Nice additions to cookbook library
I'm a big book dork. I've been slowing building a nice library of cookbooks- but since J &I are doing a wedding registry, why not just sign up for books? In addition to all those gadgets i don't really think i need from a kitchen store (not like my friends love me enough to get me that pretty staub dutch oven..shesh~~)
Anything you usually reach for or call "classic" will do.
cataloging my list will be too much for such a post but the big ones that i have are:
chocolates and confections
Michael recchiuti chocolates
JC's Mastering the Art..
CI best of (2008)
Your 3 top favs in either sweets/savory/reference will do =)
I'm impressed that you own both French Laundry and Mastering the Art. Those are both very important cookbooks for a culinary reader.
I would add to that list one of Rick Bayless' books (they're all pretty similar and showcase great Mexican cuisine) and Lidia Bastianchi has great Italian cooking books. They're definitely must haves!
Interesting selection though in comparing to my shelves I'm rather thin on the sweet side. Would add:
Blumenthal's Big Fat Duck
Ferran Adria's el Bulli (all available years)
On the reference side,
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste
Alan Davidson's Oxford Companion to Food
FCI's Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking
Jacques Pépin's Complete Techniques
Any of Rose Levy Berenbaum's books in the "bible" series are great.
Lynne Rosetto Kasper's "The Splendid Table" and "The Italian Country Table"
For "classic", look for any title by Elizabeth David (COTM selection sometime in the last year)
"Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home", Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
To me, at least, there are two types of cookbooks: the "how do they do that" restaurant books that you aren't going to make dinner from, and the practical homecooking sort. While I enjoy flipping through the restaurant cookbooks, I don't tend to purchase them because they don't have any real use in my home. I've just found an exception to my own rule in your list, the Les Halles cookbook is a restaurant cokbook that you really can make dinner from...ok so I never said that was perfect...
Some of my favorite home cooking cookbooks:
Cookwise by Shirley Corriher (I have Bakewise too, but I wasn't quite as enamored)
The Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan
The All Around the World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins (I know, she's the lady who writes recipes for the Sunday newspaper insert, but its a seriously good book and you can get a used copy for a couple bucks)
I'm also really fond of the Time-Life "Foods of the World" cookbooks from the '60s. OK, you're not going to make dinner out of these either, but they ar really well written and absolutely fascinating to read. And you can find them for a dollar or two at any used bookstore.
A very nice coffee table book is Roger Vergé's "Entertaining in the French Style". It has beautiful photography and stories, and I have actually made stuff from it (lobster in tarragon cream, lamb stew), and they turned out really well. I do enjoy the stories, especially the one about the decadent chocolate, marrons glacés and cognac combination.
Along the same lines is "Provence the Beautiful Cookbook". Made stuff from it too.
For reference books:
1.Larousse Gastronomique-I don't own a copy but lust after it every time I'm at the bookstore
2. The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink-Sometimes I just pull this one off the shelf and flip through it for fun. Even if I don't have anything specific to look up.
3.Culinaria Spain-I got this one because I've been really interested in Spanish cuisine lately. I think it's part of a series so there are probably other options if Spanish food isn't your thing.