knowledge or looking up something on the internet. But other times, if it is a technique or dish that I have no experience with, I will stick 80-100% with the recipe just to try it out something new and learn a bit. After that, I will often adapt recipes for the second time around just to add my 'touch' to it. But there are many times I continue to follow the receipe exactlyn -- it all depends upon if it tastes good or not ;)

Just as an example: I often adapt a recipe from a magazine and almost always from the internet BUT if I try a new recipe from a Thomas Keller cookbook, I often follow it exactly. I figure Thomas Keller can teach me something (and almost all of his recipes do), but a magazine food editor/writer might not be able to pass on that same wisdom, so I am more likely to adapt things.

k.

Cutty Sharp
09-16-2012, 12:34 AM
I think most people adapt, and you probably have to as your ingredients and equipment might differ. Anyway, a few times I've found I've learned to make a certain dish, perhaps just having had it in restaurants or wherever, or otherwise having adapted a recipe, and then I've gone and tried to make that dish following a recipe verbatim to see if it's better than my version or just generally to compare. That can be interesting too.

brainsausage
09-16-2012, 01:02 AM
The French laundry is, IMO, one of the finest books on the overall philosophy of gastronomy in regards to technique. Both in regards to manipulating your product, as well as respecting its inherent values. I learned more from 'The Importance Of...' chapter breaks in that book, than a majority of other books combined. And they don't hide their recipes. What you see in the book is what you see on the table at the restaurant. Start to finish. Which is helpful to a pro, as well as a home cook, as these recipes and techniques are tried and true, they aren't dumbed down, to compensate for a possible disregard for putting in the work...

DwarvenChef
09-16-2012, 02:21 AM
I got The French Laundry book while I was in culinary school and could not put it down. So much of what we did in class was expanded in the book. While I never had an interest in cooking at that level, nothing wrong with it just not my interest, the things I do want to acheave are still mirrored in the book.

I have been dieing to get a copy of Ad-Hoc, Bouchon was close to my ideas but it was still a bit high in the presentation part for me. From what I read and heard about Ad-Hoc I'm thinking it's right close to my interests. Quality ingredients and techniques in a more Home Plate feel. I've flipped though a copy of the book but didn't have time to really dig into it :( It's on my top 5 list of MUCH HAVE books this year :p Ya I've been restricted to the number of books I'm allowed to buy "new" and used are on a less restrictive but still restricted aqusition issue... Something about spending $200 on cookbooks when Bourders was closing up shop :p

Crothcipt
09-16-2012, 08:59 PM
The French laundry is, IMO, one of the finest books on the overall philosophy of gastronomy in regards to technique. Both in regards to manipulating your product, as well as respecting its inherent values. I learned more from 'The Importance Of...' chapter breaks in that book, than a majority of other books combined. And they don't hide their recipes. What you see in the book is what you see on the table at the restaurant. Start to finish. Which is helpful to a pro, as well as a home cook, as these recipes and techniques are tried and true, they aren't dumbed down, to compensate for a possible disregard for putting in the work...

I didn't know they used those recipies. I bought this one but was lost in a move back to Wyo.. I found that it helped me to take my cooking to the next lvl. and thinking. Many times I get weird looks when I make something that most people wouldn't think about. Then the look when they love it is just awesome. I have been wanting to check out his other 2 books.

stphntrjllo
02-25-2013, 09:19 PM
Gotta support my kitchen The French Laundry