Favorite Book About Food and Cooking?

by · September 27, 2008

“I own ‘many’ books on cooking & food in general. I love the ones that take the time to explain & describe, the ones you can take to bed. I admit that I’m addicted, constantly looking for more. Hence, the question: If you could only have 3 books about food & cooking, what would they be?”

This question was posed in the Rouxbe forum the other day by one of our user named Donald. I thought it was such a good question that I would pose it to everyone.

Funny enough I was just talking about this the other day, I even made a comment on twitter, recommending one of my favorite books about meat.

For me (at least for the moment) my favorites are as follows:

  1. The river cottage MEAT bookby Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallThis guy knows meat like the animals are his own children. Of course this may be because he raises his own animals. Hugh has such a high level of respect for the meat that he eats, that it really makes you think about the meat that you eat, and how you think about it. On one of the first pages he has what he calls “My Meat Manifesto” – for me, his manifesto was one of those things that you read that forever alters how you think.
    I read this book regularly…and yes I often take it to bed!

    Okay…now for some reason I am at a loss, not because I can’t think of two others, only because I have so many. Behind me is literally a wall of books relating to food. What I read depends on so many things; my mood, my timing, and it also greatly depends on what we are working on here at Rouxbe. I am certainly not going to pick up one of my favorite pie books if we are talking about braising (which by the way is coming up…and you are gonna love it). I think for the next two books, I will go for the two I use the most (at least from a reference point of view).

  2. Food Lover Companion – by Sharon Tyler Herbst – This one is more like a culinary dictionary, I wouldn’t say it is my favorite, but has been on my desk for years and it is a good quick reference book.
  3. On Food and Cooking – by Harold McGee – This book is basically (though he is not basic at all, in fact just the opposite) the science behind why things in cooking do what they do. The book is jam-packed with information, so much so, that at times it is information overload. But it is a great book!

So tell me (or Donald) what are your favorite 3 books about food and cooking? You can either post your comments here, or go to the forum thread.

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