I don’t have an extensive collection of cookbooks, but the ones that I do have follow a theme: tons of glossy pictures and anecdotes to go with the recipes. Rather than using them as rigid rule books only during meal-times, I find myself actually reading these books. They tell a story, about the people, ingredients, and emotions that go into a dish.
My favorite cookbooks inspire me to be more creative in the kitchen, because I’m constantly thinking “how can I adjust this?” – whether I modify for personal taste preference, to reflect the season, in order to stay with in my budget, or because that’s simply what I have on hand at that time, each time I recreate a recipe from one of these books, the experience is slightly different.
Afield by Jesse Griffiths and Jody Horton – a necessity if you are or have a hunter or fisher in your life.
Home Made by Yvette van Boven
Live to Cook by Iron Chef Michael Symon
How Easy is That? by Ina Garten
Cooking for Friends by Alison Attenborough and Jamie Kimm (for Williams & Sonoma)