The British Joy of Cooking

This Victorian-era book will teach you how to balance a checkbook and get out red wine stains. 

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: David Felton

The Book: Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton, 1861

Chef David Felton’s mom gave him a copy of this Victorian-era book. “It’s the kind of guide you were given as a young British girl,” he says. “It’s almost the English version of the Joy of Cooking—the recipes are phenomenal—but there’s also a chapter on how to balance a checkbook. In college it was handy—I could look up how to sew something, or how to get out red wine stains.”

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