Getting a chef to pick a favorite cookbook is like asking a parent to choose her most-loved child. But F&W pressed great cooks around the country to reveal their all-time top picks.
The Chef: Tommy Habetz
The Book: The Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen, 1977
“I’m not a huge cookbook guy,” Habetz says. “But The Moosewood Cookbook opened my eyes when I was starting out. I started off cooking more hippie foods when I was younger. I went to the Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York. I have a brother who has Fragile-X syndrome. There was a big belief, especially in the ’70s and ’80s, that natural foods could change your life. But The Moosewood Cookbook, the recipes were super-easy to follow, everything always turned out good, and they opened my eyes to stuff I’d never experimented with, like Middle Eastern and Indian food. Plus it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s one of the things I’ve always shied away from in cooking, the real, very serious haute cuisine. I can appreciate it and I love it, but it’s not who I am.”