Cookbooks & More Cookbooks


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Which cookbooks are on your wish list for this year? Here are a few suggestions. Feel free to add your favourite books to the list.

I know Wendy won't be asking for Paris Sweets as she already has it. It seems like a great book, I've been dreaming of it ever since I heard of it last July. How are the recipes Wendy? Are you already hungry? Making a list of what you'll try first? I definitely have to see this book.

CoolJ I'd love to help you choose a cookbook, in fact there isn't anything I quite like more than picking cookbook, but I have no idea what a tailgate party is. Can you please explain?

The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers

In any case if you can't go to the bookstore, why not let the store come to you. Isn't this why they invented the net in the first place? I did a bit of online shopping and fell for a book I've never seen before. I usually don't like buying books I haven't seen but this one was just too amazing so I took a chance and ordered it. I haven't been able to put it down. I’m dying to try the chicken with figs.

A return To Cooking by Eric Rupert and Michael Ruhlman

This will be my next purchase. From what I read this seems to be an amazing book, I can't wait to see it. It just came out and so far only has positive reviews.

Glorious French Food by James Peterson

Who was recently looking for a French cookbook? Have a look at this book, it's fascinating. Granted there are a million out there specially when you want the classic French food but Peterson has a special way with words he makes the recipes come to life. My only complain: he doesn't thicken the broth of his onion soup with flour.

Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri

I just read Dorie Greenspan’s review of Perfect Cakes entitled: “Fail-safe recipes from a master baker and teacher” and she starts by saying you can trust Malgieri, here’s a master baker and teacher his recipes works. Greenspan isn’t the only one who likes Malgieri’s latest book it appears on a number of top ten list.

Other books frequently mentioned on various top 10 lists:

Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking by Michael Chiarello

The Pleasures of Slow Food by Corby Hummer

Baking In America by Greg Patent

Live, Love, Eat! By Wolfgang Puck

Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters
Joined Mar 3, 2002
Thought I'd mention that I saw Kunz' Elements of Taste at Atlantic Books for only $12-13. in case anyone has that on the list.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Might help to give you The N. Y. Times selection for top cookbooks of the year.


CHEF DANIEL BOULUD: COOKING IN NEW YORK CITY by Daniel Boulud and Peter Kaminsky


THAI FOOD by David Thompson

VEGETABLES by Guy Martin




PARIS SWEETS by Dorie Greenspan

Joined Mar 13, 2001
I was not impressed with Babbo;
I could easily do without Boulud;
I'm look forward to Jeremiah Tower's; haven't seen or heard about him for a long time;
Not sure I need another Thai cookbook but I will look into it;
As for Vegetables, My Kitchen in Spain, Rustico, Made in Marseilles do not attract me at all;
I do look forward to Paris Sweets although a baking book must have pictures rather than illustrations; I'm sure I will be disappointed.
Saffron Shores and Stone soup are out of the question.


A Return to Cooking IS on my list. Of course, you can't go wrong when Michael Ruhlman gets involved.

I'm curious about the Zuni Cafe book.

Edit: I was impressed with Glorious French Food by James Peterson. It's on my X-mas wishlist.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Take another look at Babbo....

I'm still hoping to hear more about Paris Sweets from Wendy, if you have the time that is.
Joined May 11, 2001
I'm obviously not Wendy, but I'll add a few thoughts about Paris Sweets.

The recipes start with very simple cookies to more elaborate gateaux. I haven't tried any of them yet because I haven't had much time; however, I do like that there didn't appear to be any hard-to-find ingredients. The most "exotic" item I saw was Odense brand almond paste. I'm fairly sure that I have similar recipes in other books but those books don't have vignettes about Paris patisseries. Since I've never been to Paris, it's a wonderful glimpse of all the places I want to visit.

Misc. items: no photographs, cute line illustrations, thin in size (not content)
Joined Jan 5, 2001
Eric stopped by on his book tour today to do a bit of publicity and we honoured him with an Eric Rupert Prix Fixe. After having cooked WITH him, me and my shameless bias highly recommend this new book. It's done in the style of French Laundry, but simpler, much more basic. The menu sold out very quickly, even though most people who ordered it had no idea who he was... It was nice to be able to speak French in the kitchen for a change; both he and his sous-chef (also named Eric but goes by Coco) are French.


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks for the review Risa, I can't wait to see the book. I have to agree with you, pictures would be nice specially in a Paris pastry book. Oh well maybe it would have made it too expensive...

Wow Anneke lucky you! Sounds like you had fun with him. What was the Eric Ripert prix fixe menu?

I'm even more curious to see his book now. Did you buy it? Or received a copy?

P.S. Eric Ripert was on Christine Cushing's show last night. Did you see it?
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Paris Sweets is really a rather simple little book. I think the thing that drew me into purchasing it is the respect I have for these legendary French bakeries/pastry have a couple of "authentic" recipes from these men is like touring the country. Since I've never been to France it's a chance to do a vertual tour. I also trust Dorie Greenspan!

I haven't baked anything out of it yet....but look forward to it.

Nick's, Perfect Cakes WON'T be on my list until I hear many many praises for it from people I trust. His recipes just don't do anything for me.

As a matter of fact I was just trying to get my x-mas wish list of books together for my hubby. My list so far:

Dessert Au Creux De L'Assiette by Lionel Raiffort & Francois Tatt'e

Dessert Cuisine of Oriol Balaguer

And as many issues of "Modern Wedding Cakes" that are still available.

I recently purchased "Sweet Sicily" by Victoria Granof. It's a lovely book with photos of most recipes. Which is wonderful since I'm not that familar with authentic Italian sweets. It's been along time coming....this book feels genuine, again another tour of a country I'm not familar with. I'm hoping Pongi will see this book and give a review of it!

I've ordered Scott Wooleys cake decorating book on Anna W.'s advice. The paper back version got published in Nov. and I'm waiting for Amazon to mail my copy.
Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'm reading Corby Kummer's book "Slow Food" right now and it is a great thorough explaination of Slow Foods......

My next is Bittersweet Journey by Enid Futterman.....chocolate and love!!!!
Joined May 26, 2001
Kimmie -- I hope you have excellent eyesight, if you get Peterson's Glorious French Food! It has the tiniest type of any cookbook I've ever seen. :( But then, if the type were any larger, you'd need a crane to lift the darn thing. :D I've been reading it front to back, and like it much, much better than his other books. You can tell he must be an excellent teacher.

Another new book that is worth getting is Diane Forley's The Anatomy of a Dish. She's the chef-owner of Verbena restaurant here in NYC (well, now the co-chef-owner since she got married to Michael Otsuka, another terrific chef). The premise of book isbotanical study as the basis for developing culinary relationships. So besides having wonderful recipes, the book is a wealth of information about families of plants and their uses.

Forley says: If that's not a book for many of us here, I don't know what is! :lips:


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Thanks for the review Wendy! I can't wait to see Paris Sweets like you said what can be better than recipes from French bakeries?

I was hoping someone would mentionned Anatomy of a Dish. Thank you Suzanne, how are the recipes?

I agree with you on Peterson's book, he's always a good read and a reliable source. I still have his book on my night stand. I'm about half way through.
Joined May 26, 2001
I haven't yet tried any of the recipes from Anatomy, but they read very, very well.
  • very specific ingredient lists;
  • clear directions that just about anyone could follow -- even with only a little kitchen experience;
  • warnings on such bugaboos as variable timing (e.g., for cooking dried chickpeas);
  • helpful sidebars on ingredients that are not given full treatment (e.g., "How to handle a fava bean" as a sidebar to Bulgur Wheat Salad with Fava Beans);
  • sidebars that tell you which other recipes use the one you're looking at;
  • very few recipes that are not self-contained -- and when they do refer to other recipes, they are basic ones;
  • relatively simple recipes -- no 17-step extravaganzas that will take 4 days to make -- almost all take only one page.
And they all look really tasty!! :D
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Slow Food....there are others out there!!! most in Europe I think.
Apparently I could meld into Italy easily.....a dear friend says I'm the only American she knows that smells her produce or food before buying/consuming....or waxes poetry over superb products.
The farmer stories about excellance and fostering a community that will pass along the techniques of quality are wonderful....I've spent my life searching for quality ingrediants, so it is heart warming to see that many are being replicated and will not die out. Can you imagine mass produced boudin?BLECKKKKKK

*the founder believes in enjoying food/life, says to laugh alot....gotta love him.

***so the book is a great explaination of the Slow Foood movement....I've not gotten to the recipes
Joined Aug 11, 2000
what a treat thank you! I copied it and will try it soon. Has anyone added liquor to marshmellow goo?


Joined Apr 4, 2000
Finally I went to the bookstore! :bounce:

Eric Ripert's book left me almost speechless. I just wanted to curl up on my sofa with this book and be transported to where he was cooking. Now I know why everyone has been raving about.

I quickly looked over Anatomy of a Dish but honestly I think, at that point, I was too tired to appreciate it. I have to give it a second look.

Breads of France by Bernard Clayton, a reedition of a book first published in 78 I think. It looked nice. The pictures of bakers give it a very French look, perfect for the “nostalgiques”.

No Paris Sweets in sight, they haven't received it yet. :cry:

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