This Alice Waters cookbook is a must-have.

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017

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 top picks of all time.

The Chef: Tim Byres of Smoke in Dallas

The Book: Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook by Alice Waters (1995)

“Before Chez Panisse, we had this Rancho California kind of cuisine, then this Bay area sophistication kind of thing, and you had the emerging Napa Valley,” Byres says. “When you read this book you realize they were playing their own tunes over there, taking inspiration from cookbook writers of Mediterranean and Italian and Southern French to spin it into a new California food.”