How to Be a Great French Chef

Buying this book is the first step to becoming a great French chef.

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: Hiro Sone

The Book: The Great Chefs of France, by Anthony Blake (1978)

“I think I purchased this book when I was in cooking school,” Sone says. “It talks about all the great, well-known chefs in France—about 15 chefs. It’s not just food—it’s philosophy and chefs’ lives. When I graduated, I was looking at all these great chefs from France. Someday, I thought, I would be one of them. When I open this book, it brings me back to square one, to when I started cooking. It’s a nice feeling, each time. Ten years after I started cooking, I looked back. Twenty years later, I looked back. Now it’s 30 years later and I’m looking back at the same book, and it’s kind of different. I see different things each time I look at it.”

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