There are so many recipe collections out there how do you know which books to choose. There are a number of things to consider: it depends on your level of skill in the kitchen; what sort of cuisine you like; and whom you’re cooking for. What recipe collections you choose to grace your kitchen shelf is purely personal, but if you’d like a helping hand here are some classic cookbooks that every keen cook should own.
Classic: a culinary bible, Larousse Gastronomique is a veritable encyclopedia of French classic recipes and techniques. No cook worth their salt should be without it.
Contemporary: Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Cookbook may not be for the faint-hearted, but as he’s Britain’s gastronomic genius even if you don’t attempt the recipes it’s a must for the coffee table.
Reference: already well on it way to becoming a classic, Niki Segnit’s Flavour Thesaurus about flavour combinations is both practical and inspirational.
Meat: there are a number of cookbooks that teach how to handle and cook meat but The Ginger Pig Meat Book is a particularly good one, partly because it’s been created by the founder of The Ginger Pig, a company adored by both chefs and the public alike for its high-quality meat products. Take it from the people that know.
Fish: a good one is Fish by Tom Aikens. This well produced book, by the talented young chef Tom Aikens, features recipes for both popular and neglected fish varieties. There are also step-by-step guides to essential techniques such as filleting and descaling.
British: British produce is of great importance to Mark Hix and, as a chef also known for extolling the virtues of seasonality, his book British Seasonal Food is an excellent choice of tome if you want to celebrate the best Blighty has to offer.
Indian: Indian is a fantastic cuisine to make at home and Michelin starred chef Atul Kochar’s book Simple Indian is accessible, easy-to-follow and beautifully photographed. Try a few of these authentic recipes and you’ll never order takeaway again.