The Greatest Cookbooks of All Time, According to Chefs

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Ma Gastronomie

Cookbooks can be fickle territory, as vulnerable to the whims of trendiness as diet fads or nail art. But there are some books that stand the test of time—classics that continue to captivate years after their publication dates. We dipped into our archives to turn up some of the most enduring cookbooks ever published, as chosen by the chefs those books inspired. Assemble a mini library for you or your favorite food scholar. —Jordana Rothman

The Provence of Alain Ducasse

The Provence of Alain Ducasse
Courtesy of Amazon

I like The Provence of Alain Ducasse because it is really personal. He discusses individuals—you meet the guy that makes the best pastis or the best olive oil—and you really feel like you are on this trip with him. It's one of those books that actually makes you hungry.— Mike Solomonov

Buy: $27, amazon.com

The Last Course

The Last Course
Courtesy of Amazon

Claudia Fleming's The Last Course is a classic. That was my go-to book when I first became a pastry chef. I especially love her coconut tapioca with passion fruit and cilantro. That was one of my favorite desserts when I started on this road.Belinda Leong

Buy: $26, amazon.com

El Bulli: 1998–2002

El Bulli: 1998–2002
Courtesy of Amazon

Flipping through the pages of El Bulli: 1998–2002 is so powerful. It's one of those books where you pick it up and four hours later you haven't even gotten through 40 pages.—Michael Mina

Buy: Various Prices at amazon.com

La Technique

La Technique
Courtesy of Amazon

Jacques Pepin's La Technique was revolutionary in a lot of ways. I have a copy that's so used it's torn and spotted. It's a very good book for someone who needs things explained really clearly. —Charlie Palmer

Buy: $110 at amazon.com

Joy of Cooking

Joy of Cooking

The old Joy of Cooking was my first cookbook. It has everything in it, from cooking an armadillo to how to make the most perfect pie crust. It's great for when you need a basic recipe to build off of, because the proportions are so well tested.—Anita Lo

Buy: $20 at amazon.com

Ma Gastronomie

Ma Gastronomie

My favorite is Ma Gastronomie by Ferdinand Point. It's both a storybook and a book of recipes. If you work for me, I give you that book and then I ask you questions about it. Point was 6'5" and 300 pounds—he'd get to work at 7am every morning and write menus in the courtyard while drinking magnums of champagne and getting a shave. Paul Bocuse was his salad chef. There are hundreds of stories. —Jimmy Bradley

Buy: amazon.com

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