The Top Ten Cookbooks for Every Type of Chef

As we endlessly search for new passion projects to satisfy our pandemic boredom blues, I introduce to you a simple way of passing the hours while having a blast. Yes, we do have the internet to look up any recipe with the push of a finger, but there’s nothing like Julia Child sitting in your kitchen to work up a feast inspired by the Queen herself. It’s almost become too easy to cook these days with Tastemade and Delish videos taking over our feeds and kitchens. If you want to challenge your culinary skills and do it the old-fashioned way, take a page out of the best chef’s in the world’s recipes and try it for yourself. 

Cookbooks are also a great way to decorate your kitchen if you have space. I love when kitchens make a corner available for all their recipe books. Not only does it add warmth to the home, but it also brings in your unique touch as well as makes your kitchen stand out from the others. As we begin to ditch minimalism for bold and extra, cookbooks are a great start in making your home yours.

Ordering in for the millionth time will be a thing of the past once you have one of these world-class cookbooks sitting pretty in your kitchen:

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Half Baked Harvest Super Simple

A New York Times Bestseller and named one of the best cookbooks of the year by Buzzfeed and Food Network, Gerard’s book is known for its use of fewer ingredients, foolproof meal-prepping, effortless entertaining options, and vegan/vegetarian options.

“Those indulgent, comfort food-esque dishes [Tieghan is] known for aren’t going anywhere. . . . You’ll be hard-pressed to decide which one to make first.”—Food & Wine. 

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Mastering the Art of French Cooking

This is the ultimate book on how to cook in the French manner anywhere, with the Queen’s herself, Julia Child, proper instruction. This book has taught Americans how to master the art of french cooking for both beginners and seasoned cooks who long to reproduce the savory delights of classic French cuisine. The book, according to its back cover, is revolutionary in its approach because: 

“It leads the cook infallibly from the buying and handling of raw ingredients, through each essential step of a recipe, to the final creation of a delicate confection. It breaks down the classic cuisine into a logical sequence of themes and variations rather than presenting an endless and diffuse catalogue of recipes; the focus is on key recipes that form the backbone of French cookery and lend themselves to an infinite number of elaborations–bound to increase anyone’s culinary repertoire. It adapts classical techniques, wherever possible, to modern American conveniences. It shows Americans how to buy products, from any supermarket in the U.S.A., that reproduce the exact taste and texture of the French ingredients: equivalent meat cuts, for example; the right beans for a cassoulet; the appropriate fish and shellfish for a bouillabaisse. And it offers suggestions for just the right accompaniment to each dish, including proper wines.” Taken from the books cover.

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Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking is the OG of recipe books. Chances are your grandma had this sitting in her kitchen and probably made you several of these recipes. With easy to follow instructions and recipes for every single food imaginable, Joy of Cooking is a staple of many households. 

“Cooking shouldn’t just be about making a delicious dish—owning the process and enjoying the experience ought to be just as important as the meal itself. The new Joy of Cooking is a reminder that nothing can compare to gathering around the table for a home cooked meal with the people who matter most.” —Joanna Gaines, author of Magnolia Table.

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Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

New York Times Bestseller and Winner of the 2018 James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook. Named one of the Best Books of 2017 by NPR, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Rachel Ray Every Day, San Francisco Chronicle, Vice Munchies,, Glamour, Eater, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle Times, Tampa Bay Times, Tasting Table, Modern Farmer, Publishers Weekly, and more. And it is now a Netflix series!

Nosrat teaches you how to master the four essential elements for cooking: salt, which enhances flavor; Fat, which is filled with flavor and generates texture; Acid, which balances flavor; and heat, which determines the texture of food. By mastering these four elements, anything you cook will be delicious. The author goes in-depth into the how’s and why’s of good cooking and what takes your meal to the next level. 

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Good Housekeeping Cookbook: 1,200 Triple-Tested Recipes

Westmoreland is the culinary director at Good Housekeeping, aka the ultimate site for anything Home related, which has helped and currently influences many all over the country to live their best home lives. This book is filled with classic favorites to current trends. There’s advice on how to set up your fridge and pantry, as well as several other excellent tips, ideas, and tricks to upgrade your way of cooking and living. 

“Home cooks will turn to this edition for years to come.”—Publishers Weekly.

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Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes

Named one of the Best Cookbooks of the Year by The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, Food & Wine, Salon, Garden & Gun, Delish, & Epicurious.

Anyone looking to expand their vegan cooking skills and knowledge should look no further. Terry shows you how to make mouthwatering meals from well-known vegetables, grains, and legumes. As a food justice activist, the author assembles his food relying solely on fresh ingredients, dynamic spices, and innovative techniques to build flavor and texture sans meat and meat substitutes. This cookbook will inspire you to be a healthier, cleaner person who gets their food from farmers’ markets and is continuously conjuring up a storm of fresh foods. 

“[Terry’s] perspective is casual and family-oriented, and the book feels personal and speaks to a wide swath of cooks . . . each dish comes with a recommended soundtrack, completing his mission to provide an immersive, joyful experience.”—Publishers Weekly

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Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One

Named A Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, Epicurious, Grub Street, The Forward, Newsday, Mother Jones, Eaters, and Food52 Best Cookbook of the Year

If you accidentally cook for a family of five when it’s just you, maybe it’s time to try this book out. This book teaches you how to cook and love yourself with delicious recipes that won’t leave you with weeks of leftovers. But don’t worry; these recipes can scale up for more than one person as well. Lo’s hilarious and self-deprecating book is filled with contemporary, sophisticated, and accessible recipes for cooking and eating with the best company ever, yourself. 

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Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change The Way You Cook

Food52 Executive Editor Kristen Miglore dives into recipes that will make us rethink how we typically cook. These recipes involve simple yet unknown techniques, food myths debunked, or ingredients used in new & innovative ways. These out-of-the-box recipes have been handed down by the best of the best in the food world. These are the legacy recipes of the greatest and could be our legacies within our families and friends!

“Culled from chefs, bloggers and food world legends like Julia Child and James Beard, these are dishes that are so smart they’ll change the way you approach food, making you a better cook.” – Editors from Tasting Table’s “Kitchen Bookshelf.

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The Shortcut Cook

Chefs regularly use shortcuts to make classic recipes, and we didn’t know it. Now, we have the top secrets to the innovative hacks that can make our lives easier, our foods tastier, and our kitchens bolder with this fantastic book. Not only are these recipes resourceful, but they make classic recipes taste better than before with tried and tested favorites from all over the world.

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The SkinnyTaste Cookbook

Named New York Times Bestseller & Rated the #1 Best Seller on Amazon for Vegan Diets

We all know and love Skinnytaste. Gina Homolka’s blog, Skinnytaste, is the number one go-to site for healthy, slimmed-down recipes that taste far from that. The cookbook features over 150 delicious recipes and provides detailed nutritional information for those trying to shed off some pandemic pounds. These meals are so tasty and flavorful that anyone who tried a bite would think they are gaining weight. 

“These easy-to-assemble dishes keep both family mealtime planning and healthy eating in mind with kid-friendly, ‘simplified and skinny-fied’ dishes. Using Homolka’s strategies, home cooks can deliver balanced, delicious meals even when time is an obstacle.”—Publishers Weekly.

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