Richard Olney's 'The French Menu Cookbook' Came Out On Top
David Thompson Was Australia's representative In The Top 10
The UK's Guardian newspaper recently published it's annual list of the top 50 cookbooks of all time. This of course is highly subjective and is understandably English-centric coming from the UK, but it does raise the question 'What makes a good cookbook?' A good cookbook is different things to different people, our choices and reasons may differ from another persons, and who's to say who is right?
As you may know if you have followed this blog for some time now, we are passionate about our cookbooks, especially pastry orientated ones. This does not discount the fact though that our favourite books of all time are often from the savoury side. Heston's 'The Big Fat Duck Cookbook' is one of our absolute favourites but it is not found in the list published by the Guardian. This may be because of its accessibility to the home cook (and most chefs!). This exposes flaws in 'lists' and reinforces the fact that one cannot generalise a vast genre into one list. So with that, check out the link to the Guardian articles and if your favourite books are not on there, so be it! They are valuable to you and that's all that matters.
Guardian Article Top 50 Cookbooks 50-11
Here is a list of some our favourite cookbooks (in case you were interested) and in no particular order.
Ramon Morato signing us copies of his 'Chocolate' cookbook.
Chocolate by Ramon Morato http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Ramon-Morató/dp/3875151135/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282605420&sr=8-1
The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal http://www.amazon.com/Big-Fat-Duck-Cookbook/dp/1596915501/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282605546&sr=1-1
Sous Vide Cuisine by Joan Roca http://www.amazon.com/Sous-Vide-Cuisine-Joan-Roca/dp/8472121127/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282605630&sr=1-7
Essential Cuisine by Michel Bras http://burchandpurchese.blogspot.com/2009/05/burch-purchese-recommended-books-1.html
Fusion Chocolate by Frederic Bau http://www.amazon.com/Fusion-Chocolate-Frederick-Bau/dp/8472121178/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1282605834&sr=8-1
Natura by Albert Adria https://secure.elbulli.com/elbullibooks/
We could go on all day with this and we are fortunate enough to have an extensive library, which is difficult as cookbook collecting can turn out to be an expensive hobby.
One book that you will just HAVE to save your pennies (LOTS OF PENNIES!!) for though is Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold and colleagues.
You know when a book is going to be really special (and pricey), when it has its own website! http://modernistcuisine.com/
This book is really going to be something, out in December 2010 it should encompass everything you need to know about modern cookery. Stunning photography and top quality printing along with years of research will make this a must have for us.
2400 pages of pure information and essential images and recipes, this is the one we have been waiting for. Chefs Ferran Adria and Heston Blumenthal wrote the forewords and we are putting our money away and counting the days to is release.
One book that does elude our collection though is Albert Adria's first release 'Los postres de El Bulli', this is a very rare book indeed and was deleted a short time after its minimal release in 1998. We have only ever seen one copy (two actually - bit greedy!) and that was in Ramon Morato's collection (above) when we visited him at Chocovic in Spain.
Ramon's TWO!! copies.
This is the elusive book that we will continue to hunt down - so if anybody has a spare that they would like to sell, then drop us a line and we promise it will go to a good home!!
Enjoy your cookbooks everyone, hopefully we will have one out one day if we continue to learn, work hard and persevere!