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Mar 27, 2012 07:51 PM

Cookbooks and College Graduation [moved from Las Vegas]

This post does not talk about the top six (or so) restaurants usually discussed here (LOS, Raku, Jaleo/e, Bouchon, any steak place, and Sage). But my question for the panel is food related, not restaurant related.

What are the three most important cookbooks to give to a college graduate?

My three:
• Joy of Cooking
• Essential Pepin
• Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

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  1. I would ask, what kind of cook is the college student?
    If a newbie then Better Homes and Garden would be my suggestion. Nice and easy and simple for the college budget.
    When I was in those days, I had ONE called..Cooking for Bachelors..Was very cool and very very simple recipes that I could make quickly and without a lot of utensils, but surprisingly good food. And it beat the heck out of Top Ramen and Mac-n-Cheese

    1. So much depends on the graduate. These are pretty dense books, full of recipes, but for me, not too inspirational. I love the Thomas Keller cookbooks, with Ad Hoc at Home much more approachable that The French Laundry Cookbook because of the essays in the books. They talk about respecting your ingredients and using what is local and fresh. For me, these books make me want to cook, even if I am not going to them for day to day recipes. Plus they are gorgeous.

      As a go to book, I like the Fanny Farmer cookbook. Food and Wine also puts out annual compendiums of recipes from the magazine. I like those because I find the recipes generally approachable, and they are a mix of classics and takes on current cuisines.