Book Shelf

The following is a list of my all time favourite Cook Books (so far). It is destined to change as new exciting books with different formats arrive. Some of those noted I consider a necessity for any young Chef and these I feel, will remain on the list for ever. My view is that to control or change the future you must fully understand and embrace the past first, for all its lessons, wisdom & knowledge. So, in no particular order;

Larousse Gastronomique
My copy is from 1984. The classic reference book which every chef should own.
The Encyclopaedia Of Practical CookeryThe Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery I am extremely lucky to have an original print of this dating back to 1889! Of course I still have the one I used while at College.
Le Repertoire De La Cuisine by Louis SaulnierLe Repertoire De La Cuisine by Louis Saulnier
There is a  pocket version available which is great for carrying around reading in the park on your split (if you get one!)
The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
I have a brand new print of this, some fantastic quotes and observations from one of the original gastronomes.
Ma GastromonieMa Gastronomie by Fernand Point
I discovered this after hearing it was Marco Pierre White’s favourite book.
White HeatWhite Heat by Marco Pierre White
The catalyst, the eye opener, the book that introduced me to Michelin cuisine, its rigour, it’s passion and the man himself MPW.
Gordon Ramsay’s Passion for Flavour
The book I studied avidly after White Heat. Lighter, more modern, more European, with fantastic vibrant colours and the irrepressible Gordon Ramsay.
The French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas KellerThe French Laundry Cookbook by Thomas Keller
A gentle, polite cookbook of real beauty and grandeur. Perfection in Simplicity.
Grand Livre de CuisineGrand Livre de Cuisine and Grand Livre De Cuisine: Desserts and Pastries by Alain Duccasse.
True Luxury an absolute “tour de force”. French Cuisine of the highest order. Truffles, Foie Gras, Morels, Lobster, Asparagus, Poulette Bresse.
Eleven Madison Park by Daniel HummEleven Madison Park by Daniel Humm
The new kid on the block. A beautiful book with beautiful creations and wonderfully produced.

Of course there are some glaring omissions. People will ask what about El Bulli Series, The Big Fat Duck Cookbook, NOMA, BRAS, Encyclopaedia Veyrat, Sous Vide from the Roca Brothers, NICO, The Complete Robuchon…….. The list can go on and on, is endless and will differ for each and everyone of us.

The above are the books that have shaped me, my beliefs and my vision.  Yes, it is an invariably French list but like I say, it’s my list.  Whilst White Heat was undoubtedly the catalyst for me to start cooking, Passion for Flavour was the successor and so on… Some have been delightful discoveries along the way, while some are the building blocks upon which our very industry will forever stand.

As for the future and what this year will bring us, I am very much looking forward to; Philip Howards Debut book –The Square, Sat Bains – Too Many Cowboys, Only One Indian & Andoni Luis Aduriz – Mugaritz: A Natural Science of Cooking.

Happy Reading

Russell Bateman