Essential Cookbooks for the Serious Home Chef

Over the weekend, I rode by bike over to the secondhand book store. I often get in trouble here, since it’s even more tough not to overload on goodies when they’re much less expensive [and recycled, I tell myself!], so when I go by bike, I know I’m limited to just the few that can fit on my wheel rack.

I decided to live dangerously, and hung out a bit in the Food and Wine section (this and the Art/Design aisle are serious tempters for me), and noticed one thing:

There are a $%*load of cookbooks out there.

Sure, I know folks have different types of expectations when it comes to food, and even if you’re not good at it, nearly everyone prepares some sort of food for themselves.

But, oh my, the genericness and redundancy of so many of these was overwhelming…I escaped a potentially credit-crushing trip with two very lucky finds (why anyone would sell these back is a mystery) – David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook and Anthony Bourdain’s The Nasty Bits. I’ve checked out Chang’s tomb several times from the library, and it’s never gotten old, so finding it for $7.99 was pretty amazing. I’m headed to my local Asian market in a few hours to get started…

This is all a very long way towards saying – there’s a ton of cookbooks, and it’d be impossible for an amateur home chef to study even the best ones. So, this roundup by the team at The Food Lab is a seriously helpful primer in knowing what should go on one’s required reading list.

It also includes a few helpful blogs, to which I have duly subscribed.

The Food Lab’s Required Reading Books and Blogs