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Mar 31, 2013 05:57 PM

Jacques Pepin--which book?

Would love to hear which Pepin book is your favorite. I'd like to get one for my husband who LOVES Richard Olney and Nigel Slater's Tender as well as The Splendid Table books. We haven't owned any Pepin books--but I think it might be the perfect addition to our collection.

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  1. Eriden, not sure if you know but Essential Pepin was a Cookbook of the Month (COTM) here on Chowhound and we had an adjunct thread where we cooked from all other Pepin books. Our experiences with his recipes might provide you with some inspiration based on your husband's tastes.

    Here's the link to Essential Pepin:

    Here's a link to the adjunct thread/all other Pepin books:

    2 Replies
    1. re: Breadcrumbs

      Thanks so much for posting those and I will read through. More than anything I'm looking for the answer "if you had to just choose one of his books it would be...." I briefly went through those posts and found a lot on individual recipes--but it wasn't helping me come to a decision on which book to try first....would love to hear some more opinions!

      1. re: Eriden

        "if you had to just choose one of his books it would be.."

        Hi Eriden, I own a few of his books and have read several others. If I had to recommend just one it would probably be Essential Pepin. It is fairly comprehensive and includes over 700 of his "greatest hits" from over his life. I do not know your husband's culinary knowledge or skill level, but the book also includes a DVD that details some basics and techniques that would be very helpful to someone that does not have much experience.

        I hope you will let us know which book you end up purchasing and how it worked out for the two of you.

    2. I did choose just one, and just today received my first Pepin book — Essential Pepin (More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food). It's a beautiful book, and exactly what I want in a cookbook — lots of recipes and writing, and no photographs. Added benefit: some sources are practically giving it away! I will be using it soon.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        Quelle horreur! This book misspells "hors d'oeuvre."

        1. re: GH1618

          I passed on it when Costco offered it at $17 when it debuted
          (list price $40), regretted doing that, and was disappointed that it was gone by my next Costco run.

          Last week I noticed that new copies are available on eBay for under $13, free shipping. Mine arrived yesterday. I like the unfussiness of most of the recipes, and the variety of fruit desserts that do not involve cake/pastry.

        2. I have the book with Jacques Pepin and Julia Child. I like it because they show recipes from each person so you can compare how each person would prepare the same dish or main ingredient.

          1. Thanks everyone! My husband is very skilled I'm the kitchen--and enjoys it, so no worries there. He just wants good food and doesn't want fussiness for the sake of fussiness. But will work hard for great results. It's sounding like the Essentials book may be the way to go. Appreciate the responses!

            1. Both La Methode and La Technique were my intro to some great cooking techniques and recipes. I recall that the first time I deboned a Turkey it took nearly two hours. Now I can do a bird in 10 min or so. The pictures are really well done and the steps are well documented.