Anne Willan on La Varenne and the Folklore of Apple Peels
On Black & Highly Flavored, co-hosts Derek Kirk and Tamara Celeste shine a light on the need-to-know movers and shakers of our food & beverage industry.Listen Now
Popular on Food52
AWguest June 18, 2014
I have the whole series of Anne Willan's "Perfect,' some of her 'Look and Cook', and her other books, as well. All the recipes in her cookbooks are very well thought of, sophisticated, and her seafood lasagna recipe is so elegant. I have Julia Child's books but I don't use it as much. I also always refer to 'The Good Cook' and Cook's Illustrated series.
brancica June 17, 2014
My go-to cookbook is the 1979 edition of Joy of Cooking. Practical advice and never fail recipes
bookjunky June 16, 2014
Joy of Cooking is my go-to cookbook. Fannie Farmer. for more recent stuff, any of Ina Garten's or Martha Stewart's. These are all cookbooks that I know will give me good, reliable results on the basics.
Georgia June 16, 2014
I have just begun cooking and haven't yet read any Classic books. Brazil is very poor in culinary books! But I'd love to read Julia's and Jim's
CarlaCooks June 16, 2014
For me, it's tough to beat Julia. I often re-read Mastering the Art of French Cooking for the sake of feeling like I'm having coffee with Julia, hearing her tell me a story of how to cook something.
anne June 15, 2014
Well, don't laugh, but Jeff Smith's Frugal Gourmet series really taught me how to cook. I was all of 16 when his series was on PBS and I was new to the kitchen. "Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick!" is a mantra I learned and teach to kids and friends to this day. Not exactly haute cuisine, but man, did he teach good technique and the best part, the history of those techniques and of the food related to them. The recipes always worked and were very useful in that it was food you could make on a weeknight. I learned to make salad dressings, crepes, french omlettes. All kinds of basics I am still making now. I refer to those tomes time and again, like old familiar friends.
Carrie June 15, 2014
Moosewood Cookbook and Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone! So great!
Anne June 15, 2014
I will always be dependent on The Joy of Cooking and The Moosewood Cookbook for my day to day cooking and my more complicated questions!
Andria June 15, 2014
Julia, James, Simca, and any number of those lovingly compiled local charity cookbooks, like New Orleans' River Road Recipes, which convinced me that if those folks could cook, so could I.
ihaventpoisonedyouyet June 15, 2014
Mastering the Art of French Cooking. My uncle convinced me that even if I could master only one of these recipes, I would indeed be a master of that dish, and it would be a winner. What I like about MAFC is the recipes within recipes format - so even if I can only devote one day a week to making one of these recipes it is an experience. I admit that I enjoy the struggle of a tricky dish because what is better than when you get it right. Merci, Julia!
Fay June 15, 2014
The Fireside Cookbook by James Beard. Love Julia, but the simpler JB recipes are more useful for everyday cooking.
liz June 14, 2014
I hold many cookbooks dear to me - However it is very first cookbook brought back from Paris by my mother - that began my lifelong food journey-"La Cuisine est un jeu d'enfants" by Michel Oliver with an introduction by none other that Jean Cocteau! Printed in 1963. This book enthralled me with its French cursive writing and illustrations and all the French warnings about being disciplined- The recipes were not all for children but enough were to engage my 6 year old imagination. From that point onward my heart and soul belonged to France- I started in the first class of The Toronto French School and graduated with a degree in French Medieval Studies- Leaving after graduation to attend Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. To this day as an Executive Chef with 3 decades dedicated to running kitchens and feeding people - I still set up my kitchens with a batterie and the discipline that first started when I opened the page of that special cookbook La Cuisine.. with the warning "Lavez- Vous toujours les mains" ( Always wash your hands )- My cooking is based on Les Fonds de la Cuisine and I have a very soft spot for tarragon and chervil, cornichons and Bearnaise to name but a few - best not to get me started on all things French that I adore. Santé
FinVoilaQuoi June 14, 2014
I think I baked my first cake from the Joy of Cooking book when I was about 14. However, I'm just starting to do "real cooking" so I don't have a go-to book. How about I make La Varenne Pratique that book?
Cathleen I. June 14, 2014
The Joy of Cooking introduced me to cooking and has remained a "go to" cook book over the decades. It still gives me confidence when I am not sure of a technique or cooking temperature. However, Pierre Franey's two volumes of "60 Minute Gourmet" truly inspired me as a young cook and gave me the courage to use products I had never heard of at the time, with pairings of foods that seemed dubious on first read but actually worked. I was delighted to prepare really amazing dinners for my family that used fresh ingredients, were easy to put together, and were truly 60 minute meals. I credit these books with my occasional cooking inspirations to this day.
Betsy S. June 14, 2014
My vintage, well worn, much used and oh, so charming, Better Homes & Garden cookbook. I got it used, years and years and years ago and still just love it, even though now I mostly use the internet for recipes. I like just seeing it in my kitchen.
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 14, 2014
The Professional Chef, Culinary Institute of America is well worn and used often - still.
Libby D. June 14, 2014
i was given The Art of French Cooking as a wedding present from my mother with a note that these were things I could afford to cook at some point, but probably not right now. How true that was!
See what other Food52 readers are saying.