The Food Lovers' Cookbook Collection
The Food Lovers' Cookbook Collection has been assembled by the Foodtourist
team to help guide you through the maze of wonderful food writing that is
now flooding the market. Some of it is recent writing, some is almost two
hundred years old - but it is all relevant to our understanding of cooking
We need to carefully explain how we have chosen
our favourite fifty books. First, they are books that fall into the category
of cookbooks or recipe books. Therefore you will not find Harold McGee's
wonderful classic On Food and Cooking or Alan Davidson's The Oxford
Companion to Food nor will you find the philosophic musings of Anthelme
We have then made a judgement about the impact the book has
had throughout the world.
Obviously, Escoffier has had an enormous effect on chefs from many
countries over a very long period of time. Elizabeth David's works have been
treasured on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. David Thompson's book on
Thai Food has helped reveal to the world the complexity and harmony of this
And so we came up with our list. We hope to soon create another list of
our favourite reference books so that Harold McGee, Hervé This, Alan
Davidson and others can also be recognised here for their efforts.
So our list lies below. Click on any of the titles for a more detailed
review of the book.
Escoffier's masterpiece that set the scene for modern French cookery with
the publication of 5012 technically exact recipes that were accurately
reflected in the 1921 Flamarion edition translated for the English-speaking
world. Be wary of editions containing only 2973 recipes as much of the
richness of the original book is difficult to capture with these editions.
The classic tour de force of regional French food through the eyes of one of
the greatest food writers of the 20th century.
Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well by Pellegrino Artusi is a
classic Italian cookbook that is written with passion, humility, irreverence
and humour. The recipes are well worth trying even though the book was
written in the late nineteenth century.
La bonne cuisine de Madame E. Saint-Ange is a seminal French cookbook
beloved by home cooks since 1927. Chez Panisse co-founder, Paul Aratow, has
completed the serious job of translating this huge work into English without
losing the essential character of this imperious woman's work.
An enduring classic in the cookbook
repertoire. The Time Life Series is still
as relevant today as the day the series was released.
A tour-de-force that ranges widely over the techniques required to cook
'modernist' food. A very significant book set with stunning photographs, great
recipes and brilliant techniques.
The definitive guide to Thai cuisine written by Australian David Thompson.
published in 1845 this remains the classic British cookbook and one of the
first to provide lists of ingredients and advice about cooking times. It had
a strong influence on Elizabeth David.
A thoughtful, erudite and compelling book from one of the greatest food
writers of the last century. Olney's passion for French food and for
simplicity in preparation and presentation shines through every page. An
essential addition to every food lover's library.
The Zuni Café is one of our favourite places to eat in the world and Zuni
Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers is one of the most inspiring references that
is compulsory in every serious food lover's cookbook collection.
Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli has entered the pantheon of great cookbooks
because of his deep understanding of food products and the clarity with
which he sets out his ideas. He is also one of our favourite chefs. This is
a classic book with practical guidelines for everything from charcuterie
making to the art of perfect pasta.
Arto der Haroutunian is a brilliant observer of the food of the Middle East
and North Africa. Each of his publications has become a classic in its own
right. We have chosen his wonderful book on the food of the Middle East to
represent his writings in this collection of great cookbooks.
Even though it was published in the mid-seventies we still think The Classic
Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan is the best of Marcella's books.
Japanese Cooking A Simple Art by Shizuo Tsuji is a thoughtful and careful
book surveying many of the great recipes of Japan. Don't skip the excellent
introduction by M K Fisher - it is a gem!
The classic Australian compendium of recipes and one of our most-used
Land of Plenty by Fuchsia Dunlop is a valuable addition to our knowledge of
the vibrant and complex cuisine of the Sichuan province of China. The fiery
dishes have not been dumbed down for timid Western palates.
The definitive guide to the 1970's classic Cuisine Minceur cooking technique
by Michel Guérard one of the important figures in the movement.
Fuchsia Dunlop wrote the wonderful and authentic compilation
of recipes from the Sichuan Province called Land of Plenty, here she has applied
those same skills to produce a survey of the Hunan Province in south west China.
Alice Waters is not only
a great chef she is also a talented writer. The Art of Simple Food gives us an insight into why Chez Panisse has been
such a great restaurant for such a long time.
All of Jane Grigson's books are packed with authoritative information and
wonderful recipes that work and Good Things is no exception.
The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Roden is a scholarly yet approachable
survey of Jewish food and cooking techniques throughout the world.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child deserves its place in
every food lover's collection. The recipes are written with rare precision
and make no concessions to the "quick and easy" brigade or the "low-fat,
This best-seller was first published in 1961 and underwent a major revision
in 1990. We still like the original as it provides a useful snapshot of
American cooking at that time. Many of the recipes are timeless and don't
need to be updated.
Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller is
subtitled Family-Style Recipes which is a signal that the recipes are likely to
be approachable and do not require elaborate preparation. And on reading the
book many are able to be implemented by the home cook.
La Cuisine du Comté de Nice is a classic book from the highly opiniated
Mayor of Nice Jacques Médecin setting out exactly what the wonderful cuisine
of the Nice area is and how it should be prepared. If you have ever wondered
what the exact ingredients for a Niçoise Salad should be then this is the
source you should turn to.
The Glorious Foods of Greece by Diane Kochilas is a masterful book that
surveys the breadth and depth of traditional Greek cooking in a lively,
entertaining yet scholarly way. It is a key book for anyone wanting to
understand the true cooking of this fascinating country.
Colman Andrews in this major work provides us with stunning insight into the
wonderful world of Catalan Cuisine.
An essential reference for all those food lovers who are interested in
tracking down old recipes and making judgements about how techniques are
changing (or even more interestingly staying the same). This is a major work
by an important writer.
The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook was written by Fannie Farmer in 1896 and
quickly became one of the most popular cook books in the United States.
and other stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham is a great cookbook
for a number of reasons. The first is the format. It explores about forty small
topics, a chapter at a time presenting a few recipes for each topic. The second
is that he seems to favour classic recipes and just wants to make them easy to
cook and for them to be more satisfying. And the third reason is that the things
he writes about are the things we like to eat.
Larousse Gastronomique is a classic reference
cookbook that is a compulsory item in every food lover's library.
Flavors of the Riviera by Colman Andrews is an insightful and
thoroughly-researched survey of the true food of north-west Italy and
European Peasant Cookery is yet another important contribution from
Elisabeth Luard and her publisher Grub Street with this massive survey of
food from 25 countries from Turkey to Iceland.
The Essential Cuisines of Mexico is a compendium of Diana Kennedy's three
major works The Cuisines of Mexico, The Tortilla Book, and Mexican Regional
Cooking. Kennedy writes with authority and an obvious love for the country,
the people and the food.
This Glenfiddich Food Book of the Year award winner is one of the best
surveys of this important cuisine. Margaret Shaida includes much information
on the cultural history of Persia (Iran) as well as many insights into the
techniques required for reproducing the recipes in the home kitchen.
The Cookery Book of Lady Clark of Tillypronie is a vast collection of
English and Scottish domestic recipes collected over 50 years in the
An authoritative survey of south-east Asian cuisine by one of the world's
authorities on the subject, Rosemary Brissenden.
Lin Yutang is a distinguished Chinese artist. His wife (Tsuifeng Lin) and
daughter (Hsiang Ju Lin) have used his artistic skills to decorate this
important book on Chinese cuisine. This is much more than a recipe book,
providing a sound cultural context for the lovely recipes presented in this
Sri Owen, the author of highly-regarded The Rice Book, is also an expert on
regional Indonesian cooking - which is no easy task considering the myriad
influences from both nearby Malaysia and from the west that combine to make
this such an interesting array of cuisines. This book is an important survey
of the variety of cooking styles that contribute to the cuisine of this vast
Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson is a small, elegant book packed full
of great recipes that can be attempted in the home kitchen. While some are
for the more adventurous, most are quite straightforward, yet delicious.
The modern classic by the master of el Bulli, Ferran Adria. A great book to
help you reminisce about your visit to this iconic restaurant.
James Beard is one of the most acclaimed food writers of the post-war period
and American Cookery is one of his best publications.
A significant cookbook compiled at the end of the nineteenth century that
aimed to preserve the wonderful Creole recipes of Louisiana in general and
New Orleans in particular. The recipes are just as relevant now as they were
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert entreats us to take more
time in preparing for and cooking our foods. As usual with her books, this
one has well-crafted recipes that are precise and easy to follow. A welcome
relief among all those 'quick and easy' recipe books that are cluttering the
shelves of the bookstores.
It is no wonder that the Moosewood Cookbook is one of the best selling
cookbooks ever! It is written with imagination and directness and the
recipes are easy to imagine and to prepare.
River Café Italian Kitchen by Gray and Rogers is a compendium of recipes and
techniques from the owners of the wonderful restaurant on the banks of the
Thames in London that we enjoy visiting so much.
Salt to Taste is a very practical book that provides great advice for reproducing the soulful food that Marco Canora presents at Hearth and the Terroir bars in New York..
The Book of Armenian
Cooking by Sonia Uvezian deserves its place in every food lover's library
because it clearly and precisely explains the vibrant and exciting dishes that
comprise the cuisine of this now small country that sits at the crossroads of
Miss Parloa's New Cookbook by Maria Parloa is sub-titled A Guide to Marketing and Cooking and is a thorough survey of recipes and cooking techniques and utensils available towards the end of the 19th Century. Maria Parloa was a very influential author and lecturer.
Curnonsky was the nom-de-plume of the great French gourmand Maurice-Edmond
Sailland. He was concerned about the internationalisation of food brought
about by hotel chains at the start of the twentieth century therefore
collected and published a broad range of traditional French provincial
recipes to ensure that they were preserved and promoted.
the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraq Cuisine by Nawal
Nasrallah is a recent classic that should be a feature of every food lover's
The Joy of Cooking was first published in 1931. It quickly became a classic
cookbook in the United States and also became very popular in the United
Kingdom. Some of the later editions were updated by Irma's daughter Marion
Bouchon is a massive tome from the prodigious Thomas Keller and his
colleague Jeffrey Cerciello. For those who found the recipes in The French
Laundry cookbook exacting, the recipes here are much more accessible but
still stamped with the same purity and excellence of technique.
A great cookbook by Thomas Keller of the famous French Laundry in
Patricia Wells has created a lovely book that details the great recipes of
Provence along with a guide to the markets, shops and eating places of this
Whenever we arrive in Paris, one of our first stops is Pierre Hermé's
jewel-box shop on the Left Bank. Every piece of patisserie is a work of art,
glistening and inviting you in to the store, to spend like there is no
A bright, colourful, clearly-written collection of the recipes of Australia's
master chef - Tetsuya Wakuda.
Classic Techniques of Italian Cooking by Giuliano Bugialli is a major tour
of Italian cooking techniques.
Claudia Roden is one of the best modern-day writers on the food of the
Middle East and Mediterranean. This is one of the books that ensured her
place in the history of food writing.
Corinne Trang presents a collection of authentic Vietnamese recipes designed
to ensure that Western cooks can start to unravel the mysteries of this
Huang Su Huei's Chinese Cuisine is a long-lasting classic of the Chinese
repertoire. The recipes contained within are very brave for the early 1970s
with cold jellyfish appearing in the first page.
Henri-Paul Pellaprat first published L'Art Culinaire Moderne (Modern
Culinary Art) in 1935. It contains literally thousands of recipes (in the
Escoffier tradition) and dozens of practical menus and hints on cooking
techniques. He is best known as the founder of the Cordon Bleu cooking
school in Paris.