Famous chefs recommend cookbooks to improve your life

19 cookbooks 525

Self-help books seem to always dominate non-fiction best seller lists, so it's rather intriguing to find this collection from BuzzFeedFood of 19 Cookbooks That Will Improve Your Life. There is one caveat, though - you'll need to cook all the way through them (remember Julie and Julia?).

But even if that's too daunting, this list of cookbooks recommended by well-known chefs and food writers is still thought-provoking - we've chosen 10 recommendations to illustrate the point (for explanations of why they were chosen, as well as 9 more recommendations, check out the article):

 We must say the thought of cooking entirely through one book sounds a bit daunting (especially a dessert book) - we'd love to hear if any of our members have or ever been tempted.













  • abramer  on  10/15/2013 at 1:23 PM

    I'm about a third of the way through the Gourmet Today book. It's got a vast range of kinds of recipes and techniques.

  • ellabee  on  10/15/2013 at 1:52 PM

    Cooking all the way through Waters' In the Green Kitchen might not be too daunting or insane -- I've seen references to it as a better beginner, how-to-cook book than The Art of Simple Cooking (whose modest size, simplicity, and appealing dishes make it the closest thing on my shelf to a book I'd be willing to cook my way through).

  • ellabee  on  10/15/2013 at 2:26 PM

    The full post is well worth reading. Have to agree with the choices of two people I don't much care for -- Pepin's La Technique (Anthony Bourdain) and Pam Anderson's How to Cook without a Book (Ree Drummond "Pioneer Woman").

  • FuzzyChef  on  10/16/2013 at 12:41 AM

    "Improve your life" is kind of an ambitious claim. Not that those are not, generally , excellent cookbooks ... But still. On the other hand, good on Alton Brown for calling out The Frug. Those were good cookbooks, and have been all-but-banned since the trial.

  • FuzzyChef  on  10/16/2013 at 12:49 AM

    OK, I'm not surprised that Coliccio recommended his own cookbook -- guy has no style -- but Pepin? I though he had more humility than that. Did he not understand the question?

  • veronicafrance  on  10/18/2013 at 5:47 AM

    I've tried and failed to cook my way through a shortish cookbook (only about 70 recipes). A friend did cook and blog every recipe in Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries over the course of a year. When she'd finished she emailed him and got a lovely reply back.

  • veronicafrance  on  10/18/2013 at 5:53 AM

    PS I like Alice Waters' choice. Summer Cooking is such a simple and delightful book. Richard Olney on the other hand I find almost unreadable -- the recipes are good if you can get past his turgid prose!

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