London chefs weigh in on their favorite cookbooks

It’s always fascinating to read about which cookbooks have inspired top chefs – if the book is good enough for someone who has made a career out of cooking, I will always investigate it for my own bookshelves. Whenever we find an article where chefs discuss their favorite books, we share it with our members. One slipped under our radar a couple of months ago, but better late than never: the Evening Standard asked several London chefs to discuss the cookbooks they swear by.

Ben Tish, culinary director at Norma London and Stafford London, and author of Moorish: Vibrant Recipes from the Mediterranean, says that Moro: The Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark, “helped me focus my love of Mediterranean cuisine and understand the influence of Moorish style and flavour.” Anna Haugh, owner and head chef at Myrtle, also chose an early 2000s tome, The Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver. Haugh says she has “cooked every recipe at least once and some a lot more.”

Older books also received some love. Chef proprietor at Quo Vadis Jeremy Lee says that his favorite cookery book is An Omelette and a Glass of Wine by Elizabeth David. A collection of David’s articles published in various places from 1955 through 1984, An Omelette and a Glass of Wine has stood the test of time and continues to have a home on Lee’s bedside table. Another ‘oldie but goodie’ comes from Jackson Boxer, chef patron of Orasay and owner of Brunswick House. He treasures Ludwig Bemelmans’ La Bonne Table, which features “magnificent writing about the hotel and restaurant world in the glory days of old New York.” While not a cookbook per se, La Bonne Table is an entertaining volume with scores of great vignettes about the behind-the-scenes events that happened in old-school hotel restaurants.

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