What are you reading these days (cookbook wise)


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Joined Oct 5, 2001
I am working on the new "The Art of Charcuterie" book from the Culinary Institute of America.

Very much like a typical text book so far.
Joined Jan 8, 2010
I'm working my way through "Harold McGee: The science and lore of the kitchen".

I started reading it some time ago and then put it aside. I have now picked it up again and started where I left off....

It's a bit heavy going at times so I tend to alternate with other books
Joined Aug 6, 2010
I exchanged a few books I got for Christmas and got All About Braising by Molly Stevens. So far, it's phenominal. Despite being a book about only one technique, it's a book that everyone should own.
Joined Oct 2, 2010
Yesterday I bought another book from the "Culinaria" series, this time on Greece and it's food. I already have the French, Italian and Spanish edition. There are no other books that will give you such a wealth of knowledge on how and where food and ingredients are grown and made, complemented with original recipes. Want to where and know how ouzo is made, or Retsina, Metaxa...? What's filo pastry dough?

Those books weigh a ton; 458 oversized pages, plenty pictures etc. I bought it on sale over here for... 6,99 euros. Lots and lots of hours of reading pleasure.


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Joined Mar 29, 2002
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8 Lee. This is largely fluff, not much about cooking, but looks at some interesting things. The disputed history of the fortune cookie; Jews and Chinese food, kosher ducks and all with a little light theorizing about the affinity between the two cultures; illegal immigration, the culture of selling chinese restaurants, how the cooks and wait staff are moved around the nation. Really some oddball things about that one part of the industry.

My favorite chapter was the comparison of Chinese restaurants too computer operating systems. McDonalds is Windows, Chinese Restaurants are Linux. They achieve uniformity through free spread of popular ideas rather than franchised, licensed and enforced from the top.  It had strong appeal to my inner geek that is fed on Chinese food.

And I'm revisiting Real Cajun by Donald Link.
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Le Cirque's cookbook (not my type of food, but was a present) and American Terroir (not exactly a cookbook, but a food book).  I also recently received Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pepin (a brief perusal shows a real hodgepodge of recipes) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, which is disappointing (if you have to spend half an hour and five steps BEFORE putting it in the crock pot, and then it's only in there for 90 minutes, it's NOT a "slow cooker recipe").
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Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Fast Food My Way is a fun book. Not a standard topical cookbook you'd expect from a luminary like Jacques. It's more about how he cooks on a daily basis to create quality meals in a short time frame. The PBS series were good (there were two) and I highly recommend watching an episode to get a feel for what the point of the cookbook is. I've not found a source for any sample video on-line, but your library might have some of the dvds.

Each episode started with a FAST recipe for a dip, an appetizer or something. Then the opening scroll, then into the cooking for the meal. In the book, these fast recipes are in their own chapter, as are each of the other courses that he might prepare in a given show. This is not apparent in the book and so some of the cohesiveness is not so obvious.


Joined Dec 14, 2006
It looks like we have some similar interests.  I too received All About Braising for Christmas, and I've been eyeing the squid and shrimp recipe.  Chris, I have the same Culinaria books you do and thought the Greece book was the most interesting of the bunch.  I have the Fast Food My Way book and DVD's too. 

I also got A Return to Cooking by Eric Ripert for Christmas, which is part cookbook, part travelogue, and part memoir, but very interesting reading.

I've been working my way through Beard on Food   for a while, and The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz is in my reading pile too.
Joined Feb 1, 2007
I'm also working through The Art of Charcuterie, and agree with Nicko's assessment. It's definately a book for the pro, only. And even then you'd have to have a serious interest in charcuterie to invest in some of the called-for equipment.

I've also been dipping into Laurent Tourondel's Fresh From The Market, which has some interesting insights on the locovore movement and some what appear to be fantastic recipes. Haven't made any of them, yet.

Overall, by new best book friend is Avec Eric, the companion book to Eric Ripert's PBS series. I've been dutifully avoiding any of the seafood recipes (heck, if Ripert can't cook a hunk of fish we're all in trouble!), and have been pleasantly surprised at how he handles other proteins and ingredients.
Joined Jan 13, 2011
 Last week I found this old cookbook called. To Cook is a necessity to know how is an Art. 1984. So I picked it up, it was put together by the Hockaday Center, in Northwest Montana. By local Artist's there. Its really in great shape, even though the book itself is 27 years old. My how our cookbooks have changed. One really nice thing about this book is that the artists also have photo's of their own art work in the book. Really a treat to find. I've made my first recipe out of it. It was the skillet ratatouille. We enjoyed it with a nice steak. Yum./img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
Joined Jan 20, 2011
You've got to LOVE chillies, but Sichuanese food is my new obsession, and the bible for this cuisine is Fuschia Dunlop's Sichuan Cookery. Even for us chilli-fiends, the spice level can a bit much to say the least - while cooking we had to open all the windows and still spent the rest of the night coughing - but the flavours are phenomenal, and her background knowledge on the subject is unparalleled. To provide context, she includes a history as well as a guide to the many specific flavours and techniques, explaining the 'fish-fragrant' flavour (which doesn't actually contain fish!) as well as the seemingly infinite specific names for cutting technique- with different names for different sizes of dicing!

We recently made Sichuanese hotpot (easy way to keep it hot: rice cooker) which was phenomenally tasty. The ma po tofu captures the flavours perfectly, especially with the numbing Sichuan peppercorns (a peculiarity of the region). Another favourite is the spicy cucumber salad... who said cucumbers were always cooling to the tongue?

Though the recipes are mostly meat-based, I happen to be vegetarian and many of the recipes can be easily adapted to omit the meat.
Joined Nov 5, 2009
I exchanged a few books I got for Christmas and got All About Braising by Molly Stevens. So far, it's phenominal. Despite being a book about only one technique, it's a book that everyone should own.

I love this book. One of my favorite recipes is the chicken and pears.  Whenever I serve it, my guests are impressed and it is delicious
Joined Nov 5, 2009
I just got Death By Chocolate. I can't wait to begin making some of the recipes and I don't even like chocolate /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
Joined Dec 13, 2010
I'm ready through two cookbooks right now - one I have had for a few months:  Dorie Greenspan's Baking: Form My Home to Yours and I recently purchased her book, Around My French Table.  I am loving both of the books. Around My French Table is really a fabulous cookbook and an interesting read. 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
Actually taking a class for six weeks (six tuesdays 4 hours a night)  and discussing the principles of the book Nourishing Traditions. We have done a number of recipes in class and discuss the benefits of fermented foods. Have to say the Kim Chi is coming along nicely although I think it could have had a lot more spice in it.

altogether the class has had the following eating experiences and walked through the basic steps for making the products.





*creme fraiche

*sauer kraut

*kim chi

*beet kvas

*chicken soup

*liver pate

*liver dumpling soup

*bison sliders

*coconut date balls

*home brewed ginger ale


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Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
Foodwise I am reading two books by English authors.  One is "Cooking for Kings  The Life of Antonin Careme, the first celbrity chef" by Ian Kelly.  The other is Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson.  The first is a great read as I am a history buff and the second is a great cookbook.  I really find Hopkinson's style of simple, straight forward food to very much be in line with my beliefs in what food should be.
Joined Jan 25, 2011
What one's aren't I reading these days? Still going through the pile of Jamie Oliver books we have. We were using a couple of Nigella's ones not long ago but since starting a new diet we've found they don't really fit in to a healthy eating lifestyle.
Joined May 17, 2010
"A Return To Cooking"by Ripert is a very good book. I've read through that many times. 

"The River Cottage Meat Book" by Fearnly-Whittenstall is one that I read a few times and is fantastic.

I'm currently reading "Seven Fires" by Francis Mallmann. Great book about the most primal of cook methods-cooking over open fire. If you really like to go camping or simply grill in the summertime get this book. It will give you a lot of ideas on how to use the fire other than a metal grate over a flame. The "Seven Fires" he talks about are seven different cooking techniques using a live fire or the embers after the fire has died down.

I can't say enough about this book. Highly recommended. Don't be surprised if you want to dig a pit in your backyard after reading. 
Joined Sep 23, 2007
My favorite chapter was the comparison of Chinese restaurants to computer operating systems. McDonalds is Windows, Chinese Restaurants are Linux. They achieve uniformity through free spread of popular ideas rather than franchised, licensed and enforced from the top.  It had strong appeal to my inner geek that is fed on Chinese food.
That is the single greatest thing I've read all week.

Right now I'm working my way through "Sauces" by James Peterson, and "The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen" by Jacques Pepin (Not a cookbook per se, but there are recipes included).

"Sauces" is a tome. Peterson covers the subject in incredible detail, probably more so than most home cooks will ever need. So far I'm really appreciating his emphases on how and why, the recipes themselves serving mainly as an illustration.

"The Apprentice" is a book I've been looking forward to reading for quite awhile now. I've always held Jacques Pepin in high regard as a teacher. If I wanted to learn the "right way" to perform a technique, I'd see how he went about it (Take a peek at him deboning a chicken on YouTube sometime if you want to see what I mean). Learning about his childhood in France during WWII is captivating and I'm looking forward to finding some downtime to finish it.

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