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COOK'S READING LIST

Rating Explained:
+++++ = highly recommended for purpose stated
++++   = pretty good book for purpose stated
+++     = generally positive, check it out before buying
++       = might be slightly useful
or enjoyable
+         = of limited usefulness to me

At the Stove with Don Dickey
Over 100 recipes the author uses for classes, cooking parties, and at home. Includes appetizers, entrees, sides, soups, stocks, salads, sauces, egg dishes, basic baking, and desserts. Lots of info on pantry and fridge staples, knife sharpening, herbs & spices, and more.
Complete Book of Pasta and Noodles
The book explores dried semolina pasta, fresh Italian-style pasta, Mediterranean pasta and European dumplings, and Asian noodles. Also covers sauces and recipes are included with the type of pasta with which they work best.
Family Meal by Tyler Florence
Local foods, cooked in season and prepared simply but with care and thought, are the best meals you can eat anywhere. They are also the best meals to share with family and friends.
Prime Time Emeril by Emeril Lagasse
Recipes are easy to understand and simple to follow, and the results are foolproof and pure Emeril. If for no other reason, his stock recipes are some of the most useful and can elevate your cooking several notches.
A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider
The author offers a revolutionary approach to everyday cooking — vividly flavored dishes that satisfy our passion for great food and our desire for balance in the way we eat..
A Cook's Tour by Anthony Bourdain
The author travels the world in search of the perfect meal. His first TV show by the same name was based on the travels in this book.
How to Cook Without a Book by Pam Anderson
The author extols the virtues of learning several basic techniques instead of using recipes, especially for weekday meals. This is essentially how I cook. Only when I'm using a new ingredient or trying to duplicate a classic dish do I consult my library or go online for a recipe.
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pepin
No doubt one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read, this book is biographical in nature and starts with the author growing up as a child in France. It gave me even more respect for someone I already saw as a "station of the cross" in the culinary world.
Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
The author completely debunks "Politically Correct Nutrition" of the "Diet Dictocrats" (FDA, AMA, American Cancer Society, etc.) with both hard-core epidemiological evidence and science.
The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman
Great info on what really matters, like stock and how to make it. Contains a complete glossary of all culinary terms.
Chef Tell Tells All by Tell Erhardt
One of my favorite cookbooks, hands down. Tell simplifies even the most complicated dish down to what really counts. His recipe for game hens is fantastic as are recipes for bananas flambé and chocolate mousse. One of my go-to books.
Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson
This is my go-to cookbook for anything standard from potato pancakes to meatloaf. A must-have in my humble opinion. If you have just one cookbook, this is the one to have.
Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham
A great basic American cookbook, this is my second most-used cookbook, right after Doubleday. Another must-have in my humble opinion. Originally released in 1896 as the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, I recommend a newer version!
Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and Marion Becker
This classic was selected by The New York Public Library as one of the 150 most important and influential books of the 2th century -- has taught tens of millions of people to cook, answered countless kitchen and food questions, and averted many a cooking crisis.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child et al
This classic is for both seasoned cooks and beginners who love good food and long to reproduce at home the savory delights of the classic cuisine, from the historic Gallic masterpieces to the seemingly artless perfection of a dish of spring-green peas.
Best of Beard by James Beard
Over 250 of James Beards best-loved recipes, ranging from appetizers to desserts, from simple family fare to elegant company dishes.
Beard on Pasta by James Beard
This kitchen classic from James Beard-a name synonymous with culinary excellence-is back in print in a handsome edition featuring 100 of Beard's favorite international recipes and in-depth information on pasta's origins
.
The Essential Asian Cookbook by Murdoch Books (Australia)
If you like Asian food, this cookbook is for you! Many great recipes with fantastic color photographs. May be out of print or revised. Find a used copy on Amazon with the cover shown at the right.
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Great expose of what goes on behind the kitchen door. After reading this you'll want to cook at home!
Gathering at the Table by Trinity Episcopal Church
Nice collection of recipes including a couple of mine! Absolutely gorgeous design and artwork. Hands down the nicest church cookbook I've ever seen.
 

(in no particular order)

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Recommend: have on-hand or not
For: what purpose
Level: skills required to use
Audience: who might want this
Rating: usefulness/enjoyment index

goodcookbreads_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Beginner > Intermediate
Audience: Enthusiast
Rating: +++++

goodcookbreads_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Beginner > Intermediate
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: ++++

confessions_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: +++

florence_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: +++

newway_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Serious Amateur
Rating: ++++

tour_cover

Recommend: Borrow
For: Pleasure
Level: Any
Audience: Traveler
Rating: +++

nobook_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Any
Rating: ++++

apprentice_cover

Recommend: Borrow
For: Pleasure
Level: Any
Audience: Any
Rating: +++++

fallon_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Health-conscious
Rating: +++

ruhlman_cover

Recommend: Borrow
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Serious Amateur
Rating: +++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Any
Rating: +++++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: +++++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: +++++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Home Cook
Rating: ++++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Enthusiast
Rating: ++++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Any
Audience: Any
Rating: +++

bover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Enthusiast
Rating: +++

bourdain_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Enthusiast
Rating: +++

bourdain_cover

Recommend: Borrow
For: Pleasure
Level: Any
Audience: Enthusiast
Rating: ++++

gathering_cover

Recommend: Buy
For: Reference
Level: Intermediate
Audience: Home cook
Rating: +++