Your Most-Used Recipe Book Recommendations

Last week I asked Twitter about their most-used recipe books. Simple, uncomplicated:

What’s your most-used recipe book? I’m open to having my mind expanded Pls RT so I get more suggestions of “White Heat”. Srsly please RT ta.

Usually when you send out a tweet like that, if no one responds immediately then no one is going to respond. I waited a few minutes and then got on with my day. When I came back, the thread you can see at the foot of this post happened.

Aside from the occasional smart-alec remark or narcissistic, “Look at all my books, I simply can’t choose, look everybody!” comments, the haul of recipe book recommendations to be shared by all who are interested is a rich one. Sharing this kind of thing is at the heart of a great community. I love it. I thought I’d do a quick dirty analysis of the contributions.

Marco No Mention
Marco No Mention

A quick note before though: No one mentioned White Heat. If anything the man and the book were met with a mixture of, “Such a shame, he was so handsome” and “Without this, no reality TV shows.”

On the one hand this is notable because it could suggest a rejection of that corner of the more interesting recipe book picture. On the other hand, the last time I asked was around the time that White Heat was republished in its 25th anniversary rehash, and responses along the lines of, “This book changed my life” came in. 

On the magically dextrous third hand, it most probably means that I’m simply not followed by fans of bombastic nostalgia braising. Possibly, until you consider that Anthony Bourdain (who has turned down the back-left burner of bombast over the years) was a firm favourite. 

So, what did make the popular cut? Bear in mind that some people mentioned authors in general, but as this is not a stick-up-your-bum review but a twitter chat I’m happy if you are.

Please feel free to alert me in comments if I’ve missed anything, double-counted or under-counted, thanks.

UPDATE 18th July 2017

More beautiful recommendations have now come in via Twitter (you can also add yours in comments). I’ve not updated the Storify at the bottom but today’s new entries within the lists.

Most Recommended Authors

The Top Eight most mentioned authors. Two blokes top and tale the list. I have to admit the Madhur Jaffery’s Indian Cooking (1973) was the second cooking book my mother shoved into my hands.

  • Anthony Bourdain 5 (↥1)
  • Madhur Jaffrey  3
  • Rose Elliot 3
  • Claudia Rodin 2
  • Delia Smith 2
  • Nigel Slater 2
  • Nigella Lawson 2 (New Entry) 
  • David Everitt-Matthias 2 (New Entry to Top 10)

The other authors who got 1 mention each were. As you can see, an brilliantly eclectic list. 

  • Nadine Abensur
  • Ferran Adrià
  • Darina Allen
  • Mary Berry
  • Celia Brooks
  • Victor Ceserani and Ronald Kinton
  • David Chang
  • Samantha Clark
  • Margaret Costa
  • Nud Dudhia and Chris Whitney
  • Dr Duncan Anderson and Marian Walls
  • David Everitt-Matthias
  • A.A. Gill
  • Patience Gray
  • Jane Grigson
  • Barbara Hammond
  • Marcella Hazan
  • Fergus Henderson
  • Diane Henry
  • Dan Lepard
  • Francisco Migoya
  • My Mum
  • Nick Nairn
  • David Nicholls
  • Richard Olney
  • Jacques Pépin
  • Stéphane Reynaud
  • Irma S. Rombauer
  • Meera Sodha
  • Constance Spry
  • Katie Stewart
  • Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman
  • Bryn Williams
  • Jeni Wright
  • Yotam Ottolenghi (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Sabrina Ghayour (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Elisabeth Luard (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Kevin Woodford, Clare Brigstocke (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Bernadine Lawrence (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Cas Clarke (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Katharine Whitehorn (New Entry 18 July 2017)
  • Jan Arkless (New Entry July 18th 2017)
My most used book didn't even get a mention.
My most used book didn’t even get a mention.

Most Recommended Books

Here we go with the Top Five. I’m glad to see the gloriously wonderful Madhur Jaffery in this Top Set. Sad that my personal Go-To book – Pears Family Cookbook by Bee Nilson (1964) is not in there (of course). This was pushed into the world a year after I was and has been with me since 1973 in England and Australia. A cookbook that can inspire this kind of love, well, I’m all for that. And my most recent favourite go-to is The Plagiarist in the Kitchen by  Jonathan Meades, a mighty funny and useful read.

  • Les Halles Cookbook – by Anthony Bourdain ↥ 3
  • Practical Cookery (1977) by Victor Ceserani;Ronald Kinton (Catering NVQ and City and Guilds Manual) 2
  • Moro: The Cookbook by Samantha Clark 2
  • Delia’s Complete Cookery Course by Delia Smith 2
  • Curry Easy Vegetarian- by Madhur Jaffrey 2 

The other actually used in the kitchen books from our mix of Twitter users (to whom, massive thanks) are:

  • Cooking For Blokes by Dr Duncan Anderson, Marian Walls 1Cooking For Blokes by Dr Duncan Anderson, Marian Walls 1
  • The Book of Jewish Food by Claudia Rodin 1
  • The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià by Ferran Adrià 1
  • World Vegetarian Classics by Celia Brooks 1
  • The Silver Spoon (Phaidon) 1
  • The Ivy : The Restaurant and its Recipes by A.A. Gill 1
  • The Homemade Loaf by Dan Lepard 1
  • The Elements of Dessert by Francisco Migoya 1
  • The Cranks Bible by Nadine Abensur 1
  • The Complete Nose to Tail – by Fergus Henderson 1
  • Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak, Jordana Rothman 1
  • 365 Good Reasons To Sit Down To Eat by Stéphane Reynaud 1
  • St Michaels All Colour Cookery Book – by Jeni Wright 1
  • Simple French Food by Richard Olney 1
  • Rose Elliot’s Vegetarian Meals In Minutes by Rose Elliot 1
  • Off Duty: The World’s Greatest Chefs Cook at Home by David Nichols 1
  • Nigel Slater’s Real Food by Nigel Slater 1
  • Momofoku by David Chang 1
  • Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect by Mary Berry 1
  • Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazan 1
  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan 1
  • Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible by Madhur Jeffery 1
  • Larousse Fish and Seafood 1
  • La Technique and La Méthode by Jacques Pépin 1
  • Joy of Cooking (1960s Version) – by Irma S. Rombauer 1
  • Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia – by Patience Gray 1
  • Honey and Co (Various undefined) 1
  • Good Things by Jane Grigson 1
  • Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes for Every Day by Meera Sodha 1
  • Four Seasons Cookery Book by Margaret Costa 1
  • Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen 1
  • Essence by David Everitt-Matthias 1
  • Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey 1
  • Cooking Explained – by Barbara Hammond 1
  • Bryn’s Kitchen – by Bryn Williams 1
  • Breddos Tacos by Nud Dudhia, Chris Whitney ” 1
  • Be-Ro Home Recipes (1967 edition) 1
  • Appetites by Anthony Bourdain 1
  • A Change of Appetite by Diane Henry 1
  • Pauper’s Cookbook by Jocasta Innes
  • The Cookery Year (1976) Readers Digest.
  • Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • European Peasant Cookery by Elisabeth Luard (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • The Reluctant Cook by Kevin Woodford, Clare Brigstocke (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • How to Feed Your Family for £5 a Day by Bernadine Lawrence (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • Grub on a Grant by Cas Clarke (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • Cooking in a Bedsit by Katharine Whitehorn (New Entry July 18th 2017)
  • How to Boil and Egg by Jan Arkless (New Entry July 18th 2017)

I’d like to thank everybody who contributed positively and in such an open way to this completely subjective survey. I’m always open to more recommendations. 




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